Swiss work for the English market. No 1668


Good quality minute repeater bearing the name and date of its first owner: BRISCOE, 1887.

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Swiss three-quarter plate keyless movement, in the English style, for the English market, the top plate engraved for its owner: Revd J T Briscoe, London, 1887, the repeating work under the dial, the edge numbered 1668. Double-roller detached lever escapement of inverted form. Compensation balance, balance-spring with overcoil. 44.5 mm diameter, 10 mm deep, not including centre arbor.

J T Briscoe became Pastor of the Rye Lane Baptist Chapel, Peckham, in December 1876.

This form of repeating movement, which I associate with the Swiss firm of Lecoultre, was a common import into the English market and most so-called English repeaters of the second half of the 19th century are of this form - note the diamond pattern of keyless work screws showing on the top plate. Note also the minute marks on the movement surrounding the repeat work. This is so the watch can be timed without the necessity of putting on and taking off the dial when being adjusted, a good idea that in my experience the English repeating workers never did. You can also see the stronger gilding of the top plate which has been done in England after the plate was engraved for the buyer - it would have had the pale Swiss form of gilding all over when first imported. Do however also note that many such movements were 'scaped and dialled in the UK, and that movements were often completely re-gilded to meet English taste, but the keyless work cannot be disguised.

Dial with the usual hair cracks, lacking all hands, and the repeat mainspring intact but not engaging properly. The watch will however tick if wound and I did get the repeating to work properly, including the minutes. Not cleaned by me and sold as needing at least a service.