Rare example of an all-English 1920's wristwatch with enamel dial and red 12.
18ct gold case with pin setting, fixed lugs and jointed back, hallmarked London 1929, sponsors mark R&S (Rotherham & Son). Rotherhams ‘A grade’ three quarter-plate movement, with cap jewels on balance and escape. Single-roller detached lever escapement with club-tooth escape. Compensation balance, balance-spring with overcoil. Enamel dial with red 12 and distinctive Rotherhams blued-steel Breguet-style hands. 31 mm diameter, not including lugs or button.
Martin & Co Limited ' Chronometer Makers to the Admiralty & Indian Government' Promenade, Cheltenham, retailers, established 1806.
Rotherham & Sons, suppliers of most of the good quality wristwatch movements found in English work. They produced two sizes of movement used in their wristwatches, in two basic qualities, both jewelled to the 3rd (17-jewels). They were expensive when sold and survivors of these all-English made wristwatches are now very rare indeed. NB: Both the lager and smaller sized watches were sold as 'gentlemen's wristlet watches,' as can be seen in the page I have reproduced from Rotherham's 1926 catalogue. Their 18ct models with A grade movements costing £21 and upwards. The firm also produced wristwatches for women but these cases do not have wire lugs for leather straps, though I am sure that many women will have worn them - evening wear wristwatches apart, Rotherham's standard models would be better thought of as unisex in design.
For more information about English wristwatches see the short note in my website Glossary, and my illustrated article on ‘English Wristwatches’ in the April 2000 issue of Antique Collecting. NB: This case style is not waterproof and all English wristwatches of this date are best kept well away from damp conditions.
Repaired dial chip at the edge, near 6, and the winding button replaced, as usual. Otherwise a rare example of a pre-2nd World War English made wristwatch - these are rarely seen, especially in 18ct gold. Fitted with new brown crocodile leather strap. Serviced for its previous owner and looks to be working correctly.
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