DENT 'Watchmaker to the Queen' 33 Cockspur St, London. No 32135


£ 7,450.00

Best quality minute repeater supplied by Nicole Nielsen, in almost mint condition.

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Large 18ct gold open-face 'dog collar' case with snap-on back hallmarked London 1900, sponsor's mark EN (Emil Nielsen). NN's later form of three-quarter-plate keyless movement, jewelled to the centre with cap jewels on balance (diamond), lever and escape. Double-roller detached lever escapement. Compensation balance with quarter-timing nuts, balance-spring with double overcoil. Beautiful signed enamel dial in perfect condition, with original blued-steel hands. 56 mm diameter.

The famous firm of E J Dent, London, one of the leading watch, chronometer and clock makers of the period - see the book on Edward John Dent and the various Dent firms by Vaudrey Mercer.

Nicole Nielsen & Co, the leading manufactures of top class English watches during the second half of the 19th century, suppliers to Messrs Dent, Frodsham, S Smith & Son, and many other top retailers. My reprint of their illustrated catalogue of around 1910 (available on my website) only show this model of minute repeater at 16-size - it cost £55. This watch is a rare example of NN's largest 20-size repeater. For comparison, their 20-size tourbillon watches cost £72.

NB: The NN movement in this watch bears the engraving 'PARTLY SWISS.' This can occasionally be found engraved on their movements, the earliest example in my records being in a case hallmarked 1872. The latest use I have found is 1920. Given the output of similar repeaters by Nicole Nielsen, only a few are marked this way and I have found no difference in the quality or finish to their standard production. It raises the question just what part of these late 19th century complicated watches are Swiss, and does it matter when they are as beautiful as this watch undoubtably is.

The plain case back without any previous engraving and simply one of the finest English minute repeaters I have ever seen or handled, and in lovely untouched, almost unused condition. Serviced and guaranteed.