BARRAUD, London. No 1113


Well finished movement, perhaps the earliest known from this famous watchmaker, circa 1785.

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Capped fullplate fusee movement with full size slide-plate, both slide-plate and cock well engraved, the latter with large diamond endstone (damaged), the cap stamped H (cameo), another as yet unidentified cap maker. Cylinder escapement, steel balance, spiral balance spring with balance-brake operating on the escape. Lovely original one-piece enamel dial, signed on the back by the makers Mackenzie & Clarke. 44 mm diameter, 14 mm deep, not including centre arbor.

Paul Philip Barraud, founder of the famous firm, one of the most interesting London retailers of fine and interesting watches, clocks and chronometers throughout the 19th century. This movement, one of the very earliest (by series and number), is not recorded in the book on Barraud by Cedric Jagger. 

NB: Jagger includes an unnumbered watch of 1756 in his book, but this is too early for Paul Philip (he was born in 1752), and the watch would be from the time of his father, Francis-Gabriel. Judging by the photographs, it also looks to be of typical Swiss manufacture (in the English style). All Paul Philip Barraud's genuine output (his name appears on many Swiss fakes) carries a serial number and this movement, from around 1785, looks to be the second earliest of any so far known to have survived. That said, I am left wondering about the one earlier watch, No 910, and think this may be a misreading of No 1910. If so, my assumption that Barraud began numbering his first series of pocket watches from a start of number 1000 (a not uncommon practise) would make this movement, No 1113, the earliest so far known. The full size engraved slide-plate also matches up with numbers 1419 (British Museum) and 1710, both pictured in Jagger's book.

Damage to the endstone, the dial with just a few small scratches, mismatched hands and the 14-tooth escape wheel with one poorly replaced tooth, though it will run. Otherwise a most interesting example of Paul Philip's English output that may reveal more clues when fully dismantled. Not cleaned by me but tries to tick when wound, Sold as not working, but well worth restoring, especially for any serious collector of Barraud watches - a unique opportunity.