GRIMALDE & JOHNSON, 431 Strand, London. No 5744


Fine duplex movement, circa 1812, in well made, purpose made case.

More details

Large fullplate fusee movement with nicely engraved cock, with cap jewels on balance (diamond) and escape. Duplex (frictional rest) escapement, the staff retaining its ruby roller, now so often lacking or replaced with steel. Flat steel balance, spiral balance-spring. Perfect signed enamel dial, the original hour hand of the unusual type associated with this firm. 44.5 mm diameter. In purpose made heavy double back silver crystal (flat glass) case hallmarked London 1911, casemaker ATO (Albert Thomas Oliver, Clerkenwell),

Peter Grimalde, a chronometer and watchmaker of repute (Baillie), formed a partnership with Johnson sometime before 1810. NB: The Shop number in the Strand, 431, features prominently on their dials and is often these days misread as the watches serial number.

Albert Thomas Oliver, then at 31 Wynyatt St, Clerkenwell, a fine casemaker who later moved into the premises once used by Fred Thoms. Albert's son, Richard (Dick Oliver), also a fine casemaker and a lovely man, continued to use the fathers stamp into the 1980's. For more information and an image of Albert in the later workshop, see Priestley Watch Case Makers of England...1720-1920.

Well made re-cases are a fine method of preserving and enjoying a good movement, as well as making them wearable, and mostly at a fraction of the cost if all original - this is priced at well below what such a good case would cost to make today. Later minute hand, otherwise the movement in good original condition, the later case showing almost no signs of use. Cleaned by its last owner and working well.