J R ARNOLD 'Patent' London. No 219


Rare Prest Patent keyless watch, in stylish silver case.

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Slim silver case with a lovely shape of winding button and bow, hallmarked London 1830, casemaker HH (Henry Hardy, 14 Rosomans Row, Clerkenwell). Typical fullplate movement with going barrel and prominent index with the regulation scale engraved on the barrel-bridge. Single-roller detached lever escapement, an improvement on the earlier models that had ruby-cylinders. Plain balance, spiral balance-spring. Signed enamel dial, matching gold hands. 50 mm diameter, only 16 mm deep, including glass.

John Roger Arnold, son of John Arnold, a very good watch and chronometer maker in his own right, and someone who continued to offer his clients a full range of escapements and styles of watch, such as this early keyless watch. For more information regarding John Roger, as well as Thomas Prest, see the books on Arnold by Vaudrey Mercer and Hans Staeger.

Thomas Prest, one time foreman at Arnold's chronometer workshops in Eltham, and in whose name PATENT 4501 was taken out in October 1820. This was the first commercially successful keyless work, and was used by the Arnold firm for over thirty years.

Faint hair cracks in dial, otherwise in very good original condition, and a fine and wearable example. Serviced and guaranteed.