Top quality free-sprung Deck Watch, complete with original mahogany box and admiralty history.
Large and heavy silver ‘crystal’ case hallmarked London 1911, casemaker ATO (Albert Thomas Oliver, Clerkenwell). Well finished three-quarter plate keyless movement, jewelled to the 3rd and fitted with double barrel clicks and spring, the 20-size frame stamped JP (Joseph Preston). Single-roller detached lever escapement. Free-sprung blued-steel balance-spring with overcoil. Signed enamel dial in perfect condition, with added Broad Arrow, blued-steel hands. 58 mm diameter. Together with original three-piece mahogany box with ivory roundel engraved with the makers name and number and ‘CW,’ standing for Chronometer Watch. Box, dial and movement with the British Government ‘Broad Arrow’ mark.
Poile & Smith, now little known, was incorporated into the much larger High Street Jewellers, Bravingtons after the war.
This watch came 14th in the 1911 Greenwich Watch Trials with a mark of 43.6, and served on various ships during the First World War: Cruiser HMS Birmingham; Destroyer HMS Radiant; and Trawlers HMS James Hunniford and HMS John Cooper. A copy of its admiralty record accompanies the watch, as does a contemporary postcard of HMS Birmingham, notable for being the first ship to sink a German U-boat at the outbreak of WW1.
Rare in as much that it has survived in original condition, neither the box nor the watch having been later converted to be ‘unwearable’ as most Deck Watches were after the war. The box shows some honourable scars of age, otherwise in crisp, clean original condition. Serviced for its previous owner and working well.
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