LONGINES, Switzerland, retailed by J W BENSON, London


A fine quality centre-seconds wristwatch, in retailers box.

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9ct double back case with wire lugs numbered 523C820, import hallmarked London 1934, sponsor's mark AB (Alfred Baume). Longines calibre 12.91 15 jewel gilded movement, also stamped B&Co (Baume & Co). Straight line detached lever escapement with polished steel club-tooth escape. Compensation balance, balance-spring with overcoil. Lovely enamel dial with red 12 in perfect condition, signed for its maker and additionally signed (printed) for Benson, original blued-steel hands. 32.5mm diameter. Together with its silk lined retailers box.

James Walter Benson, then at 25 Old Bond Street, one of London’s premier retailers of good and top quality pocket watches from around 1850 and wristwatches from around 1900. Benson made their own wristwatches from around 1910 but remained the leading English retailer of Swiss watches, the best of which were supplied by Cyma and Longines. For more information about English wristwatches see the short note in my website Glossary, and my illustrated article on ‘English Wristwatches’ in the April 2000 issue of Antique Collecting. 

NB: Many Swiss watches retailed in the UK had their name printed on their mostly enamel dials at this date, but subsequent cleaning of the watches has mostly removed all traces. In this instance the printed name remains.

Longines, St Imier, Swizerland, one of the most venerable Swiss companies and one of the best (I think the best) who were making wristwatches at this early period. Longines have a long association with Alfred Baume & Co who were their main import agents in England.

Some wear to the gold shell on its original button, otherwise this watch has survived in really very good original condition, especially the wonderful dial and hands. Complete with a slightly used half inch (12 mm) stitched on black leather strap - a classical combination of the period and ideal for anyone who likes the earlier style of wristwatch. A rare survival - serviced and guaranteed.