GOLAY, for VINE & THOMPSON, London. No 48887


Best quality, all-English minute repeating chronograph.

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Heavy gold hunter case with Alfred Stram swivel bow and 5-knuckle joints, hallmarked London 1892, casemaker EM (Edward Matthews, Northampton Square, Clerkenwell, grandfather of the late Martin Matthews). Golay pattern Patent keyless half-plate movement with raised barrel, jewelled to the 3rd with cap jewels on balance (diamond), lever and escape. Double-roller detached lever escapement, balance-spring with double-overcoil and fine-adjustment regulator. Best quality WILLIS enamel dial with 60-minute register in perfect condition, original blued-steel hands. 54 mm diameter and weighing just under 170 grams, gross.

Vigne and Thompson, then at 85 Aldersgate Street "Manufacturers and Importers of Watches, Clocks, Jewellery..." retailers.

Charles Hector Golay, later trading as Hector Golay, "Manufacturer of Complicated Watches" 46 Myddleton Square, London, Patent No 12417, October 1885. Swiss born (the Jura) but working most of his life in London, Golay was the main manufacturer, along with Nicole, Nielsen & Co, of the very best British made complicated watch work at the latter part of the 19th century. Golay is known to have used the top London craftsmen in the manufacture of his watches, and for anyone who still doubts the provenance of his rough movements, a bill dated 1909, made out to the chronometer maker Robert Gardner, states clearly "Value of Foreign Material in Repeating Work not exceeding Five Per Cent" 

NB: The quality of even the best cases by Thoms, Stram and Matthews can vary according to cost. The use of 5-knuckle, as opposed to the usual 3-knuckle joints, is a clear indication that this is a fine example of the best London work which compares so well with anything produced abroad.

In lovely original condition showing few signs of use, the case without previous engraving and the swivel bow still tight. Serviced and guaranteed.