Rare Kew Certificate karrusel with interesting provenance.
Substantial double back gold case hallmarked London 1913, casemaker IJTN (Isaac Jabez Theo Newsome), the dome with extensive dedication engraving, the rear cover with monogram. Typical half plate keyless movement, the frame bearing Bonniksen's Patent stamp, the top plate polished and spotted and engraved with Newsome's serial number and KEW CERTIFICATE, but otherwise not bearing any retailers name. Single-roller detached lever escapement. Compensation balance, blued-steel balance-spring with overcoil. Enamel dial, blued-steel hands. 53.5 mm diameter, approx 140 grams gross weight. Together with retailers box with its silk liner signed for Pidduck & Sons Ltd, Hanley
Newsome and Co ‘Wholesale Watch Manufacturers’ 14 & 15 Butts, Coventry, one of the leading English watchmaking firms of the period, most of their output bearing the name of its retailer, as was the standard English practice - this example was obviously sold without any name. NB: It is unusual to have the movements engraved KEW CERTIFICATE and details of its Trial and results can be found in the Kew record books now held as part of the ICI (International Chronometer Index) at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
Bahne Bonniksen, 16 Norfolk St, Coventry, Patent No 21,421, November 1892, inventor of a revolving carriage 'karrusel' in which the escapement and balance is made to turn 360 degrees in 52 1/2 minutes (34 minutes in centre-second movements). This was done in order to cancel out the deleterious effects of gravity in fixed escapement watches. NB: Doing essentially the same as devised by John Arnold, and first made by A-L Breguet who called it a tourbillon, the karrusel differs in as much as the power of the mainspring drives both the carriage and the escapement. In the tourbillon the mainspring drives only the carriage, the escape wheel pinion being driven by a fixed wheel mounted under the carriage - the karrusel does not have a fixed wheel.
Presentation engraving on dome to "Geo Scoby Smith, CBE, JP, by the Iron and Steel Manufacturers of the North of England in Token of their Appreciation of his Services to the Nation & the Industry during the Great War, 1914-18, January 12, 1920"
George Scoby-Smith was the commercial manager of Messrs Bolckow Vaughan and Co Ltd, a firm established in 1864. When he received his CBE in 1918, the Middlesbrough based firm was then the largest producer of pig-iron in the uk. It owned 23 collieries at the start of the war and at one time had 20,000 employees. A fine picture of the watches owner, sitting in a very early automobile, can be found on the internet (courtesy of Cleveland County Council)
Dial with faint hair crack, otherwise in fine original condition showing few signs of wear, especially the chronometer-style spotted top plate which is much better in real life, a picture being quite inadequate to show it off properly. Those who attended the talk on Bonniksen by Clare Woodward given to the London meeting of the Antiquarian Horological Society will have some understanding of the significance of these watches that for over a decade were among the most accurate money could buy. Serviced and guaranteed.
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