A LANGE, Dresden, No 9771, for BENNETT, London


Good early keyless German watch with unusual lever setting, circa 1875.

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Original German made silver case with gold joint, numbered as the movement and engraved for its English retailer on the dome, plus the original owner, WILLIAM REYNOLDS, has added their name. Typical pale gilt three-quarter plate movement jewelled to the 3rd, with exposed winding wheels. Lange's detached lever escapement, with gold club-tooth escape and lever. Compensation balance, balance-spring with overcoil. Signed enamel dial, blued-steel hands. 47.5 mm diameter.

Ferdinand Adolph Lange, the famous pioneer in the resurrection of German watchmaking in the middle of the 19th century.

John Bennett, later Sir John Bennett, one of the most colourful watch retailers of the period, often vilified by the English watchmaking trade of the day for his promotion and sale of Swiss made watches - he was also one of the first London retailers to market the new watches from Dresden.

The larger of the two winding wheels lacking some teeth (it will still wind) and the watch showing some signs of general wear with almost invisible hair cracks in the dial. Otherwise a rare early Lange watch well worth restoration, and with ownership provenance. Not cleaned by me, but will tick happily when wound.