GRAY [VULLIAMY], London. No 475


A fine example of a late verge watch sold by the Vulliamy firm, circa 1780.

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Gilt-metal paircase with then fashionably tall pendant, the inner stamped RN (probably Robert Nuttall, then in Clerkenwell). Nicely finished fullplate fusee movement, looking somewhat old fashioned in style but typical of the Vulliamy firm. Verge (recoil) escapement. Brass balance, spiral balance-spring. Original Roman & Arabic enamel dial, in the lighter style of the period, original gold beetle & poker hands. 47.5 mm diameter.

Justin Vulliamy and son Benjamin, Clockmakers to King George III and the Prince Regent, later George IV, suppliers of best quality clocks and watches to the English aristocracy, the new Houses of Parliament as well as many London clubs and institutions. Justin, formerly in partnership with Benjamin Gray, made some of the best watches of the period, of which this is a good example of an alternative retail name used by the firm for their non-standard watches - I presume they did not want to pair the name Vulliamy with a verge watch at this period.

NB: The Vulliamy firm used at least two different family names (Gray, Risdon) to retail their non-standard and bought-in watches, examples of which are rarely encountered.

Some scratches to the dial which otherwise survives undamaged and some minor signs of age and wear to the case gilding, but much better than most. Serviced for its previous owner and looks to be working well, but can be freshly serviced if wanted - my likely cost around £150.