Very rare 18ct all-English made wristwatch with lovely enamel dial.
3-piece cushion shaped case with fixed 'wire' lugs, hallmarked London 1931, casemakers R&S (Rotherham & Son). Rotherhams smaller sized three quarter-plate 'super' grade movement jewelled to the 3rd, with cap jewels on balance and escape. St-line, club-tooth detached lever escapement. Compensation balance, balance-spring with overcoil. Enamel dial with red 12 and marked ENGLISH MADE, original blued-steel hands. 33 mm across the corners, not including lugs or button. Together with its contemporary box bearing the London retailers name of Dibdin & Co Ltd, 189 Sloane Street, on the silk lined lid.
Rotherham & Son, suppliers of most of the good quality wristwatch movements found in English work. They produced two sizes of movement used in their wristwatches, in two basic qualities, both jewelled to the 3rd (17-jewels), their better "super" grade having jewels held in settings. They were expensive when sold and survivors of these all-English made wristwatches are now very rare, particularly in 18ct cases. NB: Both the lager and smaller sized movements were sold as 'gentleman's wristlet watches,' as can be seen in the page I have reproduced from Rotherham's 1926 catalogue, this model costing over £30 in 18ct. The firm also produced wristwatches for women but these cases do not have wire lugs for leather straps, though I am sure that many women will have worn them as, evening wear watches apart, Rotherham's standard designs would be better thought of as unisex.
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. Please also note that this case style is not waterproof and all English wristwatches of this date are best kept well away from damp conditions.
Dial with the faintest of hair cracks, near 12, that is almost impossible to see without an eyeglass and some of the usual wear showing on the English button, but not at all bad. Otherwise a fine and unusual example, unusual for bearing the name of its manufacturer rather than the usual retailer, also for being marked "SUPER" and for being in an 18ct gold case. Serviced, guaranteed and fitted with a new/old stock contemporary black leather strap.
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