NICOLE & CAPT, for John POOLE, London. No 4768


Top quality chronograph with rare regulator dial by this famous London firm.

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Gold engine-turned openface crystal (flat glass) case, the typical snap-on back with black enamel monogram, hallmarked London 1874, sponsor's mark AN (Adolphe Nicole). Three-quarter plate going-barrel movement with typical revised 1st-type Nicole keyless work, jewelled to the 3rd with cap jewels on balance, lever and escape. Single-roller detached lever escapement. Compensation balance, balance-spring with overcoil. Signed enamel dial in perfect condition, original blued-steel hands. 48.5 mm diameter.

Adolphe Nicole, Patent No 10,348 of October 1844, includes the first commercially successful keyless work for both going-barrel and fusee watches, as well as the ‘heart shaped cam’ controller for true, start/stop/return to zero, chronographs. Joined by Danish born watchmaker Emil Nielsen, becoming Nicole Nielsen & Co by 1876, the firm were the foremost London watchmakers of the second half of the 19th century, supplying many of the finest chronographs, repeaters and tourbillion watches to retailers such as Frodsham, Dent, Smith & Son, etc. See my site Glossary for more information about this most important and still underrated London firm of watchmakers.

John Poole, 57 Fenchurch St, London, chronometer and watchmaker of repute, awarded a prize medal at the Paris Exhibition in 1867, but committed suicide later that year. His business was carried on by his brother James Poole.

Light wear to the engine-turning and the bow, and with hair cracks in the dial. Otherwise a good and relatively early true chronograph (start/stop/return to zero), not just a timer or hacking watch, with a lovely and unusual dial layout. Serviced and guaranteed.