GOLAY No 2151, for GOWLAND Bros, London


Best quality all-English chronograph in lovely silver and gold case.

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Large and heavy silver half-hunter case with 5-knuckle joints and gold furniture, the cover with blue enamel chapter ring, hallmarked 1894, casemaker EM ((Edward Matthews, Northampton Sq, Clerkenwell, grandfather of the late Martin Matthews). Three-quarter plate keyless movement with raised barrel, jewelled to the centre with cap jewels on balance (diamond), lever and escape. Double-roller detached lever escapement. Best quality compensation balance with quarter-timing nuts, blued-steel balance-spring with double overcoil and fine adjustment regulator. Snap-on enamel dial in perfect condition, only the painted retailers name beginning to fade, with 60-minute counter at 12, original blued-steel hands. 56 mm diameter and weighing just over 150 grams gross.

Gowland Brothers, 48 Cornhill, London, retailers

Charles Hector Golay, trading as Hector Golay, 46 Myddleton Square, London, keyless and complicated watches made to his Patent No 12417, October 1885. Swiss born (the Jura) but working most of his life in London, Golay was the main manufacturer, along with Nicole, Nielsen & Co, of the best English made complicated watch work at the latter part of the 19th century. NB: By the last quarter of the 19th century most chronographs sold bearing English retailers names were finished from imported Swiss ebauches. Only the firms of Nicole Nielsen and Hector Golay continued to produce top English work, which commanded the highest prices, and of which this is a fine example.

A chronograph of the very best London work that compares so well with anything produced abroad. Just one minor mark on the cover caused by the bow, otherwise all in lovely original condition and without any previous monogram or dedication. Serviced and guaranteed.