Rare and early English wristwatch, in good original condition.
Larger size Dennison screw back and front silver case with fixed lugs, hallmarked Birmingham 1915. Typical Errington/Williamson three-quarter plate, stem wound and set 7-jewel movement with exposed winding wheels. Straight-line lever escapement with club-tooth escape. Compensation balance, balance-spring with overcoil. Enamel dial in perfect condition, with skeleton numerals and matching hands that would have originally held radium (now removed). 35,5 mm diameter. Together with its rare contemporary 'one piece' leather strap with silver buckle, the strap stamped REGd No D...529336
The Errington Watch Co, set up by Charles Hutton Errington in Coventry in the 1880’s, acquired by Henry Williamson in 1895, in which Errington remained the manager until he retired in 1910. The firm was one of the first in the UK to recognise the important new market for wristwatches, this being an early example. Charles Hutton Errington, trained as an engraver, became one of the most successful Coventry based manufacturers of cheaper watches aimed at competing with Swiss imports, described in his obituary as “a remarkably clever mechanist’ with many Patents to his name.
Wristwatches with wire lugs began to appear in the last decade of the 19th century but examples are uncommon prior to the marked increase in production created by military use in the 1st World War. Wire lugs could be used with silk ribbon or leather straps, depending on gender, and it seems that most early watches that were supplied with leather straps had them stitched in situ.
NB: Unlike ribbon, replacing leather straps was not that easy and one of the main alternatives was the one-piece strap that did not need stitching, passing through the lugs and under the case. Variations on a theme soon followed and this example is an improvement as the Registered Design keeps the head in position on the strap, limiting sideways travel. It is a rare form of early strap, almost none of which have survived the expected wear and tear. Please also note the downward bend of the lugs, a clear indication that a one-piece strap was catered for, shorter wire lugs without the bend really needing two-piece straps to sit correctly.
In good used condition showing wear to the original button and general signs of use to the watch and strap. Otherwise a rare example of an English made watch from the 1st World War, now often called 'trench watches,' on an equally rare original strap. Please know that the present strap, although in relatively good condition now, is unlikely to remain so for long if worn. It could of course be replaced with a modern open-ended strap if wanted.
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