Fine free-sprung centre-seconds Royal Navy Deck Watch by this interesting firm.
Large double back silver openface case, the rear engraved with a discreet Broad Arrow, hallmarked London 1915, casemaker W.B (William Bullock, Coventry). Three-quarter plate keyless going-barrel movement jewelled to the 2nd, with cap jewels on balance (diamond), lever and escape, the top plate also engraved with the Broad Arrow. Single-roller detached lever escapement. Compensation balance, free-sprung balance-spring with overcoil, with unusual stud. Perfect single-sunk enamel dial with painted name and Broad Arrow, blued-steel hands. 58.5 mm diameter. Original 3-piece mahogany box, the lid inset with numbered ivory plaque and also engraved with the Broad Arrow, as required by the admiralty. Box 11 x 9.5 x 6 cm.
Northern Goldsmiths Company suppliers of many good Deck Watches during the 1st World War, as made by Coventry trained men, overseen by Leon Forestier, who were invited to Newcastle - see the important article on Sidney Better, correcting many wrong assumptions, by Paul Myatt in the March 2011 issue of Antiquarian Horology.
NB: Many Admiralty Deck Watches had their silver cases converted to become unwearable from around 1918 onwards, their boxes also being converted from 3 to 2-piece and having fixed brass bowls with glazed bezels fitted. The changes were almost certainly caused by too many otherwise wearable watches being 'lost' in action. No such changes have been made to this watch or its box, the former remaining perfectly wearable.
A few minor signs of use to the box and the painted name showing some fading, otherwise all in good original condition showing few signs of the expected wear due to its service history - a copy of its Admiralty record is available. Cleaned and guaranteed.
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