Rare all-English made wristwatch with lovely enamel dial.
9ct gold screw back and bezel case with fixed 'wire' lugs, hallmarked London 1928, casemaker R&S (Rotherham & Son). Rotherhams smaller sized three quarter-plate movement, with cap jewels on balance and escape. St-line, club-tooth detached lever escapement. Compensation balance, balance-spring with overcoil. Perfect signed enamel dial with red 12, blued-steel hands. 30 mm diameter, not including lugs or button.
T S Cuthbert 'watchmaker to the Admiralty' 48 Buchanan St, Glasgow, seven years teacher of watchmaking at the Royal Technical College, Glasgow, having achieved the highest award for practical watchmaking at the BHI and becoming a Fellow in 1907 - one of very many names not recorded by Baillie, Britten or Loomes.
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). They were expensive when sold and survivors of these all-English made wristwatches are now very rare. NB: Both the lager and smaller sized watches 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 16 guineas in 9ct. 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. NB: This case style is not waterproof and all English wristwatches of this date are best kept well away from damp conditions.
The button has been replaced at some point and the case, later button and movement showing some of the expected signs or wear. Otherwise a rare English wristwatch retailed by this interesting Glasgow firm and unusual for the dial surviving in such perfect condition - very few do. On pre-worn open-ended black leather SONIT Patent strap that probably dates from the 1950's. It needs some stitching to hold the buckle secure but its appropriate style for the watch means I have left it in place. It can of course be replaced with a new strap if/when wanted. Cleaned and guaranteed.
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