Fine free-sprung watch with up/down, almost certainly the work of Hector Golay.
Gold openface bassine case (plain covers without beads or ridges) hallmarked 1882, casemaker RB (Richard Macair Ball, City Rd, London). Well finished half-plate keyless fusee movement jewelled to the 3rd with cap jewels on balance (diamond), lever, escape and 4th wheels. Double-roller detached lever escapement of inverted form, as sometimes found in best London work of this period. Compensation balance, free-sprung blued-steel balance-spring with overcoil. Lovely signed enamel dial with state-of-wind indication at 12, original blued-steel hands, 51 mm diameter.
William Gabriel 'watchmaker' retailer of often top quality watches supplied by Victor Kullberg, Hector Golay, etc.
Charles Hector Golay, Swiss by birth, began to work in London before 1870. Originally acting as an import agent for Swiss work by Audemars Piguet, he established his own wholesale watch manufacturing business around 1880. His watches, plain and complicated, rival the best work of Nicole Nielsen, using the best London craftsmen of the day. Golay retired from business and returned home to Switzerland, the Jura, in 1911.
Hair cracks at 12, into the up/down, as so often found with these multi drilled dials, and dedication removed (just showing) from dome. Otherwise the watch showing almost no signs of wear. Serviced and guaranteed.
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