Very early and stylish example of Nicole's keyless work, in fine original condition.
Engine-turned silver and 18ct gold openface case hallmarked London 1846, sponsor's mark AN (Adolphe Nicole). Nicole's typical three-quarter plate movement with exposed winding wheels, and carrying N&C's number (776) and stamp (AN) by the foot of the cock at this earliest period. Duplex (frictional rest) escapement. Compensation balance, the spiral balance-spring retaining the original 'kink' banking as shown in the 1844 Patent. Signed enamel dial, original blued-steel 'moon' hands. 42 mm diameter. Together with original retailers box.
Adolphe Nicole & Jules Capt, manufacturers of the first successful keyless watches that could be wound and set without opening the case, suppliers to Messrs Dent only at this period, and later to many other top retailers. Adolphe Nicole, Patent No 10,348 of October 1844, includes the first commercially successful keyless work for both going-barrel and fusee watches. See my site Glossary for more information about this most important and still underrated London firm.
The firm of E J Dent, London 'watchmakers to the Queen' one of the leading watch, chronometer and clock makers of the period - see the book on Edward John Dent and the various Dent firms by Vaudrey Mercer. NB: The great acclaim received by Dent for their watches shown at the great exhibition in 1851 was in large part due to these most stylish and technically ground breaking Nicole & Capt watches.
A couple of hair cracks in the edge of the dial, and some wear showing to case. Otherwise in unusually fine condition for a Nicole & Capt watch of this earliest period (they often show much use), and in a rare and stylish case. Photographed prior to cleaning, the watch will be freshly serviced for the buyer at no additional cost.
Shown in its box with a suitable although out of period (circa 1920) chain of appropriate weight and mix of metals (platinum and gold). This is available if wanted - please enquire.
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