Rare Patent centre-seconds keyless start/stop watch.
Large and heavy 18ct gold half-hunter case hallmarked London 1883, casemaker TNB (Thomas Newnham Bell, Spon St, Coventry). Three-quarter plate movement jewelled to the 3rd, the start/stop action by a castle-type wheel operated via a button in the band, the 18-size frame stamped C.H.E PATENT 5636 as well as by the movement makers R.B and MW. Single-roller detached lever escapement. Compensation balance, balance-spring with overcoil. Single-sunk enamel dial signed ERRINGTON'S PATENT in perfect condition, original blued-steel hands. 56 mm diameter and weighing just over 140 grams.
Charles Hutton Errington, Coventry, Patent No 5639, December 1881: an improved method of stopping and starting keyless and other centre-seconds watches via the pendant. Later bought by H Williamson, the firm of Errington was one of the first successful machine-made watch manufacturers in the UK. This pre-dates the almost identical Patent No 8727, taken out by R Fennell in May 1889.
James Forbes & Co, Coventry, retailers.
NB. Many watches found their way onto the second hand market after the conflagration of the 1st World War. This was a time when was both orphaned watches and weakened production capabilities meant that supplies, particularly of gold watches, were limited. The depression of the late 1920's also meant that many that had survived the war were now scrapped. Luckily this watch did not suffer such a fate.
In fine original condition apart from the dome with later but interesting dedication engraving having been presented in 1929 to R G Keevill by his fellow workers in the Admiralty: Keevill had been Director of the Works Department at the Admiralty at the start of the 1st World War. I have seen few of these watches, this being the only one cased in gold, and none in such good condition. Serviced and guaranteed.
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