J W BENSON ‘Best London Make’ London. No L.6349


£ 795.00

Good example of their very rare all-English wristwatch, with unusual dial.

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Larger sized and heavy 'screw back and bezel' silver case with wire lugs, hallmarked London 1922, sponsor's mark JWBLd (Benson). Three-quarter plate English made movement left un-gilded, as most of this model were. Single-roller detached lever escapement with ratchet tooth escape - the classic English escapement. Compensation balance, blued-steel balance-spring with overcoil. The original signed enamel dial but which a past owner has carefully removed (polished out) the hour numerals, blued-steel hands. 36.5 mm diameter, not including lugs or button.

James Walter Benson, 62 & 64 Ludgate Hill, one of London's premier retailers of good and top quality watches from before the 1880’s and makers of their own wristwatches from 1910. Benson’s catalogue of circa 1922 gives a price of £13 for this “London-made English Lever Wristlet Watch on Leather Strap…made throughout in our London workshop” in a silver case. 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.

A good but not perfect example of what is probably the rarest of all early period English made wristwatches. It shows general signs of wear and tear plus the case back has a presentation engraving dated 1923, and noting the dial. It is however less than half the price if the dial had not been altered and surviving examples of this model are almost never seen. Fitted with new/old stock open-ended black leather strap. Serviced and guaranteed.