Rare minute-repeating rough movement, ready for final finishing, circa 1910.
Slim half-plate movement jewelled to the centre and in the repeat train and complete with finished minute repeating and rocking-bar keyless work, the frame stamped with NN's serial number, the train to the 4th planted but the escapement, balance, etc still to be fitted. 45 mm diameter and only 8mm deep, not including what would have been a snap-on dial.
Nicole Nielsen & Co Ltd, 14 Soho Square, and also with premises in Watford producing motor accessories at this date - see my reprint of their High-Class English Watches catalogues for more information. Nicole Nielsen was the main manufacturer, along with Charles Hector Golay, of the best British made complicated watch work at the latter part of the 19th century. This repeating movement is from a small batch of unfinished NN material I obtained from Tommy White, the last of the English specialist watch timers, around forty years ago. I have seen none others since.
NB: It is instructive to see the subtle differences between this and the similar repeat work in Swiss watches of the same date. This movement has the engraved minute lines on the edge of the hollow-back frame which I associate with Swiss work, but rocking-bar keyless work was never used abroad. I suspect that work on repeaters and chronographs was generally undertaken in England by Nicole Nielsen and their rival Hector Golay but that the far less common (in the England market) triple complicated and perpetual calendar work was bought in from Swiss specialists when required. That said it is also more than likely that the English manufacture of complicated work was heavily staffed by Swiss trained workers at this time.
In good original condition and the repeat work complete and operating correctly. A rare survival and a document of past English manufacturing practice of some importance – more so than any finished example.
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