Rare all English wristwatch in fine condition, with box.
3-part 9ct pink gold case with flat (crystal) glass, pin-set hand setting, English winding button and wire lugs taking a 1/2 inch (12 mm) strap, hallmarked Birmingham 1925, casemaker R&S (Rotherham & Son). Rotherhams larger sized three quarter-plate ‘Super grade’ movement jewelled to the 3rd, with cap jewels on balance, lever and escape. Single-roller detached lever escapement with ratchet tooth escape. Compensation balance, blued-steel balance-spring with overcoil. Enamel dial in unusually perfect condition, with Rotherhams stylish spade hands. 33 diameter, not including lugs or button. Together with retailers silk and velvet lined box.
The Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Company Limited 'By Appointment to His Majesty The King' with one of the finest London showrooms at 112 Regent St.
Rotherham & Sons, suppliers of most of the good quality wristwatch movements found in English work. They produced two sizes of movement used in their wristwatches, in two basic qualities, both jewelled to the 3rd (17-jewels). They were expensive when sold and survivors of these all-English made wristwatches are now rare indeed, the more so in good condition. Both the lager and smaller sized watches were sold as 'gentlemen's wristlet watches,' as can be seen in the page I have reproduced from Rotherham's 1926 catalogue - this 9ct 'Lentille' model with Super-grade movement priced at £26/5/-. I suspect the dial on this watch was originally printed with the name of the retailer but has been washed off during past services, a common occurrence.
NB: Rotherhams have the right to be considered the original supplier of mens purpose-made, rather than converted, wristwatches, with surviving wire lug hallmarked examples dating from prior to 1900 - this was many years before any Swiss company was doing so. The firm also produced wristwatches for women but these cases do not have wire lugs for leather straps, though I am sure that many women will have worn them. Evening wear wristwatches apart, Rotherham's standard wire lug models would be better thought of as unisex in design.
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.
Worn plating to button, as usual, otherwise a very rare all-English made wristwatch in very good original condition. Fitted with new/old stock open-ended black leather strap. Presently being fully serviced and accompanied by my usual guarantee. This case style is not waterproof and all English wristwatches of this date are best kept well away from damp conditions.
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