Good early Patent keyless watch by this most influential London firm.
Silver case with snap-on back, the band hallmarked London 1849, sponsor's mark AN (Adolph Nicole). Three-quarter-plate keyless movement with distinctive keyless (1st type) work, jewelled to the 3rd with cap jewels on balance (diamond) and escape, the pillar-plate next to the cock foot stamped with Nicole's serial number 1312. Duplex escapement retaining the original 'kink' banking. Compensation balance, spiral balance-spring. Lovely signed enamel dial in perfect condition, original blued-steel 'moon' hands. 48.5 mm diameter.
The firm of E J Dent 'Watchmaker to the Queen' London, 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.
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 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, as well as this novel way of resilient banking using the balance-spring. See my site Glossary for more information about this most important and still highly underrated London firm.
The snap-on silver back a replacement (casemaker EP, hallmarked 1876) and just minor signs of age and use. Otherwise a fine example of Nicole & Capt's earliest work - few as good as this survive prior to 1850. Serviced and guaranteed.
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