For sale we have a classic Victorian Fusee pocket watch, dating to 1878 which was manufactured by JW Benson of London. It is a key wind and set pocket watch and has a silver case, hallmarked at London assay office.
JW Benson was one of the most respected watch makers in London during the second half of the 19th century. It was one of few watch makers that was English to its core, rather than Swiss. The premises at Ludgate hill also had a large workshop for manufacturing the watches and clocks, as well as repairing.
The pocket watch has an open face with a clear and classic enamel dial with roman numerals. There is a neat railroad track around the exterior for the minutes. The sub-second dial is inset with 60 second graduations and Arabic markers for 10 seconds intervals. The original hands are of spade and whip style and are set via the winding key.
The loop is formed of silver and is original. The case is also formed of silver. There is no denting to the front section or the sides. The front hinge is good and the front of the case seals tightly. The hinged case back is formed of silver and has a classic cartouche to the centre, with fish scale finishing. The inside of the case back is signed with British hallmarking for sterling silver from London assay office, dating to 1878.
The pocket watch is wound by opening the rear case back and placing the key in the circular cut out to the solid case back. The movement is exposed by opening the front cover and depressing the lever at 6 O’clock to flip the dial section out.
The movement is a Fusee. It has an undecorated balance cock and a gem set end stone. It is signed JW Benson, 58 & 60 Ludgate Hill, London. It has the serial number 73598. It is signed to demonstrate that it has royal warrant stating “To H.R.H The Prince of Wales & H.I.M The Emperor of Russia”.
Service history is unknown, but the movement is in very good condition for its age, both cosmetically and functionally. It keeps time to within +/- 1 minute a day.
It is on a silver albert chain which has hallmarking from Chester assay office, dating to 1924, with the Britton and sons maker mark. The chain has an Indian 1 Anna coin attached, with George V head to the rear.
This pocket watch is in good overall condition for its age.
Please see the images as these compliment the condition description provided below.
The classic white enamel dial is original and is in good condition for its age. It has some hairline fractures between the sub-second inset and 5 O’clock. It has Roman numeral hour markers in a black tone, with a clear railroad track around the exterior. The sub-second dial has Arabic 10 second markers and 60 second graduation.
The hands are original. They are of Spade and whip style. They have a thermally blued finish which has tarnished and is now a dark purple tone. There have some scratches to the finish.
The crystal is an acrylic replacement. It has a couple of light scratches.
The loop is formed of silver and is original. It has some slight denting to the left-hand side.
The case is formed of silver and is in good overall condition. There is no denting to the front section or the sides. The front hinge is good and the front of the case seals tightly. There is some slight tarnishing as expected with age but this is even.
The case back is formed of silver and has a classic cartouche to the centre, with fish scale finishing. There is some wear to the fish scale finish and some very slight and shallow dents, as expected with age.
Inside of caseback:
The inside of the case back is signed with British hallmarking for sterling silver from London assay office. It closes tightly and securely and has a good hinge at a 90-degree angle.
Inner case back:
The inner fixed case back has hole for winding key. The inside has British hallmarking the same as the outer case back.
The movement is a Fusee. It has an undecorated balance cock and a gem set end stone. It is key wind to the rear, with key wind handset on the hands. The movement is in very good condition for its age, both cosmetically and functionally. It keeps time to within +/- 1 minute a day.
Case width: 50.5mm
Case length: 50.5mm
Case length with loop: 73mm
Case length with circular section: 59.5mm
Case Depth: 18.25mm
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