For sale we have an exceptional circa 1930 9ct rose gold hermetic officers watch, by John Elkan London, known as the ‘Colonial’. It is an oversized case for the era, measuring 35.5mm in diameter. The case is a well-made Dennison case with British hallmarking for 9ct gold from Birmingham assay office. To the right of the case is the original onion style crown. It has a beautiful coin edge bezel which unscrews to expose the dial. Made of enamel, this is a very good dial for the age with no signs of damage. It has large Arabic numerals with radium lume in-fill. The sub-second dial is inset into the dial, adding texture. Around the outside of the dial is the railroad track for the minutes, with the signing to the centre of the dial being clear. The handset is original and is of cathedral style with a thermally blued finish.
The inner case section holding the movement is hinged, moving to expose the movement. The movement is a 15 jewel Swiss lever movement from Vertex, which has been recently serviced and is keeping very good time to within 15 seconds a day.
The watch is proudly presented on a custom, hand stitched leather strap. It curves to fit the lugs and tapers slightly along its length. It has incorporated the original 9ct rose gold buckle which dates to 1928/29.
The watch comes in its rare original box.
The ‘Colonial’ is a rarely seen officers style watch from the period, aimed to be legible and utilisable in tough conditions with its hermetic case design. It is a larger watch, with an impressive rose gold case, which pairs utility and style effortlessly. They were more common in silver, with gold being a more prestigious metal.
Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.
A further condition report is below.
The dial is enamel and is in very good condition, with no chips or fractures. The Radium lume is original on the hour markers. The dial signing is good and clear.
The hands are original, of cathedral style. They are thermally blued, with has some ageing to the tone. They would have originally been lumed, but this has broken down and has been removed.
The glass is a replacement, in good condition with no marking.
The original rose gold onion style crown. It functions, winding and setting the hand. It is a negative set system which sometimes takes a while to engage due to age and wear.
The case consists of a solid main section with fixed wire lugs. The coin edge bezel unscrews to expose the dial. The thread is also in good condition with it screwing down as it should. The lugs are in good condition and aren’t bent. The dial and movement are within a hinged case, which functions as it should to expose the movement. There are some scratches around the bezel, but overall it is good for the age.
The rear of the case is solid and is in good condition with only light surface scratches.
The watch is on a new custom, stitched leather strap, with the original 9ct rose gold buckle.
The movement is a 15-jewel calibre from Vertex, which is a manual wind Swiss lever movement.
The watch has been serviced by ourselves. It has a daily gain of +15 seconds, with an amplitude of 310 degrees and a beat error of 0.8m/s.
Case width: 35.5mm
Case width with crown: 38.5mm
Case length: 35.5mm
Case length lug to lug: 38.5mm
Case Depth: 9.5mm
Lug width: 20mm
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