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For sale we have a rare and very good example of an Art Deco flip top tank style watch. It has a British Sterling Silver hallmarked case, with markings for Glasgow assay office, dating it to 1930/31. The case has the makers mark for Samuel Norman Burgess. Inside, the AS calibre 971 movement is marked with the Talis name, which has been recently serviced.


We have had 5 examples of flip top watches over the years, with this being by far the largest, with the best case design, engraving and level of finishing.


The case measures 25mm wide x 34mm in length, with a lug-to-lug length of 40.5mm. It also has a wide lug width of 20mm. This creates a big presence on the wrist, which is uncommon for watches in this era. The strap is original and is stitched on, with a silver buckle.


The front cover to the case has a shutter style engraving which is well executed and defined, with very little wear. The sides of the case have scroll engraving, which is well defined. The lugs are thin and tapered, with a fixed bar lug design. The rear is curved, allowing it to sit neatly on the wrist. On the front, the push button at the bottom releases the cover, which springs open. It opens to 50 degrees, allowing the wearer to peak at the time. The inner case is hinged to the bottom and is curved to match the outer case. It runs along the inside of the case, via a track part way up, allowing it to stand up within its own case. This allows it to be placed on a desk, to act as a clock when travelling or working.

The dial is a standout feature, with its bright silver tone and the textured guilloche finish. The guilloche finish has a sunburst effect, which catches in the light. It has large Arabic numerals, with the original luminous in-fill.


The inside of the case has British hallmarking, for Sterling Silver, with the Glasgow assay mark. It has the date letter ‘h’, which dates it to 1930/31. The case has the makers mark for Samuel Norman Burgess, who was the director of Talis Watch Co.


Inside is a Talis signed manual wind movement, which is an AS calibre 971. It has been recently serviced and is keeping time to within 30 seconds variation a day.


Talis Watch Co and Samuel Norman Burgess


Talis Watch Co. was founded in 1916, as a partnership between James Reichenberg and Samuel Norman Burgess. Talis Watch is a trademark registered to Reichenberg & Co in 1916, and Talis is registered to The Talis Watch Co from 1917-1937.


Reichenberg & Co were founded in 1899 by James Reichenberg and were based at 7 Hatton Garden, London. Reichenberg retired in 1925, and the business was continued by Samuel Norman Burgess until his death in 1938. They were makers of carriage clocks and were authorised dealers of many brands, including Girard-Perregaux.


Reichenberg was known to search for novelties in design, for export into other markets. One such example was the “Golf Ball” pocket watch. In the design of a golf ball, with a full hunter cover, this was a unique design. A patent for a wrist version of a “Golf Ball” watch, was filed in Switzerland in October 1927, with a US patent filed on January 5th 1928. The “Golf Ball” name was registered as a Swiss trademark in December 1928.


Clearly this search for innovative and novelty products, would have led to examples such as this flip top art deco watch.


Full condition report below. Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.



The dial is in excellent original condition. It has a very good silver tone textured guilloche design with sunburst finish. It has large, luminous filled Arabic numerals which are original. It has a simple rectangular railroad track with clear signing. There are very few signs of age to it.



The Squelette style watch hands are original, with thermally blued finish. It has aged to a darker tone. They have luminous in-fill.



The crystal is original and has no obvious marking.



The crown would appear original and has wear to the silver tone on the outside.



The case is silver and is in good condition. It has no denting and only light surface scratching. The top cover has the original engraved grained finish. The sides have a polished finish with the original engraved boarder. The lugs are good, with fixed bars which have a little bending, but are thick. The push button to the bottom is good, with the top springing up as it should. The inner casing holding the movement and dial, is good with hinge to the bottom. It has a tab to the side which ensures it can sit upright when the watch is placed on a desk etc. A very good example with little wear.



The case back is silver and is curved to hug the wrist. It is in good condition with light surface scratching associated with age.



The watch comes on its original stitched leather strap, with silver buckle.



The movement is an AS calibre 971. It is a 15 jewel manual wind movement, with a frequency of 18,000 BPH and a 36 hour power reserve.


The movement has been recently serviced. It’s keeping time to within +30 seconds deviation a day, with an amplitude of 255 degrees and a beat error of 1.0m/s.


Case dimensions:

Case width: 25mm

Case length: 34mm

Case length lug to lug: 40.5mm

Case Depth: 8.75mm

Lug width: 20mm

1930 Talis Art Deco Flip top tank style silver watch Samuel Norman Burgess

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