1930s Art Deco 18ct gold rectangular watch, Record Swiss movement serviced, 33mm length.
The watch is from 1937/38, baring the date letter "B" and the London assay office mark, and 18ct gold mark. This watch encapsulates all of the aspects that make collectors fall in love with Art Deco rectangular pieces. The sophistication of the gold, alongside the considered case design, makes this a very enjoyable and classy watch.
This is a high class watch for the time period, with a Record, Swiss movement calibre and a thick 18ct gold case.
It has a personal engraving "W.M. Woodgate. From the staff of Truscom. May 1939".
One aspect that is particularly unusual for a rectangular, gold watch of the era, is the Radium lumed hands and Arabic numerals. These watches were normally designed with elegance in mind, for wear on the best occasions. The inclusion of a sub second hand indicates thats precise timekeeping wasn't the main aim. Yet the Radium lume is counter intuitive to this. To my mind, this was designed with the original owner in mind. Perhaps their work colleagues knew that that valued visibility, whilst wanting to provide a classy timepiece. Regardless, the combination is uncommon.
The case is beautiful and well proportioned for the era. It is designed to be elegant and clean on the wrist at 22mm x 32mm without lugs. The slight curved nature of the watch means this doesn't just sit on the wrist, it hugs it neatly, making wear effortless. The cases curvature is complemented by the design of the top of the case, swooping in the from the edge of the case to the glass. This frames the dial very nicely and integrates the glass into the case. It also adds a bit more punch to the case than a simple flat topped rectangular case. It creates a pinched effect.
Inside the case, you can find a calibre from Record which has been recently serviced. The quality of this movement is highlighted, with the jewels being set in gold chatons, a hallmark of Haute Horlogerie in watchmaking. It keeps time to within +15 seconds a day which is very good for the age.
Overall, this is an excellent example, with a dial in great condition, with original Radium lume in-fill.
Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.
The dial is in very good condition for the age. It has a silvered finish which has minimal patina. All signing and tracks are clean and without wear. It is completely original.
The hands are original and of the "Squelette" style with a thermally Blued finish. They are in very good condition. They have the original Radium lume infill.
The crystal is a custom cut replacement with a bevelled edge. Although not original, it is an excellent match for the watch and is in perfect condition, allowing the clean dial to be enjoyed to it's fullest.
The crown is a later replacement. It is in excellent condition.
The 18ct gold case is in very good condition. There are multiple light surface scratches, but no dents, deep scratches or nicks. An excellent case, that is thick 18ct gold. It has a nice subtle curvature.
The case back is formed of 18ct gold. It is in good condition, with no dents and only light surface scratching. It has a personal engraving "W.M. Woodgate. From the staff of Truscom. May 1939". There are only light surface scratches on the case back, with no deep scratches, nicks or dents. Overall it is in very good condition.
The strap is a new Genuine Leather strap, for fixed lugs, fixed with metal tabs. It has a gold coloured stainless buckle.
The movement is a calibre 111 from "Record" which has been recently serviced. It is marked as having 15 jewels. The jewels are set in gold chatons, a hallmark of Haute Horlogerie in watchmaking. This is the original movement.
The movement is in good condition for its age and with it's service it is keeping very good time after it's service. It has a daily gain of +35 seconds, with a beat error of 0.1m/s.
The case is well proportioned for the era. It is designed to be elegant and clean on the wrist.
Case width: 21.5mm
Case width with crown: 24mm
Case length: 32mm
Case length lug to lug: 38mm
Case Depth: 7mm
Lug width: 18mm