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For sale we have a circa 1932 Open face Kemp Brothers Bristol, silver pocket watch. The case is a well-made Dennison “Special” design. It has a neat white enamel dial with black signing and Roman Numeral hour markers. It has lovely thermally blued Breguet style hands which shine in the light. Inside is a high-grade Record Watch Co movement, with a jewel count of 17, marked 4 adjustments. It has a jewelled centre wheel, with screwed chatons and a swan neck regulator. It comes on a period Silver albert chain with T bar and 1940s Motorbike charm.


Kemp Brothers Bristol, Union Street were established in 1889. They were a jewellers and watch/clock makers. The pocket watches and watches they have retailed over the years have been of good quality, with Swiss lever movements from various makers. They still exist and continue to operate on Union Street in Bristol, as they have done their whole existence.


The case is a size 23S, measuring 49mm x 50mm, making this a well-proportioned pocket watch. The open face design of case is good, with hinged front and double hinged case back. The sides have a central band of lined design which adds texture to the case. To the rear, the caseback has a cartouche to the centre, with engine turned fish scale engraving. Inside, it is signed Dennison, Birtish Made, Special, with British hallmarking from Birmingham assay office dating to 1932. It has the matching serial number 615707 on both case backs. The stem, loop and crown are all good and original with average wear for the age.


The dial is original and in good condition, formed of white enamel, with black signing and hour markers. It is a classic dial design of the period, with railroad track for the minutes around the exterior. It has diamond markers at 9, 12, 3 and 6 with thick black dashes for the 5 minute intervals. It has neat Roman numerals for the hour markers. It is signed Kemp Bros, Union St Bristol to the centre, with Swiss made below the sub-second dial. The sub-second dial is clear with Arabic 10 second denominations, with thicker dashes for the 5 second graduations. The thermally blued Breguet style hands indicate the time and have a good shine. Those and the sub-second hand are original.


The movement is of great quality and very aesthetically pleasing. It keeps time to around +50 seconds a day, with a good amplitude.


The pocket watch come proudly hanging from a period British Silver Albert chain. It also has a neat and original motorbike charm counterbalancing the T bar.


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

A further condition report is below.



The dial is completely original and is formed of enamel. It has some slight hairline fractures between 10 and 11 O’clock. It has black signing with black Roman numerals. There is some slight wear to the depth of tone on the numerals.



The hands are original. They are of Breguet style with a thermally blued finish. It is bright with some oxidisation. The sub-second hand is also original and thermally blued.



The crystal is an acrylic replacement and is in very good condition.



The crown, stem and loop are good and original in silver.



The case is formed of silver, of open face configuration with double hinged back. It is in good condition with little tarnishing to the silver and light surface scratching associated with ageing. There is a dent to the left hand side in the centre, visible in images.



The case back is in good condition. It is formed of silver and has light surface scratching as expected with wear. It has fish scale engine turning with cartouche to the centre. It has one det on the left hand side, which extends onto the side of the case. The hinge is good and it closes well.


Inner case and case back:

The inner case is formed of Silver and is in good condition with only light surface scratching. The hinge is in good condition and closes tightly. It has no dents.



The movement is by Record watch co. It has a high jewel count of 17, with jewelled centre wheel and 4 adjustments. It has a swan neck regulator.


The movement service history is unknown, but the watch is running well for its age. It keeps time to within +50 seconds a day, with an amplitude of 317 and a beat error of 2.1 m/s.


Case dimensions:

Case width: 49mm

Case length: 50mm

Case length with crown: 62mm

Case length with crown loop: 68mm

Case Depth: 14mm

1932 Kemp Bros Union Street Bristol Silver Pocket watch Dennison Special, Record

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