30th August 2014 

Antique & Vintage Pocket Watches

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For Nelson M - I have received your e-mails and responded to them and sent an invoice, if you have not received the last e-mail (please check your spam folder) please send me a phone number and I will give you a call.

I am a specialist UK based restorer selling working pocket watches dating from the mid 19th century onwards, many are ‘true’ antiques dating from before 1913 the rest being “Vintage” and almost entirely pre 1939. Stock is dependent on what I am able to buy in for restoration but a good selection of American, English Going Barrel and Swiss pocket watches is always available.

Depending on availability I try to specialise in watches by Waltham, English keyless designs from companies such as J.W. Benson, Rotherham and Sons and Williamson / Errington and Swiss watches such as those retailed by J.W Benson and by makers Louis Brandt and Frère (Omega), Frères Baume / Longines, Tavannes, Büren, Record and Revue Thommem (branded Limit, Russell, etc.). I am also doing an increasing number of American Railroad watches - when I am able to source them either in UK or from America.

All are available for sale on-line and selected watches are available from The Brackley Antiques Cellar.

A small stock of antique & vintage silver, rolled gold and base metal chains and watch fob medals are available for sale at The Brackley Antiques Cellar and on-line so that you can buy a complete ensemble.


As this is a retirement business I keep my turnover below the VAT registration level so that I am not required to charge VAT on sales saving customers inside the EU up to 20% but this does mean that there is no reduction for customers in other countries.

Important information for Customers outside of the UK.
The Royal Mail have withdrawn a key mailing option, please see International shipping options below



News & Blog Postings

News of particularly interesting watches for sale and short posts on horology related subjects are available on my Facebook page (just click “Like” below if you are on Facebook), most of these are also available on my Blog together with some longer articles. Blog posting can be received by e-mail and through various feeds such as RSS by visiting the Blog and registering for the appropriate service.

Oxford Pocket Watches


Selected Pocket Watches are on display at


The Brackley Antiques Cellar, Northamptonshire

    Cabinet 59A
    The Brackley Antiques Cellar
    Drayman’s Walk
    NN13 6BE Map


"The largest purpose-built centre in the Midlands."

Winner: Homes & Antiques Magazine "Antiques Centre of the Year 2013".

Open 10:00 till 17:00 7 days a week (Except Christmas day, Boxing day & New Years day), it is under Waitrose Supermarket and has free parking and a Tea Room.

With high demand through the web site I found I was no longer able to efficiently stock two antiques centres (let alone the three which I used to have), I therefore closed the display cabinet at Wallingford on 6th January 2014.

International Shipping

From 1st April 2014 the recently privatised Royal Mail withdrew their international "AirSure" service, the means that the maximum insurance available through the mail is now £250. At the customers risk I can send worldwide for a flat rate of £14 with this maximum compensation of £250.

The alternative method is "Parcel Force" with higher cover, but it is expensive, here are some examples for a watch & chain up to £500 in total value:

Germany: £51, Japan: £70, USA: £62, Australia £70

There is a special service for the Republic of Ireland @ £28.

When ordering please let me know if you wish to have the fully insured option.

UK customers are unaffected, their watches will continue to be shipped by RM Special Deliver, fully insured.

July Market Update.

The shortage of good quality watches continued in July but, not for the first time, the trend was bucked by unconnected batches, this month it was watches by Rotherham, Omega and four by Benson. Lists of watches added in the current and previous month are shown below under New Stock.

With the Salmon and Trout fishing season well now underway in this part of the world I will no longer be working 6 or 7 days a week at watches, also this is meant to be a retirement business so I will be taking more days off, but I anticipate that a reasonable number of fresh watches will become available. I will only be shipping 4 days a week until the end of September, please see here for details

Don’t see what you want?

If you are looking for something I don’t have, perhaps one similar to a sold watch shown on the site or from a specific year, town or maker and it is within the general area I deal in e-mail me and if one comes up I’ll let you know – no obligation!

But be warned it could take some time, the record for a successful search is currently 8 months to track down a watch signed by a particular London retailer for a descendent of the then owner. And I have a couple of requests not yet fulfilled that go back well over a year.

On the other hand many of my quality keyless watches such as those by Rotherham and Benson sell within hours to people who are on my wish list and who are therefore alerted when potentially suitable watches go onto the site.

News & Facebook Postings

Oxford Pocket Watches

What I do & don't do

I started by restoring antique and vintage pocket watches for my personal satisfaction, but after a while my collection started to get out of hand so I started selling them, at first largely on e-bay where I have 100% approval rating, universally good feedback and a number of repeat customers from as far afield as Australia and Brazil. When I officially retired I started to sell through antiques markets - at one time three of them - but I am now selling primarily through this website but also through the Brackley Antiques Cellar where prospective customers can see before they buy.

Please note that except for warranty work I do not do repairs or restorations of watches I do not own, this is due to a number of factors including:
  • The near impossibility of estimating how long the restoration of an old watch will take – it can be anything from a few to many hours and all too frequently a repair turns out not to be possible.
  • Uncertainty as to the availability and cost of replacement parts for 100 year old watches.
  • The high risk of damage during the process.
Also I do not buy in watches via this web site, it has the potential to create agro I do not need and to sell at the prices I do I have to buy cheap and that means at auction.

Recently Added.


J.W. Benson, English and Swiss made.

  • S389. J.W. Benson (Recta), 15J Half Hunter, English Silver, 1919.
  • S390. J.W. Benson (Tavannes), 15J, English Silver, 19352
  • S392. J.W. Benson (Tavannes), 15J, English Silver, 1932.
  • S393. J.W. Benson (Tavannes), 16J, English Silver, 1932.
  • E493. J.W. Benson “The Bank”, 11J, Hunter, English Silver, 1910.
  • S405. J.W. Benson (Revue), 17J, Half Hunter, 9 Carat Solid Gold, 1928.
  • S395. J.W. Benson (Revue), 15J, Half Hunter, Rolled Gold, c1925.
  • S406. J.W. Benson (Tavannes), 15J, Hunter, Filled Gold, c 1922.
  • S402. J.W. Benson (Tavannes), 15J, 9 carat Solid Gold, 1932.
  • S398. J.W. Benson (Tavannes), 15J, English Silver, 1941.
  • S399. J.W. Benson (Tavannes), 15J, Rolled Gold, c1932.

    Size 16 1908 models by Waltham:

  • W419. Waltham 1908-635, 17J, Hunter, Rolled Gold, 1910/11.
  • W414. Waltham 1908-1609, 9J, Filled Gold, 1943/4.
  • W416. Waltham 1908-PSB, 17J, Rolled Gold, 1919/20

    Size 16 1888 and 1899 models by Waltham:

  • W411. Waltham 1899-620, 15J, Rolled Gold 1907/08.


  • E490. Errington for Russell, 15J Chronograph, English Silver, 1896.
  • E496. LWC for Kendal & Dent, Half Hunter, English Silver, 1906.
  • S391. Tavannes, 15J Hunter, Filled Gold, c1922..
  • S403. Vertex, 17J, 9K Solid Gold, 1931.
  • E497. A. Randall (CWMCo), 19J Pin Set, English Silver, 1910..
  • E498. LWC for Rowell, English Silver, 1907..


    J.W. Benson, English and Swiss made.

  • S385. J.W. Benson (Tavannes), 15J, 9 Carat Solid Gold, 1932.
  • E481. J.W. Benson, 9J Keyless, English Silver, 1891.

    Size 16 1908 models by Waltham:

  • W413. Waltham 1908-620, 15J, Hunter, Filled Gold, 1928/29
  • W410. Waltham 1908-625, 17J, Rolled Gold, 1917.
  • W403. Waltham 1908-Traveler, Half Hunter, Rolled Gold, 1909.


  • E474. Beesley for Carter, 17J Keyless Hunter, English Silver, 1883.
  • E475. P & A Guye for Pleasance & Harper, 13J, English Silver 1892..
  • S383. Revue Thommen for Limit, 15J, English Silver, 1915.
  • E476. Rotherham for Thick, 13J Keyless, English Silver, 1907..
  • E478. Rotherham & Sons S12, 19J Keyless, ENglish Silver, 1898.
  • S386. Omega 15J, Sterling Silver, 1915.
  • S387. Omega for Mellanby, 15J, Filled Gold, 1902.
  • W418. Waltham S18 1883-Sterling 7J Keyless STerling Silver 1902/3..
  • S379. Büren Grand Prix, 17J, Sterling Silver..
  • E483. LWC for Thomas, English Silver, 1906..
  • E437. Rotherham for Jones, ENglish Silver, 1894..
  • S388. Kemp Bros, 17J, 9 Carat Gold, 1924..
  • E486. J. Newsome, S12, 17J Keyless, English Silver, 1912..

  • Some Customer Comments

    "Just a quick email to say thank you so so much - the watch and chain arrived earlier this morning - they are both absolutely amazing, and more perfect than I could imagine! Thank you for all of your help with making the final decision and ordering up, you've been really great."

    "Hi John, watch is all you described and more, absolutely love it, thank you"

    "I am delighted with it, as elegant as expected and it is now ticking away nicely. Thanks for your prompt and extremely helpful service as well, it is much appreciated."

    " Watch and chain delivered safely! I love both"... "Thank you for all your invaluable help and for a fantastic service"

    "I really am so pleased with them, they are sat here on the table ticking away and looking beautiful and I can't stop smiling!"

    "..we received the watch today and we are really pleased with it. Many thanks for your help"

    "Very pleased, thank you. I fired her up and she is keeping time safely ensconced in my jacket pocket. […] Thank you for your excellent service."

    "The quality of the items, prompt and kind responses to enquiries, and shipping completed on the very day of payment --- all these combine to make your Website one of the best places to look for good-quality antique pocket watches made and/or retailed in England." [A customer in Japan]

    “The watch arrived this morning safe and sound. I'm very pleased with the look of it. Thank you for a very efficient service."


    Here are a few of the antique pocket watches that I have previously sold. Click on the image for another view.

    Four very nice English made watches by J.W. Benson.

    A hansom bunch of Bensons. Clockwise from top left: “The Bank” Keyless 1917; “Ludgate” 1888; a superb “Bank” Half Hunter and a 3/4 plate pin set, 1916.



    Waltham 1894 Riverside Maximus, S12, 21J, 1903/4

    This is a very rare watch more fully described in my my Blog posting. The pendant set size 12 movement has a Swiss lever escapement with a Breguet sprung cut compensating balance with micro adjuster and double roller. The train wheels are in gold, except for the steel escape wheel which needs to be stronger. The top jewels are screw set in gold mounts and there are diamond end jewels to both the escape wheel and the balance.

    The dial is signed by Bailey, Banks and Biddle Co of Philadelphia a very prestigious jewellery maker and retailer. Dated by the serial number to 1903 or 1904.

    Waltham 1892 Vanguard American Railroad Grade watch 1902

    This is a size 18 true railroad grade lever set movement, with 23 jewels, including the motor barrel, the top plate ruby jewels are in raised gold settings and it has diamond end-stones to the balance. It is adjusted to heat, cold, isochronism and 5 positions. The Swiss lever escapement has a Breguet sprung cut compensating balance with micro adjuster and double roller. The serial number dates the movement to 1902. The 3 piece railroad dial is signed by Waltham.

    The double backed case in filled Gold by Boss (Keystone Watch Case Co) has a hinged bezel and so makes setting the time quicker and easier than with a screw on type.



    Waltham 1892-Vanguard, 23J, 1908.

    Another 23 jewel Vanguard to the same specification as the one above but the dial is a genuine "Montgomery" that would indicate it was probably for the Canadian railways, it is made in three pieces and with the number "6" printed in full as it should be. these dials are valuable in themselves.

    The case is very typical of these "working" American Railroad Watches being a swing ring type in Oresilver - the Fahys equivalent of Silveroid or Silverode, a very hard wearing nickel alloy.

    Waltham Size 18 1883-American Waltham Watch Co, 16J c1898

    This watch was a bit of a puzzle, it is listed in the Waltham "Grey book" - a copy of the Waltham register of production runs - as being a 17 Jewel "Appleton Tracy" which it clearly is not, I am grateful (again) to John S for his expert help which solved the mystery.

    By the late 1890's the 1883 model Railroad grade watches had been superseded by the expensive!) 1892 model and with changing tastes the size 16 1888 and 1899 models were becoming popular. Waltham therefore produced this "Closeout Special" and used up a block of serial numbers allocated to the Appleton Tracy grade. The movement is essentially an 1883-820 or 825 but with 16 jewels rather than 15 or 17 but with cosmetic enhancements to give the appearance of a Railroad grade Waltham at a more modest price. On this occasion a top grade case in 14 carat Filled Gold was also used to produce something special.


    Rotherham 19 Jewel Keyless

    An excellent ¾ plate pin set movement by Rotherham of Coventry and signed by them with their logo on the face plate. It has a true English lever escapement, a Breguet hairspring and a cut compensating balance. The movement is jewelled as for a 15 jewel movement with the addition of end jewels on the lever and escape staffs. The double backed case has Birmingham hallmarks for Sterling Silver, date codes for 1900 and John Rotherham's maker's mark.



    Rotherham & Sons for Jeffery, 19J Keyless, 1925.

    Similar to the above but in size 12 and in solid 9 carat gold.

    Errington 20J Keyless 1902

    A cracker by C.H. Errington of Coventry (owned by Williamson when this watch was made). A 20 Jewel true English Lever with Geneva stop gear, 1902. Amazing that it looks so good after 111 years - and the movement did not need much cleaning to look like this.


    Omega 15 Jewel c 1927

    An Omega 15 jewel movement approximately Size 12 in a lovely Swiss 0.800 Silver case c 1927.