Gallery - Not for sale!
Here are a few of the antique pocket watches that I have previously restored. Most of these watches have either been sold others are in my private collection. Organised with Benson watches first, then English, then some very high end American and finally some Swiss.
Clicking on most of the pictures will either give another view of the watch or movement or take you to the Zenfolio Gallery for a larger view and for more recent watches a full set of photos.
Watches by Benson are one of my specialities and I get as many as I can. The first is very rare, the earliest Benson three-quarter plate going barrel keyless I have seen.
J.W. Benson, 17J Half Hunter, 1878.This was made for Benson by P & A Guye, and has enabled me to uncover some of the history of the two companies as explained in my blog post "J.W. Benson and P & A Guye two London watchmakers, later effectively one?".
The Field Watch
The next is a 15J half-chronometer Hunter from 1920, the gold embellishments are in 18 carat gold, the bow being large enough is hallmarked as such:
and an earlier variant, a 13J half-chronometer half hunter from 1899.
More information about the "Field " watch can be found on my Blog..
A Very Rare Campaign WatchA 19 Jewel half chronometer based on "The Field" watch in a brass case. Almost certainly used in the 2nd Boer War (Oct 1899 – May 1902) by an officer (or very well-to-do NCO or ranker) of the 1st Battalion of the 46th ([East?] Belfast) regiment of Yeomanry who volunteered for overseas service in the Imperial Yeomanry.
Another Rare Benson "Field" from 1898
This one made by Errington and for sale at the same time as the Benson made watch as described in my blog post "A very rare J.W. Benson "FIELD" watch made by Errington.".
J.W. Benson Swiss Watches.
From the late 1800s Benson also resold Swiss made watches, and especially after WWI, in large quantities.
This is a rare fly back chronograph c1898, with more info on the blog:
and a Longiness half hunter from 1891.
J.W. Benson (Tavannes), 15J, Hunter, c1936
A 15 jewel Benson / Tavannes movement in a very, very rare New Old Stock (NOS) Rolled Gold "STAR" grade case by Dennison complete with it's new mineral glass crystal. The case would have been made within a few years of the watch and has been in a retail jewellers stock ever since. My blog post on "The standard watch case" gives some background on how this came about, I know of 4 of these cases that have been on the market in the last few years, 2 are now in Australia with a collector who tipped me off, I got the other two.
There is more information about Benson Swiss watches from the 30s on my blog.
Rotherham 20J, 1902.
I will also always try and buy good examples of watches by Rotherham.
An excellent ¾ plate pin set movement by Rotherham of Coventry. It has a true English lever escapement, a Breguet hairspring and a cut compensating balance. Unusually it is marked "adjusted", in the English watch trade at the time, an "Adjusted" movement was referred to as a "half Chronometer". This is a fairly rare variant of the already very good 19J Rotherham, jewelled as for a 15 jewel movement with the addition of end jewels on the lever and escape staffs and in this case a top plate jewel for the centre wheel.
Rotherham, 19J Half Hunter, 1929.
In a 14 carat Filled Gold case by Dennison.
Rotherham Dress Watch, 1932A slim version of their size 12 19J movement, tightly cased in hallmarked 14 carat solid gold to make a fine “Dress watch”.
Errington 20J Keyless 1907
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, 1907. Amazing that it looks so good after all this time - and the movement did not need much cleaning to look like this.
Waltham 1899-Riverside Maximus, 23J, 1901
The size 16 23 jewel movement has a gold train, except for the escape wheel which is steel. Top plate jewels are set in raised gold mounts, the barrel is jewelled and there are four diamond cap jewels to the balance and escape with the rest being "fine ruby and sapphires".
Click on the image for another view.
Like the 1899-Vanguard they are adjusted to temperature, isochronism and five positions and have micro adjustment to the Breguet sprung cut compensating balance with double roller. After restoration this watch in a static test was electronically timed as being accurate to better than 2 seconds per day.
The three piece dials have lettering in a font reserved for the Maximus, the three piece Roman dial is particularly rare with one selling recently for almost $300.
The case body is filled gold, the bezel and back are American "Sterling" silver with rose, green and yellow gold inlay by the Philadelphia Watch Case Company.
There is more information on the Riverside Maximus on the blog.
Waltham 1899-American Watch Co., Bridge Model, 23J, 1900.
More valuable than the Riverside Maximus this is quite a rare model, this example was the 57th made in the first production run of the open faced version. The basic specification is almost the same as the Riverside Maximus. Like the 1899-RM this is in my collection and not for sale, there is more information about the Bridge model on my blog.
Waltham 1888-American Watch Co., 19J, 1893.
Although it "only" has 19 Jewels this watch is rarer again than the two above and at £2,000 it is the most expensive watch I have offered for sale. The optional fancy dial is particularly rare, especially in good condition as they are more fragile than the normal ones.
Waltham 1892 Vanguard American Railroad Grade watch 1902
A size 18 Waltham 1892-Vanguard true Railroad grade watch with 23 Ruby, Sapphire and Diamond jewels. The Swiss lever escapement has a Breguet sprung cut compensating balance with double roller and micrometric adjustment.
It is in an excellent Filled Gold swing out case by the Philadelphia Watch Case Co which has an excellent and rare retailers engraving on the inside and a locomotive engraved on the back (click the picture of the movement so see the back).
Waltham 1892-Vanguard, 23J, 1908.
Another 23 jewel Vanguard to the same specification as the one above but the dial is a genuine "Montgomery" 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.
Illinois Bunn Special 21J Railroad Watch, 1923.
Named for the Boss of the Illinois Watch Company the "Bunn Special" is a very high grade lever set railroad watch. The Swiss lever escapement has a Breguet sprung cut compensating balance with gold timing screws, a double roller and screw set micro adjuster. It has 21 jewels, mainly Ruby set in gold mounts on the top plate and is adjusted for temperature and in 6 positions. Dated from the serial number to 1923.
International Watch Co. (IWC)
Stauffer had the exclusive rights to IWC watches in UK and used their own branding, this is a Stauffer "Peerless" (IWC Calibre [model] 53), 15J half hunter, 1903.
A slightly earlier IWC Calibre 52, the open faced version of the 53, this one from 1900.
And an IWC Calibre 57 from 1904, essentially the same as the 52 but with different plates (For sale at the time of writing):
Omega 15J Half Hunter, 1911/12
A classic high quality movement made by Omega, it has 15 Jewels and a Breguet sprung cut compensating balance with double roller. The serial number dates it to 1911 or 1912.
Omega 15 Jewel c 1927
An Omega 15 jewel movement approximately Size 12 in a lovely Swiss 0.800 Silver case c 1927.
Stauffer, 15J Half Hunter, c1893.
A pin set watch by the important Swiss firm of Stauffer from Chaux-de-Fonds and signed as such under the dial. The movement has a true English Lever escapement and would most probably have been made for the English market, this example had the remains of a transfer printed signature of a London reseller but it came off in the wash. It has 15 jewels with a Breguet sprung cut compensating balance and fully functioning Geneva stop gear to control mainspring pressure.
Unsigned swiss 17J Half Hunter c1897
The movement was clearly made for the English and has a true English Lever Escapement with 17 jewels, 15 plus cap jewels on the escape. The Breguet sprung cut compensating balance has a double roller and the movement has a functioning Geneva gear to control mainspring pressure.