21st August 2017 

J.W.  Benson - English made. P & A Guye. S271f


J.W.  Benson - English made. P & A Guye. E260mvs

J.W. Benson English Watches

A prestige London maker now sought after by collectors and I buy all that I can.

They were primarily a retail jewellers but also had, in English terms, a medium size watch making arm for more information on the main movements see my Blog post J.W. Benson "Field", "Ludgate" and "Bank of England" watches. . Two recent finds and subsequent analysis have enabled me to further tie down the relationship between Benson & Guye, explained in my post J.W. Benson and P & A Guye two London watchmakers, later effectively one?

They also bought in a lot of watches from other quality English makers primarily Rotherham of Coventry and from good Swiss makers including Tavannes, Revue Thommen & Longines that are shown on the next page.

Unfortunately all of the company records were destroyed by bombing in 1941 (not in WWI as sometimes claimed) and so it can sometimes be difficult to identify the source of watches and to date those not in English hallmarked cases.



Unless otherwise stated all watches have 7 jewels, are working, keep at least reasonable time for their age and wind and set correctly. Lids and bezels are secure, stay closed and where appropriate open when the button or crown is pressed. Any inscriptions, dedications or monograms (other than jewellers and makers marks) and any gold plate worn through to the core will either be shown in the photographs, described in the text or both. Movements carry a 6 or 12 month warranty as described under “Warranty info”.

Click on image for another picture and on "More pictures" for more on Zenfolio. Please remember that hi-res photos are several times life size and will make some tiny flaws, marks, etc. look huge!




J.W.  Benson - English made. P & A Guye. E786f

E786. P&A Guye for the Junior Army & Navy Stores, 15J half hunter, 1899.

A 15 jewel version of the Benson "Bank" watch, the pin set, slow train movement has a true English Lever escapement with an over-sprung cut compensating balance and 15 jewels.

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring it is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

The movement is engraved:

J.A. & N.S. Ltd
Regent Street, London.

The Junior Army and Navy Stores were branches or subsidiaries of the Army and Navy Stores, usually established businesses acquired by them. The parent which ended up becoming a major department store was originally a Co-operative to supply Army & Naval Officers which became a Limited Company in 1930 and was taken over by the House of Frazer in 1976.

E786 P&A Guye for the Junior Army & Nay Stores, 15J half hunter, 1899 (2)


The English made double backed, half hunter case has London hallmarks for Sterling Silver, 1899 and the makers mark of John Woodman, Smith St, Northampton Square, London. The inner dust cover has an engraving "7-6-23, 21st Birthday Gift to Wilf from his brother Jimmie". It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has a new primary crystal and an excellent mineral glass secondary.

STOCK £665 More pictures on Zenfolio.


Swiss Watches

Have been moved to the next page.


J.W.  Benson - English made. P & A Guye. Next

Recently Sold Watches

Following requests from buyers who are giving watches as presents I no longer show the price of sold watches.

There are more examples of Benson watches, including several rare ones, previously sold in the gallery.



J.W.  Benson - English made. P & A Guye. E742f

E742. J.W. Benson "The Field Watch", 15J Hunter, 1920.

This is the first intact English made full hunter I have come across by Benson, it is one of the later versions of "The Field" watch and was the most expensive of their three "volume" London made watches. The size 16 "Half Chronometer" (Adjusted) slow train movement has an English Lever escapement with a Breguet sprung cut compensating balance and 15 jewels including a diamond end-stone for the balance. Geneva stop gear was used to control mainspring pressure and thereby improve isochronism. The premium ivory coloured dial is in hard Venetian enamel.

The movement is engraved "The Field, Best London Make, By Warrant to H.M. the Queen, J.W. Benson, Ludgate Hill, London". This is odd as I have only seen this on Benson watches before 1901 but the case is hallmarked 1920 and belongs with the movement as it has the same serial number, there is therefore a strong possibility that the movement is older and was re-cased by the makers, see my blog for more information with links to other relevant posts.

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring it is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

The English double backed case has London hallmarks for Sterling Silver 1920, the mark of J.W. Benson and the same serial number as the movement. The bow, joints and mounts are in 18 carat gold, the bow being large enough is hallmarked as such. Being a size 16 rather than the more common size 12 Benson the case is quite substantial, heavy and 2.1" / 5.4 cm in diameter excluding the pendant etc and is 0.6" / 1.5cm thick. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has an excellent mineral glass crystal.

SOLD More pictures on Zenfolio.


J.W.  Benson - English made. P & A Guye. E760F

E760. J.W. Benson (Guye), 17J Half Hunter, 1878.

This is a very rare find, in fact it is the earliest complete English three-quarter plate, going barrel, keyless I can remember having and certainly the oldest Benson three-quarter plate. And it is a high grade watch even by Benson's standards of 50 years later. It has implications for the relationship between Benson and P & A Guye who actually made it which I will later cover in a blog post.

The pin set, slow train, movement has 17 jewels including cap jewels for the pallet and escape, a true English Lever (variously described as horned, spiked or ratchet) escapement with a Breguet sprung cut compensating "Chronometer" balance with what appear to be gold timing screws, four of them Vernier. There is functional Geneva Stop Gear to control mainspring pressure. It is about a size 10 but cased up is about the same size as a later size 14 American or Swiss watch. The movement is engraved "J.W. Benson 25, Old Bond St, London".

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring it is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

The English made double backed premium case with gold hinges has London Hallmarks for Sterling Silver, 1878, the mark of the Hurst Brothers of Clerkenwell, London and the same serial number as the movement. The case is 1.9" / 4.7cm in diameter excluding the pendant etc and 0.54" / 1.38cm thick excluding the secondary crystal. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has two new mineral glass crystals from old stock.

SOLD More pictures on Zenfolio


J.W.  Benson - English made. P & A Guye. E761f

E761. J.W. Benson, The "Bank" Watch, 11J half hunter, 1904.

A "mid life" version of the "Bank" watch. The pin set, slow train movement has a true English Lever escapement with an over-sprung cut compensating balance and 11 jewels.

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring it is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

The movement is engraved:

The Bank
Best London Make
J.W. Benson, 62 & 64 Ludgate Hill, LONDON

The English made double backed case has London hallmarks for Sterling Silver, 1904 and the makers mark of J.W. Benson. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has two new crystals, the main being mineral glass from old stock.

SOLD More pictures on Zenfolio.


J.W.  Benson - English made. P & A Guye. E762f

E762. J.W. Benson The "Ludgate" Watch (Key Set), 13J, 1885.

An early and large example of the key set "Ludgate" watch, setting is from the back so it is much easier to use than a traditional English watch set from the front but like these watches it winds anticlockwise. The three-quarter plate, slow train movement has a true English Lever escapement with an over-sprung cut compensating balance, 13 jewels and functional Geneva Stop Gear to control mainspring pressure.

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring it is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

Oxford Pocket Watches: Benson Adverts &emdash; Ludgate general.
The movement is engraved:

The "LUDGATE" Watch
J.W. Benson
Patent No 4658
Best London Make
By Warrant to H.M. The Queen, Ludgate Hill, London

The English double backed case has the Benson patented very thick dust ring with integral dust cover, the movement is large and cased up is a tad bigger than a standard size 18 with a bigger dial and is 40-50% heavier than most watches in a size 16 "standard" silver case. It is 2.1" / 5.4cm in diameter excluding the pendant etc and 0.7" /1.7cm thick. It has London hallmarks for Sterling Silver, 1885 and the marks of J.W. Benson. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has a new mineral glass crystal from old stock.

SOLD More pictures on Zenfolio


J.W.  Benson - English made. P & A Guye. E767f

E767. J.W. Benson The "Ludgate" Watch (Key Set), 13J, 1891.

The key set "Ludgate" watch is set from the back so it is much easier to use than a traditional English watch set from the front but like these watches it winds anticlockwise. The three-quarter plate, slow train movement has a true English Lever escapement with an over-sprung cut compensating balance, 13 jewels and functional Geneva Stop Gear to control mainspring pressure.

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring it is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

Oxford Pocket Watches: Benson Adverts &emdash; Ludgate general.
The movement is engraved:

The "LUDGATE" Watch
J.W. Benson
Patent No 4658
Best London Make
By Warrant to H.M. The Queen, Ludgate Hill, London

The English double backed case has the Benson patented very thick dust ring with integral dust cover, it is 2.0" / 5.0cm in diameter excluding the pendant etc and 0.75" /1.9cm thick. It has London hallmarks for Sterling Silver, 1891 and the marks of J.W. Benson. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has a new mineral glass crystal from old stock.

SOLD More pictures on Zenfolio.


J.W.  Benson - English made. P & A Guye. E771f

E771. J.W. Benson, The "Bank" Watch, 11J, 9 Carat Gold. 1931.

On of the later versions of the "Bank" watch, the main difference to earlier models is the use of bevel gears for much smoother winding and setting. The pin set, slow train size 12 movement has a true English Lever escapement with an over-sprung cut compensating balance and 11 jewels.

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring it is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

The movement is engraved:

The "Bank" Watch
Best London Make
J.W. Benson, Ludgate Hill, London

The English made cased has London Hallmarks for 9 carat (.375) solid gold, 1931 and the mark of J.W. Benson Ltd. It is 1.85" / 0.47cm in diameter excluding the pendant. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has a new mineral glass crystal from old stock.

SOLD More pictures on Zenfolio.


J.W.  Benson - English made. P & A Guye. E770F

E770. J.W. Benson The "Bank" Watch, 9J, 1895.

An example of the first version of the "Bank" watch, it continued in production with fairly minor changes well into the 1930s. The pin set, slow train movement has a true English Lever escapement with an over-sprung cut compensating balance and 9 jewels.

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring it is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

The movement is engraved:

The "Bank" Watch
Best London Make
J.W. Benson, 62 & 64 Ludgate Hill, London

The English made double backed case has London hallmarks for Sterling Silver, 1895 and the makers mark of John Woodman, Smith St, Northampton Square, London who cased a lot of these movements. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has a new crystal.

SOLD More pictures on Zenfolio.


J.W.  Benson - English made. P & A Guye. E752f

E752. J.W. Benson The "Bank" Watch, 9J, 1889.

An early example of the first version of the "Bank" watch, it continued in production with fairly minor changes well into the 1930s. The pin set, slow train movement has a true English Lever escapement with an over-sprung cut compensating balance and 9 jewels.

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring it is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

The movement is engraved:

The "Bank" Watch
Best London Make
J.W. Benson, 62 & 64 Ludgate Hill, London

The English made double backed case has London hallmarks for Sterling Silver, 1889 and the makers mark of John Woodman, Smith St, Northampton Square, London who cased a lot of these movements. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has a new crystal.

SOLD More pictures on Zenfolio.


J.W.  Benson - English made. P & A Guye. E776f

E776. J.W. Benson 19J, 1904.

This is a very high grade Benson that has probably been erroneously engraved as "The Bank" watch as explained in this Blog Post.

The size 18 slow train movement has a true English Lever escapement with a Breguet sprung cut compensating balance with gold screws. It is jewelled as for a 15 jewel movement but with the addition of cap jewels on the lever and escape for a total of 19 and is equipped with functional Geneva Stop Gear to control mainspring pressure.

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring it is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

The high quality case has London Hallmarks for Sterling Silver, 1904 and a maker's mark "PW" which is probably that of Philip Woodman of the long established Benjamin Woodman & Sons of Clerkenwell. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has a new mineral glass crystal from old stock. It is 2.1" / 5.4 cm in diameter excluding the pendant etc., and 0.6" / 1.6 cm thick.

SOLD More pictures on Zenfolio.


J.W.  Benson - English made. P & A Guye. E779f

E779. J.W. Benson Fusee Lever, 1880.

An English Fusee by this premium London maker on an ebauché by John Wycherley of Prescot one of the English pioneers of the "manufacture of interchangeable machine made movements" for which he took out a patent #880 of 1867. Benson, ever conservative, used an extra slow, "slow train" running at 15,400 Vibrations Per Hour, rather the by then common 16,200 VPH or the 18,000 VPH "Fast Train" that would soon become dominant - although not for Benson who were still making Slow train movements through to c 1941. This gives the large 3 spoke, under sprung, balance a very stately swing!

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring and is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

J.W. Benson
62 & 64 Ludgate Hill
London
Watchmakers by Warrants to the Queen & Prince of Wales


The English Consular type "swing out" double backed case has London hallmarks for Sterling Silver, 1880, the makers mark of J.W. Benson and the same serial number as the movement. The front bezel is quite tight and I recommend the use of a case knife to open. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has a new mineral glass crystal from old Stock.

SOLD More pictures on Zenfolio.

Also listed under Fusee and Key Set Watches where there is a brief introduction to the Fusse movement.


J.W.  Benson - English made. P & A Guye. E756f

E756. John Cooke (Benson Bank), 9J, 1890.

A Benson "Bank" watch in all but name (probably made by P & A Guye), the pin set, slow train movement has a true English Lever escapement with an over-sprung cut compensating balance and 9 jewels. It is signed on the movement "John Cooke & Co, Londonderry".

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring it is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

The English made double backed case has London hallmarks for Sterling Silver, 1889 and the makers mark of John Woodman, Smith St, Northampton Square, London who case quite a few of these movements. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has a new crystal.

SOLD More pictures on Zenfolio.


J.W.  Benson - English made. P & A Guye. E777F

E777. J.W. Benson The "Bank" Watch, 11J, 1922.

An example of the later version of the "Bank" watch. The pin set, slow train movement has a true English Lever escapement with an over-sprung cut compensating balance and 11 jewels.

Ultrasonically cleaned and serviced with a new mainspring it is keeping excellent time. 12 months warranty.

It is inscribed on the movement:

The "Bank" Watch
Best London Make
J.W. Benson, Ludgate Hill, London


Oxford Pocket Watches: Benson Adverts
The English made double backed case has London hallmarks for Sterling Silver, 1822, the makers mark of J.W. Benson and the same serial number as the movement. It has been ultrasonically cleaned and has a new crystal.

SOLD More pictures on Zenfolio.