Good quality c-seconds Deck Watch, complete with mahogany box and admiralty history.
Large and heavy silver ‘crystal’ case hallmarked Birmingham 1914, sponsor's mark JR (John Rotherham). Nicely finished three-quarter plate keyless movement, jewelled to the 2nd (unusual as most c-secs watches are jewelled only to the 3rd) and with hard brass setting for the barrel. Single-roller detached lever escapement, blued-steel balance-spring with overcoil. Signed enamel dial with added Broad Arrow, original blued-steel hands. 55.5 mm diameter. Together with finely figured three-piece mahogany box with blank ivory roundel; case, dial and movement all with the Broad Arrow mark.
W J Johnson, Coventry, retailers, about whom almost nothing is known, other than they supplied some Rotherham & Son made Deck watches to the Admiralty during the 1st World War.
Rotherham & Sons Ltd, 27 Spon Street, Coventry, with offices at 1,2 & 3, Holborn Circus, London, at this point in the 20th century, the UK’s premier manufacturer of top quality machine-made watches, both pocket and wrist, their movements often being used in Deck Watches.
NB: The International Chronometer Index run at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich records the fact that this watch was purchased by the Admiralty in November 1916. It was then sent to the Royal Navy base at Lowestoft in Suffolk, ending the war at the Lincolnshire port of Immingham in 1919. It was serviced by the Kullberg firm in 1933 and was sold on to the Royal Engineers Stores at Woolwich one year later.
Rare in as much that it has survived in original condition, neither the box nor the watch having been later converted to be ‘unwearable’ as most Deck Watches were after the war. The dial with a few hair cracks at the edge, two shallow scratches on the movement top plate and the case showing some signs use. Otherwise in good, clean original condition, especially the lovely box which retains its key. Serviced and guaranteed.
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