Fine purpose-made 2nd World War wristwatch.
Three-quarter plate keyless going-barrel movement jewelled to the 3rd, with cap jewels on balance (diamond), lever and escape, the top plate with raised barrel and the frame stamped JP (Joseph Preston). Single-roller detached lever escapement. Compensation balance, spiral balance-spring. Beautiful enamel dial with 'tumbling' Arabic hour numerals, blued-steel hands. The movement dating from circa 1900 and originally in a small half-hunter case, now in a specially made 9ct gold 3-piece case with snap-on back and bezel, wire lugs and English button, hallmarked London 1943, case maker ATO (Richard Oliver). 35 mm diameter.
Usher & Cole, Clerkenwell, famous London watchmakers, mostly suppliers to many retailers throughout the UK but occasionally also selling watches. Their surviving work books have now been donated to the Clockmakers' Company and can be viewed as part of their extensive library.
Richard Oliver, the last of the properly trained English watch case makers, who carried on using his father's stamp of ATO (Albert Thomas Oliver). For information and images of Richard (Dick) Oliver at work, see the book Watch Case Makers of England...1720-1920 by Philip Priestley.
NB: The First World War saw the dramatic move from pocket to wrist for men's watches, at which time many smaller watches were converted for wearing on the wrist. Though not widely known, the 2nd World War saw similar conversions as imports from Switzerland dried up.
Re-cased by the best casemaker of his day, it makes a fine and most unusual, probably unique wristwatch. In good condition, its present case showing few signs of use, and with such a lovely dial and hands. Serviced and guaranteed.
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