Rare 18ct gold all-English wristwatch with its retailers box.
3-part cushion shaped case with its original 'English button,' pin-set hand setting and wire lugs taking a 18 mm strap, hallmarked Birmingham 1927, sponsor's mark R&S (Rotherham & Son). Rotherhams smaller sized three quarter-plate ‘Super grade’ movement jewelled to the 3rd, with cap jewels on balance, lever and escape. Straight line detached lever escapement with club-tooth escape. Compensation balance, blued-steel balance-spring with overcoil. Enamel dial with skeleton numerals and hands, originally holding radium, now replaced. 32 across corners mm diameter, not including lugs or button. Together with retailers velvet and silk lined box.
Fattorini & Sons Ltd, 10 Parliament St, Harrogate, retailers of repute, having a long association with the firm of Rotherhams. At the Bradford Exhibition of 1882, Fattorini & Sons showed a very small gold watch made (by Rotherham & Sons) for the Princess of Wales on her marriage.
Rotherham & Sons, suppliers of most of the good quality wristwatch movements found in English work. They produced two sizes of movement used in their wristwatches, in two basic qualities, both jewelled to the 3rd (17-jewels). They were expensive when sold and survivors in such good original condition of these all-English made wristwatches are now very rare. NB: Both the lager and smaller sized watches were sold as 'gentlemen's wristlet watches,' as can be seen in the page I have reproduced from Rotherham's 1926 catalogue - this 18ct 'cushion' shape model with Super grade movement is just about Rotherham's most expensive watch retailing at £30/15/-, plus an extra £1 for luminous dial and hands. The firm also produced wristwatches for women but these cases do not have wire lugs for leather straps, though I am sure that many women will have worn them. Evening wear wristwatches apart, Rotherham's standard wire lug models would be better thought of as unisex in design.
For more information about English wristwatches see the short note in my website Glossary, and my illustrated article on ‘English Wristwatches’ in the April 2000 issue of Antique Collecting. NB: This case style is not waterproof and all English wristwatches of this date are best kept well away from damp conditions.
The back of the case with nicely engraved 'long service' dedication from Lever Brothers to Robert Craig, the watch and box showing just a few signs of use. Otherwise a fine 18ct English wristwatch in one of Rotherhams more unusual designs of case. Fitted with new/old stock pigskin strap. Presently being serviced and will be sold with my usual guarantee.
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