Silver case with engine-turned band hallmarked London 1879, casemaker T.M (Probably Thomas Mills, Craven St, Coventry). Unusual key wound fullplate movement with indirectly wound going-barrel, the flat cock mounted on an extended barrel-bar, numbered and engraved ‘Registered.’ Single-roller detached lever escapement. Gold balance, spiral balance-spring. Enamel dial, unnamed, but the rear carrying the maker’s identity “Inventor & Maker W L Webster, Louth…,” gilt hands. 49 mm diameter.
William L Webster, recorded in Loomes as being in Louth and in Coventry by 1878. This ties in neatly with this watch which is of Coventry work, the extensive watchmaking trade there presumably being the reason for his move across country.
NB: ‘Registered’ refers to the fact that Webster took the alternative and cheaper route of registering his design rather than patenting it. I know of no other example and was relieved to find details of its designer on the back of the dial, some of which note I have not been able to read. Records of Registered designs can be consulted leaving more scope for research both on this watch and its maker.
A rare watch from the period that English watchmakers were starting to abandon the fusee. The usual hair cracks to the dial, mismatched hands and general signs of wear. Otherwise in good original condition. Serviced for its previous owner and appears to be working well.