Large and heavy 18ct gold half-hunter case with 5-knuckle joints and swivel bow hallmarked 1899, casemaker FT (Fred Thoms, Clerkenwell), the rear cover with beautiful polychrome enamel crests and SDL monogram, the inside of the front cover with a presentation dedication to Stair Dick-Lauder. Golay Patent half-plate keyless movement jewelled to the centre with cap jewels on balance (diamond), lever and escape. Double-roller detached lever escapement, top quality compensation balance with quarter-timing nuts, spiral balance-spring with double overcoil. Willis off-white snap-on enamel dial in perfect condition, with painted signature, original blued-steel hands. 53 mm diameter and weighing just under 150 grams gross.
Mappin Brothers, different from but amalgamating with Mappin & Webb in 1902, one of London’s foremost silversmiths and jewellers of the period.
Charles Hector Golay, trading as Hector Golay, 46 Myddleton Square, London, Patent No 12417, October 1885. Swiss born (the Jura) but working most of his life in London, Golay was the main manufacturer, along with Nicole, Nielsen, of the best English made complicated watch work at the latter part of the 19th century. This “interchangeable” minute repeating movement is exactly as shown in Golay’s trade catalogue of circa 1885. NB: By the last quarter of the 19th century most repeaters sold bearing English retailers names were finished from imported Swiss ebauches. Only the firms of Nicole Nielsen and Hector Golay continued to produce English work. This commanded the highest prices, and of which this is as good an example as one will ever see.
Fred Thoms, 25 Spencer Street, Clerkenwell, considered to be the finest watch case maker of his day. He died in 1930, after which his business was incorporated into Joseph Walton & Co. This case employs the earlier of his two stamps.
Stair Dick-Lauder (1853-1945), Scottish born son of Sir John Dick-Lauder, 8th Bart, was the Secretary and Treasurer of the Albany Club in Toronto, Canada for over twenty years, at which point he received this magnificent gold watch as a “memento of their respect and affection”
All in lovely original condition showing hardly any signs of age or use, the swivel bow and joints still tight, and with a dial in perfect condition with only the printed signature showing some loss, as will occur when being cleaned – most such painted signatures have since been removed. Serviced, guaranteed, and an example of the very best London work that compares so well with anything produced in Switzerland.