Heavy gold hunter case hallmarked 1890, casemaker EW (Edgar Wilkins, Clerkenwell). Kullberg half plate reverse fusee movement with knockout keyless work, jewelled to the 3rd with cap jewels on balance (diamond) and escape, with hard brass setting on the fusee, the 16-size frame stamped JP (Joseph Preston). Kullberg’s ‘standing detent’ form of chronometer escapement. Compensation balance, 8-turn blued-steel helical balance-spring. Lovely signed enamel dial by Willis, with state-of-wind indication at 9, complete with all its original blued-steel hands by Hood. 52 mm diameter and weighing just under 150 grams gross.
Victor Kullberg, one of London’s most famous watch and chronometer manufacturers, who also supplied watches for others to retail. Kullberg invented and made a form of detent so mounted that with the pendant up, in the pocket, the detent would stand vertically, being it was thought less likely to derangement in use. Surviving examples are rare, cased examples even more so.
James Walter Benson, by ‘Special Warrants to H M the Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales,’ London’s largest and most energetic watch retailing firm of the second half of the 19th and the first half of 20th centuries. Benson’s ordinary watches were marketed under various names: ‘The Bank,’ ‘The Ludgate’ and ‘The Field,’ but their best English made work was supplied by various makers including Victor Kullberg who mostly added an extra zero onto his own serial number for the Benson firm, as here.
Joseph Preston, the most famous of Liverpool watch rough movement manufacturers, supplier of this individual standing detent caliper to Victor Kullberg only I believe.
NB: This watch is featured in the book The English Watch 1585-1970 by Terence Camerer Cuss, page 422, and was subsequently offered as part of the Djanogly collection, sold by Sothebys in four parts under the title ‘The Celebration of the English Watch.’ This watch was in Part IV, 6th July 2017, Lot 72. It made £6500
Dial with faint hair crack and small (filled) chip in the state-of-wind subsidiary at 3, and the front cover with monogram. Otherwise all in fine original condition showing few signs of use. Serviced and offered with my usual guarantee.