Yellow gold case with English button, fixed lugs and jointed back, hallmarked Birmingham 1925, sponsor’s mark R&S (Rotherham & Son). Rotherhams smaller sized ‘A grade’ three quarter-plate gilded movement. St-line, club-tooth detached lever escapement. Compensation balance, balance-spring with overcoil. Lovely signed enamel dial with red 12 in perfect condition, original blued-steel hands. 31 mm diameter, not including lugs or button. Together with its original retailers box.
George Tarratt, Market Street, Leicester, retailers.
Rotherham & Son, 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 of these all-English made wristwatches are now very rare, particularly in such good condition.
NB: Both the lager and smaller sized movements were sold as ‘gentleman’s wristlet watches,’ as can be seen in the page I have reproduced from Rotherham’s 1926 catalogue, this No 182 model costing just over £20 guineas in 18ct. 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 as, evening wear watches apart, Rotherham’s standard designs would be better thought of as unisex.
For more information about early English wristwatches (pre Smiths) see my newly published Profile No 2 ENGLISH Wristwatches: the untold story in which this watch is featured. Please also note that this case style is not waterproof and all English wristwatches of this date are best kept well away from damp conditions.
A truly rare 18ct English wristwatch in very fine condition showing just a few general signs of age and wear, the case back with no previous presentation engraving. The original box (also a rare survival) showing some signs of age but it has done its job of protecting the watch well. Serviced, guaranteed and on a slightly pre-worn 1/2 inch (12 mm) open-ended black Morocco leather strap of the correct width.