Silver paircase, both cases with the casemaker’s stamp WS under a coronet (William Sherwood), the inner numbered as the movement. Fullplate fusee movement with Egyptian pillars, typically well finished and engraved. Verge (recoil) escapement. Steel balance with spiral balance spring, as first developed by Tompion and arguably his single most important horological contribution in an illustrious career. Two-piece silver champlevé dial, the centre with Tompion’s beautiful ‘cherub and garland’ swag to the name cartouche, with its original blued-steel ‘tulip and poker’ hands. 56 mm diameter.
Though now synonymous with clocks, Thomas Tompion, at the ‘Dial and Three Crowns’ Fleet Street, London, was truly the ‘father of English watchmaking’ having been directly involved from the very beginning with the introduction of the balance-spring – see the book by Martin Ball. Tompion’s work gave English watches, more particularly ‘London’ watches, a second-to-none reputation that was to last for over 200 years, from which he became both famous and rich, and it is no surprise that his portrait shows him with a watch rather than a clock – see also the books by R W Symonds and the recent works by Jeremy Evans, although this watch only recently surfaced and is not recorded in any books.
NB: Dating from the short lived partnership of Thomas Tompion & Edward Banger, this watch is from the period that many believe saw the best of Tompion’s output.
A watch which has survived in unusually good original condition, and is now with an appropriate period bow replacing the later stirrup bow it had when purchased by me. Some of the expected general signs of age and use, otherwise a rare chance to acquire a complete and original English watch by the founder of what was to become nearly two centuries of English watchmaking dominance. Serviced and guaranteed.