Patent 3-part 9ct gold cushion-shaped case with wire lugs, the movement held in a swing out ring, all held together by a screw down bezel, import hallmarked Glasgow 1933, importers stamp SFC (Robert Pringle & Sons, Clerkenwell, acting for the Swiss firm of Schwob Freres & Co, Chaux-de-Fonds) and with the distinctive ‘F.B over a key’ stamp of the Swiss casemaker François Borgel, then still being used by the Taubert Company – see below. Swiss made nickel finished TAVANNES Watch Co 15-jewel movement. Original enamel dial signed for BENSON with ‘skeleton’ hour numerals and matching hands in perfect condition. 35 mm across the corners, not including lugs. Together with J W Benson blue velvet lined and gold tooled box.
James Walter Benson, then at 25 Old Bond Street, one of London’s premier retailers of good and top quality pocket watches from around 1850 and wristwatches from around 1900. Benson made their own wristwatches for a short time from around 1910, the manufacture of which did not survive the great depression of the early 1930’s. Benson however remained the leading English retailer of Swiss watches.
The Cyma watch Company, in the town of Tavannes (the company using both names), Switzerland, one of the largest Swiss manufacturers, supplying much of its good quality output for the English market – both J W Benson and Bravingtons retailed a variety of their wrist and pocket watches.
François Borgel (1856-1912), Geneva. The most important manufacturer of early water- and dirt-resistant wristwatch cases. See the article on Borgel by Dennis Harris in the November 1997 issue of the Horological Journal and the later and much more comprehensive work by David Boettcher published in the NAWCC Bulletin and available on his website.
NB: This case is stamped with the Swiss Patent No 155,519 which was taken out by Schwob Freres in 1932, six years after the Borgel Company had been taken over by Taubert & Fils. To access the movement the bezel and its glass first needs to be unscrewed and removed. The front section of the case can then be lifted off and the pin holding down the swing out movement, next to the stem, needs to be removed. The movement in its holder can them be swung out on its joint at 9.
This design of Schwob/Taubert/Borgel case is rarely seen and almost never in this condition – it is a rare and good looking survival. What appears to be the original ‘lume’ on the dial not perfectly done and the original button showing wear, otherwise the watch has survived in fine original condition showing almost none of the usual marks related to use and age. On new/old stock and entirely suitable parallel-sided black leather open-ended strap. The Benson box also in good clean condition. Serviced for its previous owner and looks to be working well – it can be freshly serviced if wanted, my likely charge would be around £200