Stock No. : 0786

London, c1680
Silver & shell pair cases
Verge alarm movement


This is a fascinating, and early alarm watch with verge movement, made around 1690, possibly in London, and marked ‘Tompion’. Later, continental, silver and shell pair cases.

MOVEMENT : A wonderful late 17th century alarm movement, with beautifully engraved balance cock and plates. The gilded verge fusee movement is marked ‘Tompion, London’. Particularly unusual balance cock with engraved horse. The watch movement is in good condition and is running well.
The alarm is also working. It is set by the steel pointer at the centre of the dial, and strikes the bell within the inner case.
The movement is complete except for the stopwork on the alarm winding square, which stops the alarm spring from being overwound. This would have consisted of a small wheel on the winding square and a larger wheel, with one ‘blind’ tooth, which engaged this smaller wheel. It is then possible to only wind the spring 3 or 4 turns before it is stopped by the blind tooth.

DIAL : 42.5 mm. A very interesting brass dial, with single hand and central alarm disk. I believe that this is original to the movement, though the hour and alarm hands may be replacements.

INNER CASE : Diameter 69 mm. A large silver case, with fitted bell. In good condition. The crystal, hinge and catch are all fine and the case closes nicely.

OUTER CASE : Diameter 80 mm. Huge silver case with shell covering. The silver is in very good condition, though much of the shell is missing from the back. The hinge, catch and catch button are fine and the case snaps shut nicely.

This is a very interesting watch. The movement and dial are late 17th century, and could have been made in London or the Continent, but very unlikely to be by Thomas Tompion. The cases appear to have been made specially for the movement, and were probably made in the mid/late 18th century in Germany or Austria.