Verge Alarm by Martineau

Stock No. 1375
Martineau,  London, c1700
Silver pair cases, 56 mm.
Verge, alarm movement


MOVEMENT : Gilt movement, with pierced and engraved balance cock, ruby/garnet endstone, and four square pillars. Signed ‘Martineau, London’.

The alarm is driven by a second mainspring, within an engraved barrel, driving a steel hammer via the steel alarm mechanism. The alarm spring is wound independently of the watch mainspring.

Both alarm and watch movement are working.

DIAL : White enamel dial, with inner white enamel alarm disk.

The alarm is set by using the steel square aperture at 6 to turn the alarm disk (always clockwise) until the desired alarm time coincides with the hour hand. The alarm disk then turns with the hour hand until the alarm time is reached, when the alarm is fired. A double steel hammer strikes the bell (inner case) until the alarm disk is moved (clockwise) or the alarm spring runs down.

The main enamel dial is in almost perfect condition, with just small scratches. The inner alarm disk has a few hairlines and a repair on the edge between 10 and 11.

Matching brass hands.

INNER CASE : Beautifully engraved and pierced silver case, with maker’s mark XX (under the bell).
In very good condition. The high dome crystal and the hinge are fine and the bezel snaps shut correctly.

The bell has a good tone, but is not original (a previous pair of holes has been filled and replaced).

OUTER CASE : Unmarked silver case. In excellent condition. The catch and hinge are fine and the bezel snaps shut correctly.
This case is a perfect fit for the inner, but is probably not original as the outer of an alarm watch would normally be pierced (to allow for sound).

This watch dates from around 1700. Although marked as ‘London’ it could have been made in France or Switzerland.