A very rare early 18th century London verge, combining both an alarm and quarter repeat.
MOVEMENT : A wonderful quality, and complicated, gilt movement, with finely pierced and engraved winged balance cock and five baluster pillars. Signed ‘Paul Beauvais, London’ and numbered ‘539’.
The movement is in very good condition, and is protected by a signed, removable silver dustcap.
It is a beautifully made movement, with some fine details. For example, each of the 4 screws used to attach the dial plate are marked with dots (0 to 3) which correspond to the dots on the 4 screw holes.
The alarm is driven by a second mainspring, driving a steel hammer via the iron alarm mechanism. This hammer strikes the bell attached to the inside of the case. The alarm spring is wound from the top plate, independently of the watch mainspring.
The quarter repeat mechanism is quite separate and is driven by a third mainspring. It is activated by pressing the plunger within the stem, again striking the bell, once for each hour and twice for each quarter. The pulse piece is intact, and appears through the case at 5.
The alarm, repeat and watch movement are all working correctly.
DIAL : White enamel dial, with signed gilt alarm disk.
The alarm is set by using the steel square aperture at 8 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 steel hammer strikes the bell until the alarm disk is moved (clockwise) or the alarm spring runs down.
The main enamel dial has a few hairlines, mainly around the alarm setting aperture and numeral 4, and a repair around the catch at 6, The central gilt alarm disk is perfect
Good early black steel hands.
CASE : Beautifully engraved and pierced silver case, in very good condition. The high dome bull’s eye crystal, hinge , catch and catch button are all fine and the bezel snaps shut correctly.
The bell is undamaged, but is a replacement.
Paul Beauvais is listed at St.Martins in the Fields, London from before 1703 until 1730. He was probably the son of the French Huguenot watchmaker and refugee, Simon Beauvais.