A fine quality London gold watch with very rare half-quarter repeating movement, and an interesting provenance.
MOVEMENT : An excellent quality repeating movement, with lever escapement. Fully signed, numbered (1885) and dated (1811).
Engraved balance cock, with diamond endstone and blued screws. The balance regulator itself is mounted on a bi metallic temperature compensation curb.
The repeating mechanism (Matthew Stogden type), is fired by depressing the stem, which strikes two steel gongs, with two polished steel hammers.
A half-quarter repeater sounds the time to half a quarter hour, or 7 1⁄2 minutes. It strikes hours and then quarter hours, like the quarter repeater, then it uses a single tone in order to signal if more than half of the current quarter hour has passed.
Excellent condition throughout. It is running well and repeating correctly.
DIAL : A fine white enamel dial.
In good condition, except for two light hairlines running through 3. Gold hands.
CASE : A heavy rose gold case, fully hallmarked for 18ct., London 1810. Maker’s mark DW. Engraved family crest and initials (WL?) on the back. Gilt inner cover.
There is a little wear to the engraving on the back but otherwise good condition throughout. The crystal is fine.
Desbois & Wheeler are listed at Gray’s Inn, Passage London between 1790 and 1835.
PROVENANCE : The watch has an interesting history. It was converted to a lever escapement from an original duplex, in 1907, by Daniel Desbois & Sons. This is outlined in a letter from Desbois & Sons, written in 1936 to the presumed owner of the watch. A copy of this letter accompanies the watch.