A fine cylinder by Thomas Grignion, London

Stock No. 1540

Thomas Grignion
London, c1770
Silver pair cases, 47.5 mm
Cylinder escapement


A fine quality early London cylinder by an important watchmaker, in wonderful condition, in later silver pair cases.

MOVEMENT : Gilt cylinder movement, with engraved and pierced balance cock. Diamond endstone. Four square baluster pillars, silver regulator disk and blued screws. The 3rd and 4th wheels both have 6 spokes.
The movement is protected by a removable gilt dustcap, signed and numbered as the movement.

Signed “Tho. Grignion, London” and numbered (1605).

The movement is running well, and is in wonderful, almost mint, condition throughout. The blued screws show very little wear, and very few scratches to the plates.

This movement is of excellent quality, as expected from a prestigious London maker of the period. The exceptional features include the 6 spoked wheels and wonderful quality of the engraving and piercing.

DIAL : A later, fine white enamel signed dial, in perfect condition. Signed “GRIGNION, LONDON”.

Good , but also later, blued steel hands.

INNER CASE : Silver, with hallmarks for London, 1850, maker’s mark CH.
Good high dome crystal.

In excellent condition throughout.

OUTER CASE : Heavy silver pair case, with hallmarks matching the inner.

Again in excellent condition throughout.

The dial, hands and cases are later than the movement, probably added in 1850 when the cases were made. Certainly made specially for the movement. The movement fits the case perfectly, the movement dial plate has no additional holes, and the dial false plate also has no holes added or modifications.

Thomas Grignion is said to have brought to perfection in 1740 the horizontal principle in watches (cylinder escapement). The family firm started at the ‘King’s Arms and Dial’ in Great Russell Street, Covent Garden, with Daniel and Thomas Grignion snr. as partners. They described themselves as finishers to the late Daniel Quare. Thomas Grignion jnr. succeeded as head of the firm. He was born in 1713 and died in 1784.