A very fine late 18th century astronomical calendar verge

Stock No. 1653

John Bittleston
London, c1790
Silver repousse case, 58 mm.
Verge escapement, calendar


A very rare, multiple dial calender watch, with a fine verge movement, in a beautiful later silver repousse hunter case. All in fine condition.

MOVEMENT : A very fine quality gilded movement, with a verge escapement. The finely engraved and pierced balance cock has a portrait bust at the neck and a large diamond endstone. Very unusually, the mainspring set up is from the heavily engraved potence plate. Four round baluster pillars and a large silver regulator disk.

Signed within an engraved banner (Jno. Bittleston, London) and numbered (1945).

The movement is in good condition, and is running well, with all calendar functions working correctly.

The movement is protected by a removable gilt dust cap, signed and numbered as the movement.

DIAL : The white enamel dial shows 5 calendar functions. The 4 subsidiary dials show :
Hour and minute subsidiary at the top
31 day calendar to the right
29.5 day lunar calendar to the left
Months at the bottom
and a centre seconds.

A lever at the edge of the dial at 4 o’clock allows the movement to be stopped and restarted.

The dial is in excellent condition, with no repairs, and just a few light scratches and a tiny mark on the edge at 20 seconds.

Nice gold hands, though the month hand is a replacement.

CASE : A very substantial silver repousse hunter case (114 gms), with London hallmarks for 1823 and maker’s mark HG.

The front cover shows a family coat of arms, consisting of 3 boars’ heads in a shield separated by a chevron, over a banner with the motto LIBERTAS, all below a coronet surmounted by a larger boar’s head. The front cover is decorated with entwined foliage around a central rosette.

The case is in very good condition. The hinges are fine and the bezels snap shut correctly. The crystal is perfect.

The coat of arms on the back of the case is that of the Evans family. The case is a little later than the movement, and was probably made for a member of an Evans family and added in 1823. The case is a perfect fit so almost certainly made for this watch.

John Bittleston worked at 207 High Holborn between 1765-1794 and was made a freeman of the Clockmaker’s Company in 1781. He was known for his complicated extra large pocket watches and carriage clocks with additional displays for the Chinese market.

The case maker is Horace Gooch of Clerkenwell, London.