Gold & bloodstone London repeater

Stock No. 1666

John Champion
London, c1760
Gold, bloodstone & diamond pair cases, 44 mm.
Verge escapement, quarter repeat


A wonderfully ornate mid 18thc., gold cased London quarter repeating verge pocket watch, the movement and dial in need of complete restoration. With careful and skilled restoration, this is a rare opportunity to own a very rare and beautiful watch.

The watch has not been fully dismantled, but I have tried to list all of the condition issues that I can see.

MOVEMENT : Gilded movement with verge escapement, the balance bridge finely engraved and pierced with scrolls. Silver regulator disk and four round baluster pillars.

Signed Jno. Champion, London), and numbered 2034. The movement is protected by a removable gilt dustcap, signed and numbered as the movement.

MOVEMENT CONDITION : Very dirty throughout. One screw from the top plate missing. The balance staff is complete with both pivots but not swinging.

Between the plates: The fusee chain is absent. All the wheels are present and appear to be ok (without dismantling) but the fusee code is detached from the wheel and is badly damaged. Solder repair to mainspring barrel.

Dial plate : The minute wheel is missing.

Repeating movement : All appears complete between the plates. On the dial plate, the rack which triggers the hourly and quarterly strikes is missing. Please check photo carefully in case there are other missing components.

The dial plate is not held securely to the movement, and the steel movement catch is missing.

DIAL : White enamel dial.

Probably the original dial but in poor condition..

Good blued steel ‘beetle’ hour hand but the minute hand is absent.

INNER CASE : Gold, with maker’s mark HT (under the bell). Tested as high carat (about 20 ct.).
Pierced and engraved throughout with a portrait at the bottom of the band, and town scene with movement number (2034) at the neck. Steel bell inside.

All in very good condition. The hinge is fine and the bezel snaps shuts nicely (though the hinge pin is missing). The high dome crystal is fine.
OUTER CASE : A wonderfully ornate gold case, again tested as high carat. Pierced, engraved and with fine repousse work throughout surrounding polished bloodstone panels to the bezel, band and back. The bloodstone panels are set with diamonds mounted on silver.

All in good condition, though a bit dirty and with some adhesive residue, so needs a careful cleaning. But the gold is all in good condition, the hinge is fine, the catch and diamond catch button are fine, and the bezel snaps shut correctly. The bloodstone panels are all complete, apparently without any cracks or chips, and the diamonds (with settings) are all complete, though one setting on the bezel is a bit loose (hence the adhesive residue).

John Champion is listed in London between 1730 and 1779.