Gold repousse half quarter repeater

Stock No. 1721

Benjamin Sidey
London, c1770
Gold repousse pair cases, 51 mm.
Cylinder escapement, half quarter repeat


A mid 18th century London half quarter repeating watch, with cylinder escapement, in gold repousse pair cases, in unusually good condition.

MOVEMENT : Gilded verge escapement, with engraved and pierced balance cock, large diamond endstone. Four rounds baluster pillars and a large silver regulator disk.

Signed ‘B. Sidey’ and numbered (4397)

The movement is in good, complete condition, and is running well.
The repeat function works correctly, chiming clearly when the pendant is pushed down. This causes striking of the internal bell with two polished steel hammers. By pressing the pulse piece on the edge of the dial at 7, the hammers are still activated but the chime is temporarily disabled (still with a vibration or pulse).

The movement is protected by a removable gilt dustcap, signed ‘Benj.Sidey, London’.

DIAL : The white enamel dial is in very good condition, with just a few light surface scratches, and a small flake at the catch at 6. This dial appears to be original.

Good 18thc. blued steel beetle and poker hands.

INNER CASE : Gold, with no visible hallmarks, but stamped 3 times under the bell with the maker’s mark ‘IW’. Beautifully pierced and engraved.

In excellent condition, with just the usual slight compression around the band. The hinge is fine and the bezel snaps shut correctly. The gold stem and bow are also in very good condition though there is a small amount of wear to the gilt brass sleeve that holds the stem. The high dome crystal is good.

OUTER CASE : A gold pair case with pierced, engraved and repousse decoration to the bezel and back. A tiny button on the bezel at 7 in lined up to the pulse piece so the this can be activated without removing the watch from this outer case.

In excellent condition. The hinge, catch button and catch are all fine and the bezel snaps shut correctly.

Both cases test as high carat gold. They are quite substantial, weighing about 68 gms., excluding movement, bell and crystal.

Benjamin Sidey is listed in London (Moorfields) between 1738 and 1797.

The half-quarter repeater can sound the time to half a quarter hour (ie. 7.5 minutes). It strikes hours and then quarter hours, like the standard quarter repeater, but then it uses a single strike in order to signal if more than half of the current quarter hour has passed. For example, if the time is 3:41 the mechanism will strike 3 single tones to represent 3 hours, then 2 double tones to represent 2 quarter hours, then one single tone to indicate that more than half of the third quarter hour has passed.