Rare Thomas Tompion Clockwatch

Stock No. 1938

Thomas Tompion
London, c1697
Gilt & silver pair cases, 55 mm
Clockwatch movement with verge escapement
Serial no. 83


A fine and very rare clockwatch, by Thomas Tompion, in later silver gilt and brass gilt pair cases, with later enamel dial.

MOVEMENT : The gilt verge escapement, clockwatch movement is signed and numbered (83). There are three tulip and two narrow vase pillars. The well engraved winged balance cock shows a mask to the neck and scrolls with foliage on the table.

The striking train, with steel hammer beneath the barrel, strikes on a steel bell which is mounted in the inner case. It is activated by an engraved silver countwheel, mounted on the top plate. The strike spring is held within a finely engraved barrel with sculpted steel gates.

All in good condition throughout, with a few scratches on the top plate, and running well.

DIAL : Later white enamel dial.

The dial is in perfect condition except for one short hairline across the edge at 10.

The gold beetle and poker hands are particularly fine, and in perfect condition.

INNER CASE : This is a later silver gilt case, with fitted steel bell. The back is beautifully engraved and pierced.

It is in very good condition throughout, with just a little wear to the gilding around the band. The high dome crystal is fine.

OUTER CASE : This is a later associated gilded brass and leather case

It is in good condition throughout, with all of the pins present though with some wear to the gilding. The hinge and catch are fine, though there is a dent to the catch button.

REFERENCE : This watch is listed in “Thomas Tompion 300 Years” by Jeremy Evans, Jonathan Carter & Ben Wright. This excellent book includes lists of movement serial numbers for Tompion.
On page 581 of this book, the Bridgeman Tompion Clockwatch (No. 73) is illustrated. This has an almost identical movement to this watch (No. 83).

Only twenty one clockwatches are recorded in this reference, two of which are signed with Edward Banger. This compares with eighty six repeating watches. Only about four of these known remaining Tompion clockwatches retain their original cases and dial.
One of the last of these to come on the market was sold by Bonhams in 2018 for £31,250.

PROVENANCE : Previously sold by Sotheby’s from the the Emile Wertheimer Collection in 1953 and subsequently from the Theilmann Collection in 1989.

Thomas Tompion