item has been sold.
Pair-cased English Quarter Repeater watch by Belical
of London - Details:
pierced silver repousse outer case depicts a romantic
couple while the inner case with key-wind aperture
is engraved with laurels and a Mask of Chronos.
The raised crystal opens to a white enamel dial showing
the hour chapter decorated in Roman numerals and the
minute in Arabic numerals with gold Louis XV hands.
the inner case reveals the dust cover and fast-slow
adjustment as well as the bell fitted into the case
the dust cover exposes the finely feted and engraved
back cock with another Mask of Chronos,
a back plate signed Belical, London,
and four finely carved pillars between the plates
bracketing the fusee movement and strike.
This push-stem repeater strikes on the quarters and
keeps remarkably good time for its vintage. A
silver braided chain with assorted keys, tassels,
and a small seal compliment this interesting watch.
2(5cm) diameter, 1 1/8(2.7cm) thick
Early pocket watches originally had no covering created
to protect the face or the hour hand. In the 1700s most
English watchmakers began creating gold & silver
pair cases to slide the watch into. Cases added a bit
more protection from the elements and day-to-day handling
and of course elaborate ornamentation. English watchmakers
first started adding "jewels" (gemstones)
in the 1700s as bearings in the watches to prevent friction
and wear between metal parts.
method remained the specialty of English watchmakers
for most of the 18th century. Abraham Louis Breguet
was the first watchmaker outside England who used "jewels"
in his French watches. As rubies were and still are
precious stones, this was a costly luxury to have used
in a watch.
practice of using natural rubies changed only in the
early 20th century because in 1902, Verneuil made
the first artificial rubies, that have since then,
become the only rubies used in watches. Despite
some improvements in the method, the Verneuil process
remains virtually unchanged to this day, while maintaining
a leading position in the manufacture of synthetic
corundum and spinel gemstones.