- Museum number
GOLD, ENAMEL & SPLIT-PEARL CYLINDER WATCH WITH DATE INDICATOR, IN THE FORM OF A FINGER-RING.
White enamel dial; subsidiary seconds and date indicator.
Gold hands. Gold case in form of finger-ring; navette shaped bezel set with split-pearls surrounding a blue guilloche enamelled border to the dial.
- Production date
Diameter: 23.20 millimetres (hoop)
Length: 36.10 millimetres (case)
Length: 27.80 millimetres (dial)
Thickness: 9.40 millimetres (watch)
Width: 16.90 millimetres (dial)
Width: 22 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from Ward, Cherry et al, 'The Ring from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century,' London 1981, pl. 274.
The idea of incorporating a watch into a finger-ring dates from the late sixteenth century (Pl. 215), and experiments in making both accurate and miniature movements have continued ever since. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the success was only limited; the mechanisms used made the ring bezels unduly large and unwieldy. Although much smaller mechanisms existed at this date, they seem not to have been used. Jean Antoine Lepine (fl. 1769-83) was a famous watchmaker, the first to use the repeating mechanism that led to the successful development of the keyless winder. This movement, with cylinder escapement, is signed: L'EPINE A PARIS, (Lepine in Paris). The finger-ring watch was popular in the early nineteenth century, and gradually a thinner mechanism more suitable for the ring bezel was developed, but the ring-watch remained an impractical novelty that was finally superseded by the convenience of the wrist-watch at the end of the nineteenth century.
- Not on display
- Latest: 3 (1994)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Following the successful acquisition of the celebrated Ilbert collection of clocks (1958,1006 collection), prints and other related materials made possible by the generous donation of funds by Gilbert Edgar CBE Ilbert's watches were then acquired using funds provided by Gilbert Edgar, public donations and government funds.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: CAI.0292 (Ilbert Collection)
Previous owner/ex-collection number: F17 (Ilbert Ledger)