- Museum number
SILVER-CASED LEVER WATCH WITH KARUSSEL.
Lever escapement with karussel; split bi-metallic balance.
Keyless winding and hand-set.
Enamel dial; subsidiary seconds.
Silver open-face case; gold button and case-joints.
- Production date
Diameter: 60.20 millimetres (case)
Diameter: 48.10 millimetres (dial)
Thickness: 16.60 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Comment from Richard Good, Catalogue of Watches in the British Museum. Vol. V (Unpublished manuscript)
Made by Louis Desoutter.
Silver cased watch with Bonniksen's karussel and ratchet tooth lever escapement
Signature: Stamped on the front plate under the dial in an oval cartouche 'L. DESOUTTER LONDON' with the number 2000 next to it.
Case: An open face silver case with the London hallmark for 1908 and the maker's mark 'F.T' in an oval cameo with the word 'London' around the lower edge.(1) The pendant is hallmarked London 1903 and has the pendant maker's mark CH in cameo. The front bezel, middle, inner cover and back are all punched with the number 2000. The inner cover and back hinged to the middle with gold joints, the front bezel snapping onto the middle. The pendant hollow for a winding arbor with an integral bevel wheel at one end and the gold winding button held with a nut on the other end which is squared. A separate push-piece and wide olivette are provided for operating the hand-set. The glass is missing.
Dial and Hands: Flat dial with a sunk subsidiary seconds dial. The back of the dial is signed 'WILLIS'(2), and has the number 2000 scratched into the surface. Blued-steel spade pattern hour and minute hands, blued-steel seconds hand.
Dial-Plate: None intended.
Dust-Cover: None intended.
Ebauche marks: On the inside, the front plate is punched PATENT BB No. 21421 in a similar manner to cat. no. 271 (registration no. 1958,1201.1004). The back plate is numbered 2000 on the inside.
Frame: Three-quarter plate construction with three turned pillars, the back plate secured by screws. The back plate has a raised area and a recess on the inside for the barrel. A bridge on the front plate provides bearings for the third and fourth wheel pivots. A combined cock on the rear of the front plate provides bearings for the escape wheel and pallets. The back plate shows no sign of ever having been gilded and has been polished on its upper surface. The movement secured in the case by a peg and two dog screws.
Barrel and Mainspring:
Barrel: plain brass going barrel internal diameter, 18.3 mm, height 4.7 mm. The cap is punched '0'.
Mainspring: height 4.4 mm, thickness 0.32 mm.
Hooking: round, the mainspring with a reversed end.
Train: All the wheels gilded, the centre, third and fourth wheels with five crossings. The carriage is driven by a wheel on its underside meshing with the third pinion. The fourth wheel is planted at the centre of the carriage with an extended pivot for the seconds hand.
Jewelling: The pivot of the rear centre arbor and the pivots of the third, fourth and escapement arbors in pierced jewels, the escapement with bombé jewels at the front. There are ruby endstones in the combined escape wheel and pallet cock, these latter two jewels and that for the rear centre pivot are in screwed settings, the rest are rubbed in. The balance jewels are also in screwed settings and with a ruby endstone at the front and a diamond endstone in the balance cock.
Balance and Spring: A split bimetallic balance with gold compensation screws and quarter nuts, the balance exceptionally thick - 2.2 mm, the diameter being 16.8 mm. Blued-steel flat spiral spring of 14 turns and with a terminal curve of two complete turns, free sprung to a polished diamond-shaped stud and a polished rectangular steel collet.
Means of Regulation: Since the balance is free sprung the quarter nuts must be used to bring the watch to time.
Train Counts and Beat Rate:
Great wheel 90 (barrel)
Centre wheel 80 pinion 12
Third wheel 75 pinion 10
Fourth wheel 15 pinion 7
Carriage 70 (rotates once every 52.5 minutes).
Beat Rate: 17,657 1/7
Cannon pinion 16
minute pinion 8, minute wheel 32
hour wheel 48
Winding System: Side set, rocking bar keyless work.
Case: diameter 60.1 mm, height 16.5 mm.
Movement: diameter 48.1 mm, height 10.0 mm, pillar height 4.4 mm
Provenance: Formerly in the Ilbert Collection, purchased by Ilbert from Webster in 1931
(1) The mark of Frederick Thoms, established 1881 or 1883 at 200, Goswell Rd., Clerkenwell. In 1889 he acquired the business of Thickbroom and moved to his address 41, Spencer St., in Clerkenwell. In 1897 he added the making of pendants to his business In 1908 he moved again to 25, Spencer St., where he was until his death in 1930, see Culme Vol. 1 p. 447)
(2) The firm of Willis, renowned for high-quality enamel dials.
For details of Bahne Bonniksen see cat. no. 271 (registration no. 1958,1201.1004).
The un-gilded back plate is something of a puzzle. At 1.2 mm thick it compares closely with the back plate of cat. no. 271 and would therefore appear not to have been thinned to remove a signature or number. It is possible that the present back plate is a replacement for a damaged original.
- Not on display
- Latest: 2 (2017)
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: CAI.0952 (Ilbert Collection)
Previous owner/ex-collection number: L9 (Ilbert Ledger)