57
57
Charles Frodsham, London
AN EXCEPTIONAL AND VERY FINE LARGE YELLOW GOLD OPEN-FACED MINUTE REPEATING SPLIT-SECONDS KEYLESS CHRONOGRAPH WATCH WITH ONE MINUTE TOURBILLON AND 60 MINUTE REGISTER PRESENTED TO WILLIAM GOULD HARDING BY JOHN PIERPONT MORGAN IN ORIGINAL PRESENTATION BOX  NO 08920 AD FMSZ, 1902
Estimate
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 296,750 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
57
Charles Frodsham, London
AN EXCEPTIONAL AND VERY FINE LARGE YELLOW GOLD OPEN-FACED MINUTE REPEATING SPLIT-SECONDS KEYLESS CHRONOGRAPH WATCH WITH ONE MINUTE TOURBILLON AND 60 MINUTE REGISTER PRESENTED TO WILLIAM GOULD HARDING BY JOHN PIERPONT MORGAN IN ORIGINAL PRESENTATION BOX  NO 08920 AD FMSZ, 1902
Estimate
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 296,750 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Celebration of the English Watch, Part III, The Genius of Thomas Tompion

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London

Charles Frodsham, London
AN EXCEPTIONAL AND VERY FINE LARGE YELLOW GOLD OPEN-FACED MINUTE REPEATING SPLIT-SECONDS KEYLESS CHRONOGRAPH WATCH WITH ONE MINUTE TOURBILLON AND 60 MINUTE REGISTER PRESENTED TO WILLIAM GOULD HARDING BY JOHN PIERPONT MORGAN IN ORIGINAL PRESENTATION BOX  NO 08920 AD FMSZ, 1902
Movment: first quality gilt three-quarter plate with double roller ratchet-tooth lever escapement and free sprung regulation, Guillaume balance with spiral blued steel balance spring and overcoil, the tourbillon with Nicole Nielsen Type 2 three-arm polished steel tourbillon carriage, the back plate further mounted with polished steel chronograph work, repeating on two polished steel gongs, signed and numbered By Appointment to the King AD Fmsz, No. 08920, Chas Frodsham, 115 New Bond Strt, Late of 84 Strand, London
Dial: T. J. Willis type ‘Venetian’ enamel dial, Roman numerals, outer ring calibrated for minutes and chronograph fifths, subsidiary dials for constant seconds and 60-minute register
Case: large best quality gold case with polished finish, split pusher to the band above 11 o’clock, recessed repeating slide, gold hand-set button with gold olivette, s-knuckle joint and turning pendant, gold dome engraved W.G.H. from J.P.M. 1903, case hallmarked London 1902 and with maker’s mark HMF for Harrison Mill Frodsham

With original presentation case.


diameter 63 mm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Prominent English Collector

Literature

Terence Camerer Cuss, The English Watch 1585-1970, plate 281
Vaudrey Mercer, The Frodshams – The story of a family of chronometer makers, AHS, 1981, p. 216

Catalogue Note

Amongst a number of eminent worldwide Charles Frodsham clients, perhaps the most famous, was the Morgan family of New York. Frodshams was the Morgan’s preferred choice for quality timepieces. The association began when Junius Morgan became a business partner in the English branch of the banking house, George Peabody & Co., in 1854. The purchase and maintenance of fine clocks and watches for the Morgan family was continued by John Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) who in 1883 presented a complicated watch to his personal valet George William on the occasion of his marriage. This watch was the forerunner to the most celebrated, and well known, of the Frodsham watches ordered by the Morgans, a series of state-of-the-art open face Tourbillons with minute repeating, split second chronograph, minute register and constant seconds.

To date, some 25 (made between 1897 and 1931) of these watches are known, either as extant or from archive records. They were, at the time of manufacture, one of the most complicated and expensive English production watches available, retailing at £200 to £300.

The 'Morgan caliper' watches were presentation pieces given by J.P. and J.P. Jnr. to close friends and/or new partners of the firm of JP Morgan, thus starting the long tradition of Frodsham presentation watches, perpetuated to this day. All are engraved with presentation inscriptions (the recipients and JPM initials with the year of presentation), and many still retain their original red leather Frodsham boxes, similarly inscribed.

Of the known pieces just 10 have appeared in public auction:

08616, The Esmond Bradley Collection, Sotheby’s New York, 22nd Oct 2002, lot 25

08867, Antiquorum Hong Kong, 29th May 1989, lot 342

08920, The present watch

08921, Ineichen Zurcich, 3rd Mar 1981, lot 44

09636, Christies New York, 25th Oct 1994, lot 362

09682, Sotheby’s New York, 10th Dec 2013, lot 68

09777, Christies New York, 18th April 1984, lot 192

09849, Christies New York, 28th Oct 1991, lot 360

09857, Sotheby’s New York, 27th Oct 1997, lot 350

010303, Christies New York, 26th Jun 1996, lot 140

The other known extant pieces are either in private collections, or remain the property of family descendants of the original owners.

We are grateful to Charles Frodsham & Co, London, for their kind assistance in compiling this lot.

Celebration of the English Watch, Part III, The Genius of Thomas Tompion

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London