Lot 9
  • 9

William Bertram, London

4,000 - 6,000 GBP
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  • diameter of inner case 51 mm, outer case 59 mm
Movement: gilded full plate, verge escapement, decoratively pierced and engraved masked balance cock decorated with a bird, foliage and a basket of fruit, silver regulator plate with blued steel centre and decorative gilded pointer in the form of a hand, fusee and chain, tulip pillars, signed Will Bertram, London
Dial: silver champlevé, Roman numerals, fleur-de-lys half hour divisions, outer Arabic minute ring, gilded outer border, blued steel tulip and poker hands, elaborate central cartouches, signed Bertram, London  
Cases: plain inner case, the back with winding aperture, split bezel for glass retention, plain outer case, both cases with maker's mark WB incuse, probably for William Bertram, inner case numbered 555


Terence Camerer Cuss, The English Watch 1585-1970, 2009, p. 127, pl. 62


Movement running at time of cataloguing and appears to be in good clean condition. Dial with light scuffs, some additions to the black wax infill. Inner case with some denting and repairs around the pendant visible to the inside, slight depression to the case band, outer case retains good definition with a few minor indentations.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping."

Catalogue Note

This unusually large watch has an especially interesting movement. Whilst the escape wheel has a normal six-leaf pinion, the train has one more wheel than usual. The train’s wheels have a high tooth count and the pinions have twelve leaves. Rather than increasing the running time of the piece, this arrangement should result in a better transmission of power, thereby creating a more reliable watch.


William Bertram (also Bartram) was born c. 1663. Initially apprenticed to Samuel Horne, he transferred to the case maker Samuel Bowtell (see lot 6 in this sale) after June 1681, and was freed in 1684. Interestingly, a Clockmakers’ Company minute of 1708 records that Bertram was excused stewardship of the Clockmakers’ Company on account of being “at present busy on the Queen’s business”.