59
59
John Roger Arnold, London
A RARE GOLD OPEN-FACED RUBY CYLINDER WATCH WITH EARLY PREST PATENT KEYLESS WINDING 1819, NO. 3
Estimate
5,0008,000
JUMP TO LOT
59
John Roger Arnold, London
A RARE GOLD OPEN-FACED RUBY CYLINDER WATCH WITH EARLY PREST PATENT KEYLESS WINDING 1819, NO. 3
Estimate
5,0008,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Celebration of the English Watch Part IV, George Daniels 20th Century Innovator

|
London

John Roger Arnold, London
A RARE GOLD OPEN-FACED RUBY CYLINDER WATCH WITH EARLY PREST PATENT KEYLESS WINDING 1819, NO. 3
• Movement: gilded full plate, ruby cylinder escapement, broad flat steel three-arm balance, ruby endstone, large blued steel regulation arm indicating on broad semi-circular scale engraved on going barrel bridge, signed Jno. R Arnold, London, No. 3 and marked patent
Dial: gold, Roman numerals against a stippled ground, outer pearled minute ring, engine-turned centre, gold hands, spade hour, the minute hand with pin hole to aid time setting
Case: gold case, engine-turned back, milled band, case hallmarked London 1819 and with maker's mark TH in rectangular cameo for Thomas Hardy
diameter 42mm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Literature

Terence Camerer Cuss, The English Watch 1585-1970, 2009, p. 363, pl. 234

Catalogue Note

Thomas Prest was John Roger Arnold’s foreman. Prest was granted patent no. 4501 for his keyless winding system on 20th October, 1820. The present watch, numbered 3, has the London hallmark for 1819-1820 and may well be the earliest surviving watch with this keyless system.

For three similar watches by John Roger Arnold using Prest's keyless winding system, but all in silver cases, see:
Sotheby's London, 17th December 1987, lot 175: J.R. Arnold no. 20, hallmarked 1820
Sotheby's London, 26th February 1998, lot 35: J.R. Arnold, no. 30, circa 1820
Sotheby's London, 10th December 1981, lot 142: J.R. Arnold no. 91, hallmarked 1823 - now in the Patek Philippe Museum, [Inventory S-833] and published in Peter Friess, Patek Philippe Museum, The Emergence of the Portable Watch, Vol. IV, 2015, p. 611.

Thomas Prest's keyless system is discussed, together with an illustration of his patent drawings, in an article by Michael Gibbons for Antiquarian Horology: English Keyless Winding Watches [see op. cit. No. 4, Vol. 27, June 2003, p.424-426]. The patent only allowed for the winding of the watch and not the hand-setting – this watch is therefore fitted with an unusual minute hand that has a pin hole approximately 2/3 of the way down its length to aid adjustment with, presumably, a tool (quite possibly fitted to the top end of the original winding key) with short protruding pin to avoid the risk of scratching the dial’s surface. The development of keyless winding was one of the greatest advances in mechanical horology and Prest's system marked an important step in its evolution.

The Celebration of the English Watch Part IV, George Daniels 20th Century Innovator

|
London