A mint and substantial solid 18k gold early English keyless pocket watch made by the famous Royal Maker, Edward Dent of London and made in the 19th century. The watch incorporating Nicole's keyless work and othe watch of typical slim form, since Dent has removed the troublesome fusee and replaced it with a going-barrel. The watch with very rare and early keyless work by Adolph Nicole, who took out a patent number, 10,348, in October 1844. An excellent site devoted to this fabulous company and their products is: http://www.nicolenielsenandco.com/. See also further information at the second site: http://www.antiquewatchstore.co.uk/acatalog/DP_a1p1.htm. The watch is ticking away strongly and keeping good time, recently cleaned and overhauled by my watch-maker. The watch in a very high quality fully engraved solid 18k gold case, so clearly made for someone with a deep pocket when new, 150 years ago. This is a beautifully made English keyless-wound man's pocket watch, dating from ca. 1871, from the Victorian period.
THE DIAL: 100% mint, the off-white enamel dial with raised fine black Roman numerals in bright condition with an inset subsidary seconds dial. Dial with original and fine quality blue steel spade hands. The dial signe dby the famous maker, "Willis" to the reverse, the best of the London dial makers of the 19th century. Diameter is 46 mm. The open face crystal (glass) is also in excellent condition.
THE MOVEMENT: 100% mint, with with finely mercurial gilded, typical Nicole Nielsen three-quarter plate and finely engraved balance cock. A shiny blued steel Bosely regulator, and a substantial ruby endstone setting, fine blued steel screws. A large bimetallic balance, with flat hairspring and jewelled to the balance staff and through much of the train. An English resilent lever escapement, with thin rat-tail end. The movement with lots of nice features such as Nicole Nielsen Patent keyless-work and stamped "Patent" to plate. The winding is of the improved type with the intermediate wheel permanently attached to the winding wheel. On the movement top plate it is numbered, 16316 and made by Edward J. Dent, Watch-Makers to the Queen, London. The watch is keyless-wound, with winding through the small and original gold crown and via the transitional push-piece at 11.00, for hands-set.
THE CASE: 100% mint, the the solid 18K gold case measures an impressive 48 mm outside diameter and the complete watch weighs a substantial 60 grams. The covers all excellent both snapping onto the case band tightly, and the bow is original and tight to the case. The watch with London hall marks and 18K stamps. The top pendant and bow also in stunning condition. The case band with a raised finely ribbed profile. The rear cover with orb and cross motif, possibly made for a Bishop or similar member of the clergy. The case, hallmarked 1871-2, casemaker AN (Adolph Nicole). Not covered in the original 1844 patent, but as unusual as the keyless work in English watches, is the gold case for the movement. These were made in house and were designed to be as fashionably slim as possible and this was achieved by doing away with the inner of two back covers, ‘dome’ being the correct English term. A single back cover was made to push ‘snap’ onto the band, as was the front bezel. In this repect they copying the top Swiss makers, who made super-slim and highly desirable watches in this period which competed strongly against the best of the English trade. Competition was clearly very intense and Nicole Nielsen kept a strong presence in the market until the end of the 19th century. This is a high quality watch, with deep and rich engraving to the case back and all over the case band, a work of art in its own right in crisp condition and of jewel like quality.