Bagnall was one of the first clock and watchmaking families in America. Benjamin Bagnall, a Quaker, was born in England in 1689 and immigrated to Boston by 1712. He had two sons, Benjamin Jr. and Samuel that also worked in the trade. Tall clocks from all three are known; however, this is apparently their only surviving watch. The Samuel Bagnall watch is one of the few true colonial-era watches known to exist. Only two are known from the first half of the 18th century, this watch and the John Wright example that is also on this website. The Bagnall watch also contains Samuel Bagnall's watch paper, which may be the earliest surviving watch paper in the world (see below). This watch was the subject of extensive research by the late Ted Crom that was published in 1996. Benjamin Sr. was trained in English methods and used English tools and supplies. He, in turn, trained his sons, therefore impossible to know whether any work on this watch was performed in Boston, but it is assumed that it was imported complete to Bagnall's specification and desired quality finish. 

Samuel's working dates are 1740-1760 (Palmer, p. 141).

This is the second earliest American watch known to exist, with watch papers dating back to the 1740's.

This watch was on exhibit at the American Clock and Watch Museum in Bristol, Connecticut, 2014.
Bagnall Watch
Bagnall Watch

Samuel Bagnall
(no number)
Description: Fusee movement with a verge escapement, early form of square baluster pillars and fully pierced and broad symmetrical table and foot. The movement is engraved "S. Bagnall Boston" and has no number. Silver champleve dial signed "Bagnall Boston." Unmarked silver outer case. Inner silver pair case with illegible maker’s mark and date mark “f” for 1741-42. This is a small watch measuring 49mm across the outer case.

The watch contains three watch papers; two are Samuel Bagnall’s own that are perhaps the earliest surviving examples of an American watch paper known to exist. They were put into the watch case when it was originally sold or subsequently brought back to Bagnall for cleaning or repairs. The third watch paper is from John Wait of London, possibly the supplier & exporter of the watch although differing opinions exist on this point. Another possibility based upon the style of the paper is that the John Wait paper dates closer to 1760 and would therefore infer that the watch was serviced in London after a transatlantic voyage.

The Bagnall paper features a dog, laborer pulling a sled perhaps of hides, two colonists, sundials and tall case clock.  The numbers around the circumference is an equitation of time table that is sometimes seen on early papers and is used to compare (or set) the time showing on a watch to a sundial. The paper says  Sold by Samuel Bagnall, Watchmaker in Cornhill Boston New England. The instructions to set the watch faster or slower are printed on the inner-most ring and references the calendar and number of minutes on the outer. It reads: 
Set W ☼  Slower then y Sun
Set Wat ☼ Fafter y (n over y) y (e over  y) Sun
Set Watch ☼ Slo (r above o) y (n over y) Sun
Set W ☼ Fafter y Sun

Watch Papers in the Samuel Bagnall watch 
Date mark, sterling lion passant and unidentified
 maker's mark from the inner case