George Graham Pocket Watch
Technical innovation in English watches remained arguably unchanged throughout most of the 18 century. One important innovation was George Graham’s improvement of Thomas Tompion’s cylinder escapement that he employed in his watches from about 1726 until he death in 1751. Graham’s watches are known for their high finish quality and this example retains its original solid gold cases.
George Graham was Thomas Tompion’s partner and successor, and this watch is listed in Thomas Tompion 300 Years, A Celebration of the Life and Work of Thomas Tompion, on page 626. It was acquired from Tom McIntyre, a longtime NAWCC member and volunteer who served in many leadership roles including on the Board of Directors.
Gilt-brass cylinder escapement and fusee movement signed Geo. Graham London with inward facing script, number 6410. Gilt-brass dust cover similarly signed. Pierced and foliate scrolled balance table with grotesque mask at the neck. Silver tompion regulator. Four square baluster pillars and decorative fusee stop-work foot. Enamel dial replaced, gold hands. Original 20-22K gold pair cases, both with makers’ mark “JW” with star above (John Ward), and London assay date mark for 1749. Cases have 7-knuckle hinges. 50 mm. Cheltenham watch paper.
Additional References and recommended reading:
Jeremy Evans, Jonathan Carter, Ben Wright, Thomas Tompion 300 Years, A Celebration of the Life and Work of Thomas Tompion, Water Lane Publishing, 2013
Brian Loomes, Clockmakers of Britain, 1286-1700, Mayfield Books, 2014
Philip Priestley, British Watchcase Gold & Silver Marks 1670 to 1970, National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors, 2018