It is unusual to find an early watch in fine cosmetic condition but this is one of those examples. It shows little wear and hardly a scratch on the movement. The leather-on-silver outer case with pique work also appears to be original, as is its early enamel dial. Joseph Antram apprenticed to Charles Gretton and became Watchmaker to King George I in 1715 following Daniel Quare.
Circa 1715, gilt-brass verge and fusee movement signed Jos. Antram Watchmaker to his Majesty GR with inward facing script, and LONDON 661 underneath in block letters. Silver folate balance table that is pierced and engraved with a mask at the neck. Notice the letters “GR” for King George is incorporated into the (silver) balance foot. Three arm brass balance. Egyptian pillars, decorative fusee stop-work foot, and rounded caps on the dial feet.
Very early and original enamel dial with Roman hours and Arabic 5-minute index, with aperture at the bottom for the case latch, that was fired on a gold, not copper, substrate. Beetle and poker hands.
Silver inner case (box) with makers’ mark “IW” (John Willoughby or John Wightman) and number 641. Inner case has a 7-knuckle hinge, outer a 5-knuckle hinge. Leather outer case is on silver (not brass) with silver pique pins on the case circumference and bezel, 51mm.
Silver Balance Cock
Additional References and recommended reading:
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
Dennis Radage, Warner Meinen, Laila Radage, Charles Gretton, Clock and Watchmaking: Through the Golden Age, Three O’clock Publishing, 2016