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    Sale 1348

    Important Pocket Watches and Wristwatches

    12 November 2007, Geneva

  • Lot 382

    Audemars Piguet/J.W. Benson. A fine 18K gold hunter case minute repeating perpetual calendar chronograph keyless lever pocket chronometer with phases of the moon

    SIGNED J.W. BENSON, 62 & 64 LUDGATE HILL, LONDON, NO. 2206, MOVEMENT MADE BY AUDEMARS PIGUET, STAMPED WITH LONDON DATE LETTER FOR 1868

    Price Realised  

    Audemars Piguet/J.W. Benson. A fine 18K gold hunter case minute repeating perpetual calendar chronograph keyless lever pocket chronometer with phases of the moon
    Signed J.W. Benson, 62 & 64 Ludgate Hill, London, No. 2206, movement made by Audemars Piguet, stamped with London date letter for 1868
    Audemars Piguet calibre three quarter plate gilt-finished fully jewelled lever movement, bimetallic compensation balance, blued steel helical balance spring, index regulator, diamond endstone, minute repeating on two polished steel hammers onto a gong, gold cuvette, the white enamel dial with Roman numerals, outer Arabic five minute divisions, blued steel spade hands, four subsidiary dials indicating month combined with leap year indicator, day, date and phases of the moon combined with lunar calendar and constant seconds, in heavy circular plain case, repeating slide and chronograph button in the band, case and cuvette stamped FT for Fred Thoms, dial signed, movement signed and numbered
    58 mm. diam.


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    According to the Archives of Audemars Piguet, the movement of the present watch was sold to J.W. Benson.

    According to their publicity, J.W. Benson was founded in 1749 and one of England's leading watchmakers located in London. James William Benson, who in 1865 described himself as Watchmaker to the Prince of Wales, made and retailed a wide range of models, which were mainly produced by specialist outworkers around the city and from abroad.

    The present watch is a wonderful example for such a watch, fitted with an Audemars Piguet ébauche and a massive case stamped FT for Fred Thoms and the off-white dial possibly made by Frederick Willis. Thoms and Willis are renowned for their high quality cases and dials which he supplied to the best English watchmakers for their most prestigious pieces.

    For a similar 18K gold hunter case grande and petite sonnerie, minute repeating, perpetual calendar chronograph watches made for J.W. Benson, London, movement no. 2622, see Audemars Piguet by Gisbert L. Brunner, Christian Pfeiffer-Belli, Martin K. Wehrli, 2nd edition, pp. 158 & 159. For a note on Audemars Piguet's English clients and a period advertisement for their "London Made and Best Swiss Watches" see op. cit., p. 51.