• IMPORTANT WATCHES Including A  auction at Christies

    Sale 1369

    IMPORTANT WATCHES Including A CONNOISSEUR'S VISION

    16 November 2009, Geneva

  • Lot 134

    Charles Frodsham. A very fine, rare and large silver openface keywound two-day pocket chronometer with power reserve

    SIGNED CHAS FRODSHAM, 84 STRAND, LONDON, NO. 07323, AD FMSZ, BY APPOINTMENT TO THE QUEEN, STAMPED WITH LONDON DATE LETTER FOR 1887

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    Charles Frodsham. A very fine, rare and large silver openface keywound two-day pocket chronometer with power reserve
    Signed Chas Frodsham, 84 Strand, London, No. 07323, AD Fmsz, By Appointment to the Queen, stamped with London date letter for 1887
    Gilt-finished half plate two-day movement, chain fusée, Earnshaw spring detent escapement, large bimetallic balance with cylindrical compensation weights, free sprung blued steel duo-in-uno helical hairspring, diamond endstone, jewelled to the third with screwed chatons, silver cuvette, silver dial, Roman numerals, power reserve, subsidiary seconds, large plain circular case, pink gold hinges to bezel and back, movement top plate and dial engraved with the Royal Warrant and the crest for the Medaille d'Honneur at the World Exhibition of 1851, case and cuvette stamped with casemaker's initials GJT for George James Thickbroom and numbered, dial and movement signed and numbered
    69 mm. diam.


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    The present watch is part of a very small series of similar 2-day pocket chronometers, including three double-signed Arnold Frodsham, all made between 1856 and 1894. It was entered in Frodsham's stock in 1891, manufacturing cost 24 Pounds, 4 Shillings and 9 Pence, the movement was supplied by Preston on 5 April 1886, the case by George James Thickbroom on 29 June 1887.

    Charles Frodsham (1810-1871) was a leading manufacturer of high-quality clocks, watches and chronometers and the last active member of a family that had played a prominent role in London clockmaking since the late 18th century. In 1840, he became a partner of John Roger Arnold who inherited his famous father's business.

    At the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London, Frodsham exhibited a three quarter plate calibre signed with the letters "AD. FMSZ", a cryptogram for the year 1850. The code is formed by the numerical sequence of the letters in "Frodsham," with a "Z" for zero. The firm subsequently used the code for its most important timepieces.