With Charles Frodsham & Co. Ltd. Certificate of Origin dated 1 September 2011 and colour copies of the Kew Register of Watches Received and Dispatched, and an Abstract of the Results, where the watch was tested twice between 17 May and 30 June 1902, gaining an "A" Certificate with 76.6 marks, and again between 16 September and 30 October 1902, gaining an "A" Certificate, especially good, with 80.3 marks.
As stated in The Frodshams by Vaudrey Mercer, p. 276, the present watch obtained a Kew Class A "especially good" rating with 80.3 points in October 1902. The movement was bought from Nicole Nielson on 13 May 1902 for £35 and was described as having "An improved karrusel revolving escapement".
This watch is amongst the earliest English flying tourbillons known to exist, made one year before Robert Benson North was granted Patent No. 6737 for such a type of bridgeless tourbillon. One can therefore assume that the tourbillon offered here for sale was a working prototype for this patent, previously unnoticed as English tourbillon and karrussel regulators were generally described as "revolving escapements" during the late 19th/early 20th centuries. Consequently, Robert Benson North's patent for "improvements to revolving escapements for watches and other portable timekeepers" also preceded by 23 years the patent granted to the celebrated Alfred Helwig, considered the inventor of the flying tourbillon.
Robert Benson North (c1867-1929)
During his technical training at the British Horological Institute, Robert Benson North was awarded numerous prizes for his theoretical and practical work. In March 1898, he was appointed Director and Manager of Nicole Nielsen and Co., Ltd., and Managing Director in June of 1900.
North's importance to the firm was not only financial as he took out an interesting Patent, No 6737 in 1903, for "Improvements in Revolving Escapements for Watches and other Portable Timekeepers". It was during this period that many of the firm's most expensive watches were made, as well as a range of fabulous silver carriage clocks with tourbillon lever escapements. In 1905 he established North & Sons, producers of "Watford Speedometers".
In October 1922 North was appointed Director and Chairman of Charles Frodsham & Co., Ltd. When Robert Benson North died in 1929, his son, also named Robert Benson North, replaced his father as Director and Chairman of the firm.