A FINE AND HISTORIC GOLD PAIR CASED CENTRE SECONDS POCKET WATCH WITH CYLINDER ESCAPEMENT, USED TO LOG THE TIMINGS OF LORD HOWE'S ACTION AT THE BATTLE OF THE GLORIOUS FIRST OF JUNE, 1794
Brockbank, London, No.677, 1770's, with white enamel dial with Roman numerals, outer Arabic seconds markers, gold beetle and poker hands and centre seconds hand, signed and numbered gilt fusee movement with cylinder escapement, finely pierced, chased and engraved balance cock with large diamond endstone, gilt dust cover signed Brockbank, London, 1776, plain inner case with London marks for 1773, casemaker's initials 'TP', outer case with London marks for 1778, casemaker's initials 'IM', the reverse inscribed From Mrs Grote to Captain Thomas Herbert Lewin. This watch belonging to the late Thomas Lewin of The Hollies, Kent, kept time at the Naval action under LORD HOWE off the coast of Brittany, 1st June 1794 -- 52mm.
A note sold with this lot and dated 8th November 1870 reads as follows: This gold watch, by Brockbank, a celebrated mechanician of the 18th Century, is hereby presented to Captain Thomas Herbert Lewin, Bengal Staff Corps, by his aunt Mrs. Grote, as a family relic. It was worn by the late Thos. Lewin for half a century, and after his death, Mrs Grote became the posessor of the watch. In the naval action off the coast of Brittany, when a victory was achieved under the command of Lord Howe, on the 1st June 1794. This watch was employed to note the account of the fight, as it was going on, at regular rated intervals. These entries being known professionally as "minutes of the action". The first Lieut of the admiral's ship was Barnard Hale, to whom Lewin, his brother in law, had lent the watch, he having none of his own.