With a gilt brass crank key.
Johannes Buz worked in Augsburg, the main centre for goldsmithing and watchmaking in Germany during the first half of the seventeenth century. Watches at this period were highly significant possessions which only the very rich could afford. In fact, watches were valued for their curiosity and beauty, more as a companion of the jewel rather than for their timekeeping abilities. The playwright Thomas Middleton describes the watch as “a jewel’s fellow, a good fair watch that hung about my neck” in his play A Mad World, My Masters, of 1608.
The present watch is characteristic of the period 1620 to 1630 with case set with rock crystal, dial with silver chapter ring on a gilt brass plate engraved with flowers on the outside and townscape within.
Three other signed examples of the work of Hans Buz of Augsburg are preserved in museums: a signet ring watch signed “Johan Buz A”, the Hapsburg Imperial collections in Vienna; a clockwatch movement signed “Hanns Buz”, British Museum, London, collection No. 1874,0718.24; a calendar and moon phase watch signed “Johannes Buz”, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, collection No. 3236-1856.