Exclusive Timepieces

Sat 7 December 2019 ‒ 3:00 pm | Monaco

80

Chas Frodsham Very Catching and Unusual Round Shaped Wristwatch in Yellow Gold, With Subsidiary Seconds, Two-Tone Guilloche Dial and Roman Numbers

Estimation € 15,000 – 30,000

Material: Yellow Gold
Year: 1950s
Case N°: 12969
Movement type: Manual
Movement N°: 10351
Bracelet: Yellow Gold
Dimensions: 35 mm
Signed: Dial, case and movement

Perhaps the name Charles Frodsham might not be included in the list of the 3 most renowned watch brands nowadays, but from a collecting point of view, face a wristwatch produced by Frodsham is certainly a very rare event. Charles Frodsham was a distinguished English horologist, educated at the Bluecoat School, Newgate, London. He showed early promise with two pocket chronometers submitted to the 1830 Premium Trials at Greenwich, one of which was awarded 2nd prize. Charles started his own business in 1834 specializing in pocket watches and today is the oldest “continuously trading firm of chronometer manufacturers in the world”, with its store still located London. This historically important brand is often associated to the American banker J. Piermont Morgan who was one of the firms best costumer gifting pocket watches to his partners. In the latter half of the 20th century Frodsham evolved into a mantel and carriage clock specialist with several various members of the British Royal family owning its clocks. The production of wristwatches was not in the ideas of the English brand and was limited to a handful of prototypes made in the 1940s intended to compete for a British military tender. It has to be considered that Frodsham has launched its first commercially available wristwatch only in 2018, after sixteen years in development and is the first watch to use the George Daniels double-impulse escapement. This means that finding a Frodsham wristwatch is a total rarity. The lot here offered is one of the few wristwatches produced by the firm and its configuration makes it totally groundbreaking. The case has been fully realized in yellow gold such as the large bracelet and both are preserved in very nice conditions. It come no surprises that the main field of Frodsham was pocket watches since the case back (engraved) opens in the same way, with the cuvette hinged on one side. The dial is totally unconventional, rotated 45 degrees with the 12 o’clock positioned exactly at the height of the winding crown. The outer ring is smooth with painted roman numerals while the inner disc is decorated with guillochè engravings. Totally exceptional and well preserved, this watch is a solid, high quality timepiece, vaguely reminiscent of British colonial era engineering.

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