Sunday, 8 May 2016
The Yeomanry were a successor to the Militia of Napoleonic times and were exempt from overseas service, during the Boer War volunteers for service overseas were formed into companies named for their parent regiments in the newly formed Imperial Yeomanry. The 46th Company forming part of the 13th Battalion before transferring to the 12th in 1902.
"J.W. Benson "Field", "Ludgate" and "Bank of England" watches".
The half chronometer (that is, it is adjusted for temperature) pin set movement has an English lever escapement with a Breguet sprung, cut compensating balance and Geneva stop work to control mainspring pressure.
The oversized screw backed case is in Brass or an alloy of high brass content and is 2.3" / 5.8cm in diameter excluding the pendant etc.
Saturday, 7 May 2016
|A variant of the Benson "Field"|
watch with 19 jewels c 1900.
Only major changes will be highlighted here, more detailed analysis is probably going to follow for each of the three main types and for some spin off designed, some of very high quality.
Benson between the Wars.
|A Tavannes movement for Benson|
1940, branded the ""Greenwich" in
my catalogue from the late 30s.
Update Feb 2017: Two recent finds and subsequent analysis have enabled me to further tie down the relationship between Benson & Guye, explained in my post J.W. Benson and P & A Guye two London watchmakers, later effectively one?
Update October 2018: A very unusual Benson "keyless Ludgate"
The Evidence.A few years ago there was a flood of good English movements into the market caused I think by the then very high price of gold, I was frequently buying in job lots of 6 or 8 watches for not very much money and many were fully working, ripped out of their cases by dealers wanting a quick buck for the scrap gold but in doing so destroying a lot of high quality watches which, if the cases were in the correct number of pieces, were certainly worth more than the scrap value – although they would not have been telling those they were buying from that! This piece of research is largely based on these movements and a few more recently obtained at rather higher prices. This causes a bit of a problem as without a case it is difficult to date the movements.
|J.W. Benson "Ludgate" (left) and "Field" (right)|
1. To Victoria’s reign ending in 1901 when movements were engraved “By warrant to HM the Queen” or “By warrant to HM the Queen and HRH the Prince of Wales”, the later probably only from c 1898 to c 1900.
2. From the year of her death, 1901 to c 1905 when they were engraved “By warrant to the Late Queen”, or “By warrant to HM the Late Queen Victoria”
3. No Royal warrant from c 1905.
|The original key set "Ludgate"|
|Advert for "The Field" watch from a Benson Catalogue c 1935.|
Over the years the Field and then the Ludgate got smaller dust rings and some years after the key set Ludgate was dropped the “Keyless Ludgate” became the “Ludgate”.
|"Ludgate" watches with rocking bar setting (left) and|
later "Field" type setting.
|"Field" type setting, this type only|
allows winding clockwise with
no reverse "click" to allow "shuffle"
· Early models of the “Ludgate” were rocking bar, then they changed to the same system as the “Field”, then back to rocking bar.
· The “Field” initially had a unique system than moved to the early “Ludgate” type rocking bar, this was before the “Ludgate” had returned to this system.