Sunday, 8 May 2016

J.W. Benson Campaign Watch, 19J, c 1900.

This is a rare watch for more than one reason. Firstly it was almost certainly used in the 2nd Boer War (Oct 1899 – May 1902) by an officer (or very well-to-do NCO or ranker) of the 1st Battalion of the 46th ([East?] Belfast) regiment of Yeomanry.

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.

Secondly it is a rare 19 jewel version of Benson’s 15J high grade “Field” watch and probably a predecessor to what became known as the “Travellers” watch. It is in an oversized case which necessitated an oversized dial which is probably why the dial has the Benson name transfer printed. For more information on the "Field" movements see my previous blog post "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.

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