Tho(mas) Tompion, London, Movement No. 4150, 53 mm, 132 g, circa 1708
A verge pocket watch from the most famous of all English clockmakers
Case: silver, tiered, polished, large lateral hinge. Dial: enamel, radial Roman hours, "Poker & Beetle" hands. Movm.: fine full plate movement, keywind, firegilt, applied florally engraved and pierced ornaments, signed, chain/fusee, Egyptian movement pillars, three-arm brass balance, very finely florally engraved and pierced balance cock with cherub face.
Thomas Tompion (1637-1713)
Without doubt Thomas Tompion must be considered the most famous of all English clockmakers; in the 18th century he alone was responsible for the rise to supremacy of English clockmaking. He became a brother of the Clockmakers' Company in 1671 and moved 1674 to a workshop in Water Lane, from where he conducted his business for the rest of his life. In the very same year Tompion met Robert Hooke, when Hooke sought his help in proving that his invention of the balance spring was prior to that of Huygens'. This brought Tompion to the notice of King Charles II and his status was rapidly elevated. Tompion created the first clock for the Greenwich Observatory in 1676 and collaborated with Booth and Houghton in 1695 in patenting an escapement with a horizontal escape wheel, which was considered to be a forerunner of the cylinder. Buckingham Palace today holds two equation clocks which were probably supplied to William III in the 1690's. Some time between 1680 and 1685, Tompion started to number his production, apparently being the first maker to do this. He was elected Master of the Clockmakers' Company in 1703 and took George Graham into partnership around 1711; this partnership was to last until the end of Tompion's life.
Dial: very good, small restaurations, later custom made
Movm.: very good, capable of running