The English Watch 1585-1970 by Terence Camerer Cuss
A fascinating and wide ranging book that studies the history, development and innovation of the English watch from its beginnings at the end of 16th century through to the work of George Daniels during the latter part of the 20th century. Once the envy of the world, the English watch dominated the field of horology and played a major part – as an aid to precision navigation – in Britain’s dominance as a Seafaring nation in the 18th and 19th centuries. Camerer Cuss divides the book into Periods of production and in each section looks at the developments, styles, design and decoration of cases, dials and movements. In looking at the mechanisms of each period, the book also examines the timekeeping expectations of watches from each period.
A large part of the watches illustrated in this book were offered at Sotheby’s series of sales “Celebration of the English Watch” which were held from 15th December 2015 until 6th July 2017 for which total sales reached in excess of £7.5 million. As a consultant to Sotheby’s watch department, Alex Barter of Black Bough was heavily involved in the four sales; researching, writing and working on the catalogue layouts; this book, “The English Watch,” was his bible throughout.
The watches included in the book are some of the most significant ever made and include pieces by the most important watchmakers working in England, including Gylis Van Gheelle, David Ramsay, Edward East, Thomas Tompion, George Graham, Daniel Quare, John Arnold, Thomas Earnshaw, George Margetts, Justin Vulliamy, Josiah Emery, Charles Frodsham, Victor Kullberg, George Daniels.
Such is the range and diversity of pieces included in the book, it is nigh on impossible to summarise but highlights include: a watch by Gylis Van Gheelle of 1589; David Ramsay’s watch with Portrait of King James I from circa 1618 (sold at Sotheby’s for £989,000); watches by Thomas Mudge including one of the first applications of the lever escapement and possibly the first perpetual calendar watch; several watches by John Arnold and Thomas Earnshaw; George Daniels’ twin barrel one minute tourbillon made for Edward Hornby in 1970 (sold at Sotheby’s for £464,750).
About the author:
Terence Camerer Cuss is the 6th generation of Camerer Cuss & Co., a firm that has specialised in the sale of watches and clocks since its founding in London in 1788. He has been a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers since 1969. Terence has written numerous articles on the subject of Horology, was a co-author of The Camerer Cuss Book of Watches (1976), wrote The Sandberg Watch Collection, published in 1988 and, in 2009, the present book – The English Watch 1585-1970.
Hardback with dust jacket
504 pages, 830 colour illustrations
First Published 2008
252 x 310 x 40mm