The Boreal Arrow
Code BA10080214: Silver Pair Case Verge Fusee Alarm Pocket Watch by Simon Mair of Neuburg, c. 1705
Beautiful early balance spring English silver pair case alarm pocket watch dating to c. 1705. It has just been serviced by a master watchmaker. A special attention has been devoted to keep the watch in its original condition. Very often, watches of this era are altered or have parts replaced. On this one, all parts are original.
This watch can be found at the Antiquorum website: https://catalog.antiquorum.swiss/en/lots/lot-213-71?browse_all=1&page=1&q=simon+mair.
Pocket watches of this date are almost impossible to date from a hallmark as over 90% of cases were without hallmarks until about 1698. The terminology of early pair cases is different to later pair cases, the inner case was referred to as the ' box ' and the outer was referred to as the ' case '. The making of these two parts were often carried out by different artisans.
The outer-case is pierced and engraved with foliage intersected by four profile portrait busts, bezel decorated to match. It is Solid Silver and still in very good condition, with strong hinge with normal marks of use and normal wear that should be expected after more than 300 years. It measures 56 mm in diameter. The measurement from front to back including the glass crystal is 28 mm.
The solid silver box or inner case is in excellent condition for its age. No damage, only normal marks of use. The early type split bezel is in perfect condition with period high domed plain glass in very good order. It is finely pierced and chased with inhabited foliage, winding apertures for the going and alarm trains. Bezel closes as it should.
DIALThe solid silver two piece champleve dial is in excellent condition. It has Roman numerals, outer minute track and outermost large Arabic five-minute numerals. Outer gilt brass dial plate edge is engraved with stylized leaves. The blued steel beetle and poker hands are original and in excellent condition. The centre disc is a separate piece from the surrounding chapter rings and numerals. It is used to set the alarm function, which is very unusual on this watch. To set the alarm at five O'clock for example, the 5 mark on the alarm disc must be placed under the current position of the hour hand. In fact, the alarm disc rotates with the hour hand.
MOVEMENTThe movement is gilt brass full plate with divided Egyptian pillars with pierced scroll capitals with a fusee with chain, verge escapement and three-arm brass balance. It has a flat balance spring. It has a large ' D ' shaped balance cock popular between 1670-1720, as the years progressed the balance cock foot became smaller. One of the two winding square axes is protruding from the cock, which is very unusual. In fact, the balance is specially shaped to not interfere with it. It has a brass regulation disc, alarm train with engraved fixed brass barrel, sounding on a bell in the back of the case. It is signed "SIMON MAIR, NEÜBURG". It has no serial number, which means that it was probably made as a gift. Simon Mair is listed in Britten and Baillies. The mechanical and physical condition are excellent. The movement has been completely cleaned and serviced and is in excellent working condition and runs the full length of the chain. The alarm function is working perfectly and gives a clear and strong sound.
TIMEKEEPINGThe watch has been tested for timekeeping although it is not important for a watch of this age. At the vertical position it was 1 minute behind after 7 hours. It was 12 minutes behind after 24 hours. This is an excellent timekeeping for a watch of this era. If carried (random positions), it would probably give better results.
This is an extremely rare watch by a quality maker. I'm offering it at a price that will surely seem like a bargain a few years from now, since it will be very hard to find.