Dent. A large and very rare 18K gold openface keyless and keywound lever split seconds chronograph watch with chain fusée, 60 minutes register, 52 1/2 minute karrusel and Class A Kew Certificate
Signed Dent, No. 57114, Watchmaker to the King, 61, Strand & 4, Royal Exchange, London, stamped with London date letter for 1900
Gilt-finished half-plate jewelled keyless and keywound lever movement, chain fusée, gilt Bonniksen-type carousel carriage, bimetallic compensation balance, gold cuvette, off-white Willis enamel dial, Roman numerals, two subsidiary dials for 60 minutes register and constant seconds, plain circular case, hinged back with engraved coat-of-arms and inscription, split seconds chronograph functions operated through the crown and through a button in the band, the button in the crown locked by a hinged lever in the pendant,
case, dial and movement signed and numbered, cuvette numbered, case, cuvette and pendant also stamped FT for Fred Thoms, dial signed Willis underneath
With Dent ebony presentation box and photocopies of the abstracts of results from the Kew Observatory confirming that the present watch was rested between 17 March and 30 April 1911. It passed the tests and was awarded a certificate with mention „Especially Good“.
The present watch is one of the exceedingly rare karrusel watches made by the renowned manufacturer Dent and is amongst the highest quality English karrusel watches known to date. Together with a complication, there were just a handful of watches made. It was submitted for trial to the Kew Royal Observatory and was awarded a Class A Kew Certificate with 82.8 marks in June 1911.
The carousel escapement was patented by the Danish watchmaker Bahne Bonniksen (1859-1935) in 1882. These highly precise movements were often awarded „Kew Class A“ rating certificates and in general supplied to the most renowned watchmakers of the time.
The watch is furthermore fitted with the typical off-white Willis dial and Thoms case. Frederick Willis was renowned for his high quality dials and Fred Thoms for his exceptional cases, both supplied to the best English watchmakers for their most prestigious timepieces.
The firm E. Dent & Co. was originally founded by the English watchmaker Edward John Dent (1790 – 1853), renowned for his high quality pocket and marine chronometers, regulators as well as large clocks he made for the Royal Exchange and Westminster (Big Ben). He worked in the workshops of Vulliamy and Paul Philippe Barraud and went into partnership with the famous John Roger Arnold 1830. When the partnership of „Arnold & Dent“ expired in 1840, he established himself at 82 Strand (later moving to 61) and also took workshops at 34 Cockspur Street and inside the Royal Exchange.
After Edward John’s death, the businesses were taken over by his stepsons Frederick and Richard, followed by their successors. The company’s name was consequently changed to E. Dent & Co.