Gowland Brothers, 5 Leadenhall Street, London, No. 819, ca. 1890.
Free sprung high-grade Conventry manufactured movement finished in London.
No. 819, ca. 1890.
Gowland Brothers, watchmakers working out of 5 Leadenhall Street, London. Stemming from a long family line of distinguished watchmakers from Sunderland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne), the firm of ‘Gowland Brothers’ was a successor to the watchmaking establishment created by their father Thomas Gowland and watchmaker mother Ann Gowland.
Thomas was an important clock, chronometer and watchmaker with associations to George Muston and Robert Pennington, two preeminent clock and chronometer makers of the early 19th century. At certain times finishing and signing movements with with his more renown brother, James Gowland, clock and chronometer maker and working out of 52 London Wall, these the brothers took out a patent for a special escapement in 1837. A description of James Gowland from 1953 describes his work in the following manner: “Patent No 7456 in 1837 for a ‘certain improvement in the mechanism of timekeepers’. It was a device for communicating motion to a balance through the balance spring. He exhibited a tourbillon remontoir chronometer incorporating this and also a model of the escapement at the Great Exhibition of 1851. He also exhibited an improved free pendulum regulator; skeleton clock with improved compensation pendulum; models of Earnshaw's escapement; an electric clock; an improved anemometer; and various specimens of watches.”
The Gowland Brothers firm was probably operated in its early years by Thomas Stafford Gowland Jr (b. 1835), watchmaker and jeweler who would later become a prominent photographer, and James Gowland (b. 1845) named after his prominent uncle. The firm probably being run into the late 19th century by James and other brothers. Surrounded by the excellent watchmaking tradition of the Gowland family, the idiosyncrasies of the present watch signal it was most probably finished by the Gowlands in their store on 5 Leadenhall Street, London.
Movement: Free sprung undulating 1/2 plate hand gilded and hand-engraved open-faced Lépine movement. Thin curving fourth wheel bridge mirroring the similar escapement bridge. The balance bridge arc, facing the two other bridges further adding towards fluidness of the movement’s design. Deep blue screw throughout. Those mounted on the main-plate and wheel train plates consistently punch-marked to designate their precise location on the movement. This latter aspect shows each screw was finished for its particular location. On the 1/2 plate the third wheel given a jeweled chaton (currently missing) held by two screws. The center wheel pinion finished in a semi-circle. Visible on the 1/2 plate is the square mainspring arbor set in safety barrel stop works, this enclosed by a large brass bushing fastened by thee blued screws. Gowland Brothers name and address adorning the perimeter with London and the serial number reserved for the movement center.
Balance bridge: Traditionally un-adored balance bridge surmounted by a faceted diamond end-stone set in a blued steel chaton. Fastened by two mirror polished bombé screws. Hairspring stud in splinter style, holding the Breguet over-coil hairspring.
Escapement: Free sprung escapement. Traditional English right-angle lever escapement. Single flat-roller impulse jewel. Polished and thin steel club escape lever. Bi-metallic compensation balance wheel with sharp-figured terminal steel ends. Solid gold escape wheel. Double caped jeweling on escape lever and wheel.
Keyless winding: Traditional Coventry styled top mounted rack lever. This latter with the characteristic pointed ends for the winding and setting gears, and rounded end for the setting pin. Noteworthy is the pointed arc created on the rocking arbor, which is normal round, and the sharp finishing of the inner portion of the time-setting arm. These latter facets working well with the overall angularity of the dial plate. Very large winding ratchet of equal size to mainspring ratchet. The mainspring winding gear fastened by a technique made popular by Victor Kullberg’s design reserved for keyless reverse fusée pocket chronometers - the screw fixed mainspring ratchet wheel typical of the German and Danish watchmaking traditions. The large 1/3 wheel train plate angled towards the center with pointed ends lending the entire dial plate a very dynamic composition.
Train: Solid brass gilded train with thick hand finished steel pinions. Solid gold escape wheel. Jeweled to the third wheel.
Jewels: 19 Jewels – balance work (5), escape lever (4), escape wheel (4), fourth wheel (2), third wheel (2).
Coggiola Watch Roma Wristwatch Case, Buckle & Restoration Work:
Bespoke case. Inspired by vintage Grand Seiko case design.
Hand manufactured case and parts in Rome, Italy:
Case: Two-piece solid brass case. Domed front and flat back mineral glass. Crown, stem, case crown sleeve, time setting pusher.
Dial: Open work, with milled minute indexes, subsidiary seconds dial.
Hands: Polished steel hour and minute hands, with double lobed minute hand. Seconds hand with flame blued elements.
Buckle: Three part solid brass buckle.
Diameter, without crown: 44mm.
Lug to lug: 54mm.
Height, including crystal: ca. 13mm.
Strap: 26mm width. Length: Normal. Visconti Milano, Italy. Hand-made leather strap made in Milan.
Restoration Work: This movement was missing the fourth wheel jewel which was replaced. The balance staff, and end jewel were replaced, and adjusted. Mainspring ratchet wheel cap holding screw created as original was non functional. Hairspring stud retaining screw created as original was also non-functional. Full cleaning and new timing.