Prince of Wales & Emperor

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Running slow, May 29, 2007.

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  1. Running slow

    Running slow Registered User

    Feb 1, 2007
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    Could I get some comments on this watch I am about to purchase.

    It has inscribed on dust cover
    JW Benson
    To HRH The Prince of Wales
    & HM The
    Emperor of Russia
    58860 Ludgate Hill
    London.
    I have gathered this information only

    Nicholas II, Russian Czar
    Born: 6 May 1868
    Birthplace: Tsarskoye Selo (now Pushkin), Russia
    Died: 16 July 1918 (execution)
    Best Known As: The last emperor of Russia
    Nikolai Aleksandrovich succeeded his father as Czar of Russia in 1894. As Czar he directed the construction of the Trans-Siberian railroad, and joined the Allies in World War I. Years of popular discontent with his domestic and foreign policies led to the Russian Revolution, and Nicholas II abdicated on March 15, 1917. He and his entire family were executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918, the last of the royal Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov line.

    For decades it was thought that Nicholas' daughter Anastasia had escaped execution; now there's little doubt that she did not.

    H.R.H.The Prince of Wales K.G. (Edward Albert Christian born June 23rd 1895).



    77.jpg


    78.jpg


    79.jpg

    Emperor of Russia

    80.jpg https://mb.nawcc.org/

    Prince of Wales

    81.jpg







     
  2. mch

    mch Registered User

    Jun 18, 2005
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    I believe that the statement on the inner case is claiming that J. W. Benson has supplied watches to the PoW and the Czar. Similar to some English watchmakers using the statement "makers to the Queen" or "makers to the Admirality".

    It would be rash to assume any direct connection between this watch and those personalities.

    The watch is certainly handsome. Any shots of the movement? Lack of a seconds bit suggest a lower grade movement.

    Mike
     
  3. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    Sep 3, 2000
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    If I were a betting man I would bet that this is a Swiss bar movement and that if it had anything to do with Benson, Benson may have retailed it only.

    Cannot wait to see the movement..

    Jeff

    And it really has little to do with the Emporor. All of these companies supplied this royalty or that royalty and then bragged about it on the cuvettes of their watches.

    Jeff
     
  4. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Jan 8, 2006
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    Actually, "Pushkin" was the Communist name for "Tsarkoye Selo." It now is again called as "Tsarkoye Selo" except to Communist recidivists. I was there last week (see picture below). It is an amazing place, but I can't help you with the watch.
     

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  5. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
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    Oops. It really was nice, but I only meant to attach one photo.
     
  6. RON in PA

    RON in PA Registered User
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    May 18, 2005
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    Jeff you beat me to it. I have a Swiss bar movement watch that looks exactly like this one as far as the dust cover is concerned minus the references to the royals.

    Running Slow: be very cautious about this watch if the seller is try to represent it as something rare and valuable.
     
  7. ged

    ged Registered User

    Apr 3, 2002
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    Hello All, I have a 3 train Chain Fusee Bracket Clock with J.W. Benson on face. But it is in Fact Made in Germany. It has Presentation Plate on it inscribed and dated May 1900. I could post pictures if anyone is interested. I doubt Bensons made much at all, More retail Jewellers I think. Regards, Ged.
     
  8. Jerry Matthews

    Jerry Matthews Registered User

    Sep 20, 2005
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    James William Benson set up in business in London around 1840. He was a watchmaker of some repute and with very good connections---he held royal warrants to supply watches to Queen Victoria, the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII, not to be confused with Edward VIII the one in the photo above, who abdicated in 1938), the Czar of Russia, the King of Siam and the King of Denmark. So in that sense, what is inscribed on the inner cover of this watch is legitimate.

    Sometime in the latter part of the 19th century Benson moved his business to a factory on Ludgate Hill, the London street leading up to St Paul's Cathedral. The address was 58 & 60, not 58860 as quoted above. By this stage he was more of a finisher than a maker. The premises were bombed by German zepplins in 1915, and afterwards Benson continued only as an importer and retail jeweller. A lot of watches with the Benson name on them were sold right up through the 1960s, but all were imported mainly from Switzerland. I am sure the watch photographed above is of Swiss manufacture.

    Neither the case nor the dial look English to me. Are there any English hallmarks on the inside of the rear cover?

    It is a very handsome watch, but clearly there are no person links between it and royalty.
     
  9. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I have heard that several other makers would take a few watches to annual public audiences with Royalty an flash watches at them and then write To the Queen or to whom they flashed their item.

    Presentation watches are always inscribed by the presented and if not top movements always very good ones and usually have at least a crest engraved on their cases. They are never presented by more than one person or Royal family. If presented by more than one person it is by an organization.
     
  10. Jerry Matthews

    Jerry Matthews Registered User

    Sep 20, 2005
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    Well, no, Dr Jon, I don't think so. I believe anyone who "flashed their item" at Queen Victoria would have been shown to the door, if not to the Tower!:eek:

    The Royal Household did---and still does to a lesser extent than before---issue Royal Warrants to various business as a means of promoting commerce. It was therefore quite in order for those businesses to advertise themselves as "By Royal Appointment to.............". You can often see such signs on the premises of shops, factories and other businesses today.

    Jerry
     
  11. Jerry Matthews

    Jerry Matthews Registered User

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  12. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    It is my understanding that the language of the Royal Warrant that appears on a watch or other item is "By appointment to her majesty the Queen." The shorthand "To the Queen" has no particular meaning and does not imply a Royal Warrant.

    If a craftsman arranged to have an item presented to the Queen, they could claim in truth that it had been presented to the Queen.
     
  13. Jerry Matthews

    Jerry Matthews Registered User

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    Be that as it may, J W Benson did hold royal warrants as described above, and the inscription on the photograph above was not unwarranted (in the literal sense of the word).

     
  14. Running slow

    Running slow Registered User

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  15. RON in PA

    RON in PA Registered User
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    Re: Prince of Wales & Emperor Movement

    Swiss and it appears to be of low quality based on the lack of jewels.
     
  16. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Jerry,

    In reading your reference it says that only one craftsman in any given trade could be issued a Royal Warrant by a given Royal. Are you saying that Benson was the Royal Warrant holder for watchmaking for Queen Victoria? I can think of many names I would consider more credible.
     
  17. Jerry Matthews

    Jerry Matthews Registered User

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    Tom, you are correct, only one per trade or industry now, and only from the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and (until her death in 2002) the Queen Mother. As I said somewhere above, the issue of Royal Warrants is much more limited today than it was in Victoria's time. Victoria issued over 2000 during her reign, and also members of her very large family issued warrants to all kinds of tradesmen.

    Jerry
     

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