As we know all too well, watch history is not always set in stone. New discoveries are made all the time, though perhaps with a bit less frequency today than we have seen in years past. Nevertheless, there’s always something new to learn about these mechanical wonders.
Such was the case for Rebecca Struthers, who recently completed her PhD focused on a very peculiar watch that she encountered while cataloging for Fellows & Sons, a UK-based auction house. The watch in question first began appearing in the mid-18th century in England, and it was unlike any other timepiece produced at the time. Ms. Struthers explains:
“I came across one [watch] made in around 1760 that, despite being signed as London-made, looked completely unlike the London watches I was familiar with. When I looked up the name of the maker “John Wilter,” the reference book simply listed him as “perhaps a fictitious name.” I did a bit more research and it soon transpired that this was pretty much all we knew about the most prolific type of watch forgery in the eighteenth-century.”
This set Ms. Struthers on a journey to learn where and how these watches were being manufactured, ultimately leading to some exciting, and rather ironic, conclusions. I won’t spoil them for you here, but the brief summary of her findings is definitely worth a quick read. Ms. Struthers is expected to publish her full research later this year and I, for one, cannot wait to get my hands on a copy.