A railway issued Record pocket watch that would have been used on the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) network in a solid nickel case.
HOW DO WE DATE THIS WATCH?
Record was a Swiss company that made watches independently between 1903 up until they were acquired by Longines in 1961. LNER was established in 1923, and was disbanded on 1st January 1948. Given the case is solid nickel and not stainless steel we think this was made just after the second world war (steel was hard to get) and before LNER was disbanded, so we think it was made circa 1946.
Railways have an important part in the history of how we keep time – before the railways local time in England could be 20 minutes different from one side of the country to the other. This made scheduling nigh on impossible, so Railway time was established in 1846. Timekeeping was a major safety concern for railways too, and several accidents were put down to poor timekeeping. If one station master had his watch three minutes fast, and another three minutes slow, trains were released at the wrong times. Sometimes these crashes lead to fatalities.
In order to reduce mistakes station masters were issued with good watches that would be tested frequently, and now these timepieces are highly collected. This particular watch was issued by LNER (no relation to the current company with the same initials), and has a Calibre 431 15 jewel movement inside the solid nickel case. Both the front and rear covers unscrew rather than clip off. The glass does have a few marks but appears original. The case is good, and the case number is also engraved on the body as well as the removable case back. The movement is running well. The dial is very good, with no chips or cracks. However the hour hand has snapped – it is still usable, but it is not as long as it should be. Replacement hands are an option, but we would prefer 1 1/2 original hands over 2 brand new ones.
This watch will be supplied with our Certificate of Authenticity.
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Width with crown 71.4 mm (not including the bow)
Width without crown 57.6 mm
Case Thickness 19.5 mm
All sizes are approximate.
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