APW – Howard, Davis & Dennison, Boston, serial #3, 8-Day with two mainspring barrels, 19J, 22S, 18K gold original F.D.&Co. (Francis DuBois & Co., Brooklyn NY) HC marked with serial number “3” and the letter “H” in cameo, white enamel dial, KWKS, gilt mvt, ornately engraved balance cock with “8 Day” marking, “A L D” marking on dial plate for Aaron L. Dennison, s#3 with matching serial number within case. Gross weight of assembled watch 112.2 dwt (174.6 g). A watch of supreme rarity and tremendous historical significance, the Howard, Davis & Dennison eight-day is perhaps the ultimate prize for an American pocket watch collection and these watches represent the origin of both the Waltham and the E. Howard watchmaking ventures. Produced in late 1852 by the Warren Manufacturing Co. in their Roxbury, Massachusetts facility, the Howard, Davis & Dennison was made for presentation to company officers and serial numbers 1 through 17 were reserved for the production of this eight-day model. Per Chris Bailey's "Two Hundred Years of American Clocks & Watches," it is believed that the present example, serial #3, was the personal watch of firm co-founder David P. Davis. The block of serial numbers for eight-day model production was followed at serial number 18 with the beginning of commercial production. The initial commercial production was comprised of "Warren" grade movements with more conventional design of a single mainspring barrel and 30-hour run time, and this design set the pattern for commercial production to follow. In 1853 the Warren Manufacturing Co. renamed itself the Boston Watch Co. and operated under this name until succumbing to financial hardship in 1857, at which point the principals and assets of the firm split and gave rise to the Waltham and the E. Howard watchmaking ventures. In total only seven examples of the Roxbury-made two barrel eight-day watches are known. These are serial numbers 1, 2, and 3 which are marked “Howard, Davis & Dennison” and are the only three watches known with this signature; serial numbers 16 and 17 which are signed “D.B. Fitts, Holliston, Mass” after a Boston Watch Co. employee that is believed to possibly have received this pair of movements in ebauche form in lieu of wages due to the company's financial struggles; and a pair of unserialized prototype examples with calendar dial and of somewhat different movement appearance that were made in 1852 by the Marsh brothers to demonstrate the viability of the eight-day design. The larger central range of serial numbers, 4 to 15, which has not been observed, is strongly suggestive that the majority of blocked serial numbers for the eight-day model were not finished. We believe this is the most historically important American pocket watch to have ever been offered at public sale and we are aware of no previous offerings of any eight-day Roxbury watch at public sale. From the Wing family collection, we are honored to offer this piece. CONDITION: Mvt: GRO...
CONDITION: Mvt: GRO, serial numbers matching throughout, maltese cross portion of stopworks is absent which is not affecting movement function, two train jewels have been replaced, fine-plus cosmetic mvt condition overall, scratch below the first n in “Dennison” continuing to edge of mvt, some concentric circular scratches around winding arbors, some typical scattered mild fine scratches elsewhere, some bits of spotting to plate surfaces with the most prominent of these being at the left edge of the barrel bridge; near flawless dial with only a very faint hl in left side of seconds-register, an extremely faint hl below seconds-register near 6:30, and a extremely miniscule edge nick under bezel near 5; case shows light wear, no dents, few slight dings to front, large portion of engine turning detail remaining with loss primarily at rear shoulder and lesser degree of loss at front shoulder, cuvette with evidence of repair at hinge; tight replacement bow, replacement push shows little wear; good glass crystal.
ESTIMATE: $80000 - $160000