J.W.Benson

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Bazzab
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J.W.Benson

#1 Post by Bazzab » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:16 am

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J.W.BENSON WATCH COMPANY HISTORY:

J.W.Bensons started up as a partnership between Samuel Suckley Benson and James William Benson.About 1840,they were selling watches under the name SS & JW Benson,Cornhill,London.In Jan 1855,the partnership was dissolved and from 1855 to 1891 (according to R Good) or 1897 (according to NAWCC supplement 20) the company traded as J.W.Benson and the firm moved to Ludgate Hill,after which they became a limited liability company.They held royal warrants during the 2nd half of the 19th century,starting in 1876,for Queen Victoria,the Prince of Wales,the King of Siam and the King of Denmark.About this time J.W.Benson also had premises Royal Exchange and Bond Street,but it seems that neither of these addresses appeared on the dials of their watches.

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Bensons Bottom Left

During 1889,J.W.Benson went on a buying spree,acquiring,Hunt & Roskell of London & Manchester,Silversmiths and Jewellers,and Sir John Bennett of Cheapside.In 1892,the steam-powered factory in Bell Sauvage Yard,Ludgate Hill was opened where Benson transferred his watch finishing operations to.Here they produced their three main watches,'The Field','The Bank' and 'The Ludgate'

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The trade name 'The Field Watch' was registered in 1885.This factory continued in operation until 1914,when it was bombed out destroying 12,000 watches.( the number of movements destroyed varies from 4000, and up) Although the servicing department carried on at Ludgate Hill during the bombing,J.W.Benson never again made his own watches after that time(.From this point on,they bought in all their watches and had their name put on them.Benson was now solely a retail jewellers,and a very good one at that.

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1915 Benson fitted a Longines Movement

Not a lot is recorded about the company from that time onwards,but it would seem that the original company sold the name to Garrards possibly in 1973 who rather let the name languish.By 1994 the name was part of the Mappin & Webb company (which were part of Sears Holding Ltd) and J.W.Benson acted as distributors for Ebel,IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre in the UK.The J.W.Benson name is still used on modern watches,but the watches do not have anything to do with the old J.W.Benson company and by 1998 the brand name had disappeared from the Retail Jewellers year book,so indicating that the brand has lost most of it's prestige in the eyes of the current name holders,the Asprey Garrard Group.However,the J.W.Benson name was bought by IWC in Late 1998 and is now being marketed by Chopard GB Ltd.

Which leads to this

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The warranty does not belong to the watch

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No Makers mark, maybe under dial

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Case by A.L. Dennision Hallmarked Birmingham 9ct. Gold 1947

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RogerNola
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Re: J.W.Benson

#2 Post by RogerNola » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:37 am

Has anybody ever provided any detail on the Benson facility being bombed out in 1914? I've read the same thing, but other accounts of WW1 state that aerial bombing from "aeroplanes" didn't start until after 1914. I've always had that mental image of some guy in a Zeppelin (wearing a Fleigertruppen upside-down watch around his neck) pitching bombs over the side of the Zeppelin gondola by hand.

I have an Arthur Baume-signed silver half-hunter wristwatch with a JW Benson (both connected to Longines) movement out for COA and a stem repair right now, and I'll post photos when I get it back.
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Bazzab
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Re: J.W.Benson

#3 Post by Bazzab » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:51 am

This was the first one of a Google Search
http://www.century-of-flight.net/Aviati ... rships.htm
B

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salleh
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Re: J.W.Benson

#4 Post by salleh » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:05 pm

I don't know a lot about ENglish gold hallmarks, but I have been paying attentiuon to their sterling hallmarks for many years now ....it seems that the stamp for the city is the same for both .....an anchor, for Birmingham,,,...( probably the busiest of cities manufactoring sterling ...)

I wonder if the anchor sideways is 1) an accident.....2) the way that gold was marked.....
What a long strange trip it's been......

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Bazzab
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Re: J.W.Benson

#5 Post by Bazzab » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:34 pm

salleh wrote:I wonder if the anchor sideways is 1) an accident.......
Maybe its because Birmingham is landlocked! and somebody saw the funny side
B

RogerNola
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Re: J.W.Benson

#6 Post by RogerNola » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:43 pm

Bazzab wrote:This was the first one of a Google Search
http://www.century-of-flight.net/Aviati ... rships.htm
B
The dates don't exactly jibe, but it makes for great reading! Jolly good show!
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trim
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Re: J.W.Benson

#7 Post by trim » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:50 pm

Wonderful post Barry.

Very enjoyable, and of course - a very nice watch.
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GLADIATOR
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Re: J.W.Benson

#8 Post by GLADIATOR » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:01 am

Great post Barry
I think I have a Benson vintage box?

Do you have any of those watches?
"We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done."
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Bazzab
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Re: J.W.Benson

#9 Post by Bazzab » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:23 am

Thanks for your comments Folks
RogerNola wrote: The dates don't exactly jibe, but it makes for great reading! Jolly good show!
There seems to be a lot wrong with the whole of the bombing incident!
Let , call it British Horology Folk Law, and leave it at that!
GLADIATOR wrote:Do you have any of those watches?
No! only the gold wristwatch There is another Benson that I have my eye on
Thats, if the watch gods are kind with me, but will that be another post!

B

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GLADIATOR
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Re: J.W.Benson

#10 Post by GLADIATOR » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:27 am

Bazzab wrote:Thanks for your comments Folks
RogerNola wrote: The dates don't exactly jibe, but it makes for great reading! Jolly good show!
There seems to be a lot wrong with the whole of the bombing incident!
Let , call it British Horology Folk Law, and leave it at that!
GLADIATOR wrote:Do you have any of those watches?
No! only the gold wristwatch There is another Benson that I have my eye on
Thats, if the watch gods are kind with me, but will that be another post!

B
Good luck - I know how that feels.

The gold cushion is very nice, I like them (that style a lot) but I MUST keep my pennies to buy something different
"We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done."
Visit Here:http://highercailber.com/
Adam R Harris

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