This watch has an enamelled dial with Arabic numerals and an elaborate set of cases, indicating that although it was made in London, it was designed for the Eastern market, probably Turkey.
It is signed Markwick Markham London, and is numbered 14103. James Markwick and Robert Markham specialised in clocks and watches for the Turkish market, and a partnership under their joint names was in business in London from about 1725 to 1805.
Mechanism & Manufacture
The watch's mechanism comprises a going train with fusee and train, a verge escapement, steel balance and spring. It is fitted with Turkish gradations. It strikes the hours and quarters on a silver bell.
Large watches of this form are known as clock-watches. Their large size allowed them to be hung from a hook in a room and used as a clock when travelling. The gilt-metal case is pierced and engraved with foliage. One of the two outer cases is similarly decorated. An extra outer case is pierced in openwork with Rococo scrolls and foliage and with panels of shagreen decorated with piqué in gold.
The Arabic numerals on the dial, the complicated chiming mechanism and multiple elaborately decorated outer cases were deliberately designed to appeal to the taste of Turkish clients for 'exotic' ornamental mechanisms from Europe.