The movement of this watch is engraved with the name of Robert Grinkin. There were two London watchmakers of this name, father and son. The watch appears to date from about 1610 to 1620 and may therefore be the work of Robert Grinkin senior. He is believed to have been Master of the Blacksmiths’ Company in 1609. In 1622 he was one of a group of watchmakers who asked King James I to allow them to form a company of clockmakers, aimed at keeping foreign competitors out of London. The king did not agree to their request, and it was not until 1631 that the Clockmakers’ Company was founded. Robert Grinkin senior had died in 1626, but his son went on to become Master of the Clockmakers’ Company in 1648 and 1654.
The appearance of the watch suggests it was much used. The original movement was altered to prolong its useful life. The engraved decoration of the silver case, which includes scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, has been heavily rubbed by wear.