The MAD Horologist and the "Holy Grail"
by ADAM HARRIS
Yes, I must be going mad in my horology quest for that “Holy Grail.” If I had shown my latest purchase to my father, he would have asked incredulously, “But where is the watch?” My dear mother would then have exclaimed, “To hell with the watch; where is the strap?”
Yet here I go and buy—not a watch, not a strap—but the mere buckle in my search for that “Holy Grail,” which is “Who and when was the first wristwatch made?”
The meager buckle throws another light on that subject. Because it is silver, how was it assayed with a London mark of 1908? That is MIGHTY early, and its width would appear to be a men’s wristwatch strap from 1908.
So we have an original sterling silver English gent’s buckle for an early wristwatch strap. The hallmark is clearly London and looks to be 1908, best guess, and is “..&Ss” maker????? Its hallmark partially obscures the maker’s mark and the date stamp. The 17 mm total width would take a 14 mm leather strap, so its a large gent’s size for this period!
Now, I must find a strap maker to turn the perfect silver buckle into something magnificent.