Charles Frodsham - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XVIII Hong Kong Friday, May 24, 2024 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Charles Frodsham
    Year: Circa 1901
    Movement No: 08'867
    Case No: 08'867
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 23’’’ gilt three-quarter plate, jewelled
    Dimensions: 63mm diameter
    Signed: Dial and movement signed and numbered, case hallmarked London 1901 and stamped with casemaker's mark “HMF” for Harrison Mill Frodsham

  • Catalogue Essay

    Charles Frodsham is a highly esteemed English watchmaking firm since the latter half of the 19th century. In 1854, Charles Frodsham succeeded Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy as the Superintendent and Keeper of Her Majesty's Clocks at Buckingham Palace, serving the King, the Prince of Wales, and Queen Alexandra. Following Charles's passing, his son Harrison Mill Frodsham took control of the firm and incorporated it as Charles Frodsham & Co. Ltd. in 1893. Harrison Mill Frodsham proved to be a skilled horologist and businessman, and the company continued to thrive as a maker of brilliant timepieces.

    The present lot represents an exceptional example of the iconic Charles Frodsham tourbillon pocket watch. Bearing the serial number No. 08'867, currently, only 12 of these watches have re-emerged in the market, while the rest are either held in private collections or remain in the possession of descendants of the original owners. This remarkable timepiece incorporates a minute repeater, split-seconds chronograph, and a one-minute tourbillon, which the monumental movement of this watch is also featured on the official Charles Frodsham website. During their production, these watches were among the most intricate and expensive English timepieces available, retailing between £200 and £350.

    The watch is in magnificent condition, displaying a distinct stepped case, unrubbed hallmarks on the bow and winding stem, and an incredibly pristine enamel dial devoid of any blemishes. Many Frodsham watches particularly feature the coded letters "AD Fmsz" on the dials and movements. This cryptogram corresponds to 1850 when Charles Frodsham introduced his new caliper watch and was subsequently used as a symbol of the highest quality.

    The inner caseback bears hallmarks including the Leopard's head, representing London's Assay Office, the crown symbolizing 18-carat gold, the letter "f" serving as a date stamp corresponding to the year 1901, and "HMF" denoting Harrison Mill Frodsham as the casemaker. Notably, the three-quarter plate movement of the watch features interesting engravings such as the business premises of Charles Frodsham at "115 New Bond Street, Late of 84 Strand".

    In 1902, the present watch underwent a time trial at the Kew Observatory (now known as The King's Observatory) in Richmond, Surrey. It was subjected to different temperatures and positions and achieved the highest A certificate with 78.4 marks, ranking 8th out of 13 watches in the "Complicated watches" category. Notably, it has been sitting in the same collection for nearly 3 decades by a very prominent family.

    Today, Charles Frodsham continues to craft wristwatches of exceptional quality, with their iconic Double Impulse Chronometer garnering significant success in auctions. It stands as a pinnacle of English watchmaking.

Property from a Prestigious Family Collection


An extremely well-preserved, attractive and important yellow gold minute repeating split-seconds chronograph open-faced keyless pocket watch with one-minute tourbillon, 60-minute register and enamel dial

Circa 1901
63mm diameter
Dial and movement signed and numbered, case hallmarked London 1901 and stamped with casemaker's mark “HMF” for Harrison Mill Frodsham

HK$480,000 - 960,000 

Sold for HK$1,397,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2031

Gertrude Wong
Head of Sale, Hong Kong
+ 852 2318 2045

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XVIII

Hong Kong Auction 24 - 25 May 2024