'Dutch forgery' watch, signed John Wilter, Europe, c.1780. Gold coloured pair case, outer in repoussé style, but probably cast. Inner case stamped RRV but with no hallmark. Gold coloured champlevé dial with arcaded minute ring, signed 'Wilter, London'. Continental style hands. Movement with verge escapement, and balance bridge instead of balance cock. Signed on the movement ‘John Wilter, London’. Fine English type chain, seal and key.
John Wilter's name can be found on a number of lesser quality eighteenth century watches supposedly made in London. Although the watch is signed for London, features like the arcaded minute band and balance bridge are more indicative of a Dutch style, hence the name 'Dutch forgery'. It is now thought that these watches were in fact produced in Switzerland. London-made watches were considered to be the best on the market, which gave rise to the production of cheaper continental copies such as this, where manufacturers hoped to cash-in on the 'London' name. Clockmakers' Museum No. 223