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Sotheby's English watch sale to star John Barton piece

Sotheby's Celebration of the English Watch sale opens in London on July 7

Sotheby's second instalment of its Celebration of the English Watch sale will feature a unique piece by John Barton.

It's valued at £200,000-400,000 ($288,580-577,160) ahead of the July 7 auction.

Barton watch gold
John Barton created the watch as a gift for his father-in-law

Barton created the gold pocket watch for his father-in-law and fellow clockmaker John Harrison, who invented the marine chronometer (the device that solved the problem of calculating longitude at sea) in the late 1750s.

It features an enamel profile portrait of Harrison on the outside.

Barton made the watch in 1771, the year of his marriage to Harrison's daughter.

It's believed to have been presented to Harrison in 1773, in celebration of his finally receiving recognition for his work.

A gold pocket chronometer made in 1784 by Thomas Wright and Thomas Earnshaw is expected to make £250,000-300,000 ($360,725-432,870).

It was used to secure a patent for Earnshaw's spring detent escarpment, a mechanism used in marine chronometers.

Sotheby's comments: "This landmark collection provides a snapshot of British history through the pocket watch.

"It also brilliantly traces the evolution of watchmaking from the 17th-century to modern day and the supremacy of England at pivotal moments of horology history."

The first part of the sale last year featured a silver watch by the 17th century maker David Ramsay that sold for £989,000 ($1.4m), a world record for a renaissance-era watch.

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Images: Sotheby's

Last updated: 6 July 2016