Oval verge watch, c 1630.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This watch was made by Richard Jackson, a founder member of the Clockmaker's Company of London. Watchmaking in Germany and France began early in the 16th century, but no watches were made in England before about 1600. These early watches were usually in the form of circular drums, and the oval form, of which this watch is a typical example, did not come into fashion until the early 17th century. Watches of this type were usually suspended from a chain or cord slung around the neck, rather than carried in the pocket. The timekeeping is controlled by a verge escapement .