Thread: W.H.Wilmot Watches ? (Rolex & Tudor UK case manufacturer)

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  1. #1
    Member pr1uk's Avatar
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    W.H.Wilmot Watches ? (Rolex & Tudor UK case manufacturer)

    I have decided to buy a new quartz watch and have found one i like it is 9k hallmarked gold and made by W.H.Wilmot of Birmingham UK the watch is signed on the face W.H.W 1860. The company was a small one and made watches and gold chains from 1860 until it went bust in 2009 due to the recession and prices of gold. Does anyone have any other facts about this company and does anyone have a watch made by the company as there must be quite a few around from what i have found they only ever made gold case watches. As for gold cases i have found and cut and pasted an article that the company did at one stage make cases for Rolex watches i will as said cut and paste that under the photo.
    The photo i have included is from the original add so not very good as i will not get my hands on the watch until the end of the month, to be honest i have never seen another watch made and signed by W.H.Wilmot but some people must own them



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    "Internally, the case is highly decorated with an engine turned pearled pattern and signed “Made for Tudor”, together with the model reference number 00169 and the individual serial number for this watch, 57054. Also present are a full set of British hallmarks, these informing us that this case was assayed as solid 9 karat gold in Birmingham, 1965 and the tiny letters “WHW Ltd”, these being the maker’s mark of WH Wilmot Limited, of the Albion Street Works, Birmingham, UK. In more than twenty years, we have only seen perhaps three or four Rolex cases made by Wilmot, and this curious aspect immediately makes this watch exceedingly interesting from a completist Rolex collector’s point of view. All the examples we have seen were from the early to mid-1980s, and their age goes a long way towards explaining their existence. Since the World War I era, Rolex had enjoyed a very successful relationship with the Dennison company acting as, almost universally, the case manufacturer for its watches sold in the UK, but this came to an end with the closure of Dennison in 1979. Having lost a very important supplier, it seems natural that Rolex would have sought to continue its UK arrangement with a substitute manufacturer, and clearly located this in the same part of the country, Birmingham, then as now, being the centre of the British manufacturing jewellery industry. What is particularly fascinating is why WH Wilmot was chosen to supply contract cases, given that the firm wasn’t even previously involved with the manufacture of watch cases, but was well established as a respected producer of gold chains. In reality, like so many things vintage Rolex related, because the company today has a policy of refusing to answer any questions in relation to its past output, the specifics regarding the use of Wilmot for cases at this time, including the number of Wilmot made Rolex cases and the exact length of the relationship between the two firms, will remain a mystery for the foreseeable future"
    Taken from
    Vintage gold Rolex Tudor watches for sale in UK | Vintage Watches
    Last edited by pr1uk; November 11th, 2012 at 11:46. Reason: adding info

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    Re: W.H.Wilmot Watches ? (Rolex & Tudor UK case manufacturer)

    I dug this up in my research and ordered and paid for my watch today hopefully it will arrive tomorrow
    ------------
    W. H. Wilmot of Albion Street works, Birmingham. Telephone: Central 1729. Cables: "Alberts, Birmingham"

    • 1860 The company was founded by W. H. Wilmot, in Spencer Street, Birmingham. It first specialised in handmade gold chains, especially Watch Alberts.


    • 1893 It moved to its larger premises at 62-64 Albion Street where they are currently based (06/08). The extra space gave them the opportunity to produce ladies fancy gold watch bracelets.


    • 1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Premo and Premier Gold Expanding Bracelets for Watches. Gold Chains, Alberts, Dress Chains, Necklets, Guards, Bracelets, etc., in 9ct., 15ct., 18ct., also Red and White Gold and Platinum. Diamond Rings. Birmingham Jewellers' and Silversmiths' Association. (Stand Nos. J.43 and J.54) [1]


    • 1932 A disastrous fire resulted in the opening of a modern new factory which focused on light engineering techniques, enabling the development of special tooling and machinery, and the constant updating equipment, to ensure that their designs are always produced to the most sophisticated level of quality and craftsmanship possible.


    • W. H. Wilmot has manufactured for some of the major international watch houses.


    • 1999 Following a request from one of its big customer Wilmot started producing watches complete with movements.

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    Re: W.H.Wilmot Watches ? (Rolex & Tudor UK case manufacturer)

    Well it arrived __
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    Hallmark for WHW Ltd (WH Wilmot) 375 (9k Gold) Anchor (Birmingham)

    I do wonder how many over WHW Ltd cased watches are out there
    Last edited by pr1uk; November 15th, 2012 at 15:02. Reason: text error

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    Re: W.H.Wilmot Watches ? (Rolex & Tudor UK case manufacturer)

    Gabor Makszy has identified the movement used as

    Swiss Ronda 5xx family 505, 515 or 585

    Thank you Gabor

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    Re: W.H.Wilmot Watches ? (Rolex & Tudor UK case manufacturer)

    An interesting read. I've just bought one myself. Virtually identical except the second hand is black an the dial has 'Swiss Mov't' at the bottom. Would love to know more about the company or the watch. But being a Brummie myself I had to have it.

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    Re: W.H.Wilmot Watches ? (Rolex & Tudor UK case manufacturer)

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl_T View Post
    An interesting read. I've just bought one myself. Virtually identical except the second hand is black an the dial has 'Swiss Mov't' at the bottom. Would love to know more about the company or the watch. But being a Brummie myself I had to have it.
    Well Karl it is nice to know there are some more out there i saw one on eBay just before xmas but it was taken off by the seller maybe he had a good cash offer as for the company everything i have found out about it i have posted here. That one was in a very slightly different case and was hallmarked on the back not inside the case like mine and also had nothing marked at the bottom. I have got two photos of the watch that was up for sale and the lugs are slightly different and as said hallmark is on the back not inside. They made ladies watches and i did find a couple for sale in the USA fetching good prices but no idea how many they made of their own but there must be some about i know they did not make that many in the time frame the company had left.
    ----
    This is the only other one i have seen for sale and i have no idea if it was sold but it was taken off after a couple of days

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    Karl as a Brummie your in a good position to find one of the old worker who could tell you lots of info i know the local papers did a story on the company closing after 150 years. If you do find out anymore please post back and a photo of your watch would be nice but 3 watches by the same company yet different is nice.
    Last edited by pr1uk; December 30th, 2012 at 08:19. Reason: tried to delete one set of images and added a line

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    Re: W.H.Wilmot Watches ? (Rolex & Tudor UK case manufacturer)

    I may be a Brummie, but no longer living there, so not likely to bump into any old watchmakers. Had to wait for the weekend to be home during daylight to get a half decent picture of the watch. But here it is, front and back, internally it looks the same as yours, same circular machining, same hallmark. It's the face itself where the differences lie. (Ignore the pink tinge, that's an annoying effect caused by my phone's camera.)

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    Last edited by Karl_T; January 5th, 2013 at 12:49. Reason: Additional info

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    Re: W.H.Wilmot Watches ? (Rolex & Tudor UK case manufacturer)

    Hi Karl,
    Yours does look like the same case as mine but as you said a different face the other one i saw on eBay was taken off but he may put it back on i will keep my eye open. It was a small firm with only a dozen or so workers and making gold chains and cases for other makers they could not have made many from 1999 to 2004 and as said i have seen ladies watches sold in USA. I assume your's as the same Swiss movement as mine oh i wish i could get in touch with one of the old workers to find out more about the watches made how many they made etc. Love your photos you have got the colour right and nice and sharp these watches are not old enough to be collectable yet but one day and we know they will be rare that is certain.

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    Re: W.H.Wilmot Watches ? (Rolex & Tudor UK case manufacturer)

    Hi,
    I actually have one of these watches that I was gifted in 2004, I was considering selling it but am struggling to find pricing information, anyone got any idea what I should be advertising it at or indeed what they were selling for prior to the company going out of business?
    thanks

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    Re: W.H.Wilmot Watches ? (Rolex & Tudor UK case manufacturer)

    Sorry valuations are not provided here. Check eBay for similar models.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

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