The early life of Roy Cecil King was a tragic one. King was born in London in 1913, and after his birth, he was almost immediately put up for adoption. He was eventually adopted only to have his adopted father die of influenza and his adoptive mother, unsure of how she was going to care for the boy, considered putting him back in an orphanage. It was just then that King found some good fortune. King was hand-delivering laundered shirts when one of his customers, who managed a large jewelry firm in Hatton Garden, offered him an apprenticeship in 1927. At the age of 14 Roy King became an apprentice to M J Greengross, and quickly picked up on the ways of the workshop and the trade. By the age of 21, King was the foreman of a well-known jewelry shop and was creating custom pieces that were retailed through Bond Street jewelers.
After World War II, King set out on his own and began to produce jewelry under his own brand name. Initially, his focus was on jewelry, but he quickly began to concentrate more and more on watches. His fine craftsmanship drew the attention of larger brands, and King did private work for international brands including Cartier, Longines, Omega, Patek-Phillipe, and more prior to his exclusive tie-in with movement maker Bueche-Girod. With this partnership, King could produce cases and power the watches with Bueche-Girod movements. King would go on to win a multitude of awards and have his jewelry and watches featured in many prominent collections during the 1960s and 1970s only to have his name fade as the generations went on. Of all of his contributions, he might be most well known for the development of a bark finished gold that is seeing a resurgence on vintage watches of the era, and for that we are grateful.
This particular watch is very indicative of the kinds of watches that Roy King was producing in the 1960s and 70s. The watch is made out of sterling silver with a simple rounded and stepped square case and adorned with an ornate dial. The hands are of a simple block design and the movement is courtesy of the brand’s exclusive partnership with Bueche-Girod.
The 34mm sterling silver case is in good condition. As with any older piece of silver, there are scratches appropriate for its age and a bit of tarnishing that could easily be polished out, especially on the silver buckle. The caseback is marked with various hallmarks and the crown is signed and correct. The domed crystal is in very good condition.
The Dial and Hands
The silver dial features a scale pattern relief featuring the Roy King brand name above and swiss below. The hands are simple black block shapes with no luminous material to be concerned about.
The watch is powered by a 17 Jewel manual wind watch movement by Bueche-Girod. The watch is running and the service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Manual, Bueche-Girod 17 Jewel|
|Case Material||Sterling Silver|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|
|Clasp Type||Sterling Silver Buckle|