Catalogued as 18th century, it was engraved Stretch Fecit to the dial and Sam Stretch Birmingham to the backplate.
Bearing the London gold lion passant mark, the paired case, with only some minor dents, enclosed a working movement with a verge escapement with chain fusee and four Egyptian pillars.
Post-sale research led to a Samuel Stretch who was one of the Leek family of clockmakers. He was the uncle of Peter Stretch, who emigrated to Philadelphia in 1702 and is second only to fellow English Quaker Abel Cottee as the earliest clockmaker in America. Prices for his American longcases include the $1.5m (then about £800,000) bid at Sotheby’s in 2004.
Uncle Sam stayed home and is known to have made lantern clocks in the 1670s.
Some bidders thought the watch to be late 17th century rather than early 18th, and this may have been the opinion of the UK specialist dealer who possibly also made the family link when he won the watch at the top £3200 estimate.