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  1. #1
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    Default British Watch Company...help with movement identification please

    Hi all,

    Could I have some help identifying this movement please? It's an interesting one, bearing in mind the history of the name BWC, but to me could be from a number of English sources. I haven't seen one like this before.
    It's also interesting that the jewelling screws are a mixture of raised and recessed. Could this indicate a later upgrade?

    All assistance is appreciated!

    Thanks
    Piers
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    Piers Lawrence

    'In the end, time makes fools of us all...some more than others.'

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    Default Re: British Watch Company...help with movement identification please (By: PJQL)

    Certainly not by the Ingold/Barwise company of the early 1840s Piers; too late for that effort and that was not a 'limited' company anyway. I believe that William Erhardt marketed watches using this cover name in the 1920's, in fact, having just responded to a light bulb moment, check out Shenton - 'Pocket Watches of the 19th & 20th Century', page 146 where there is a picture of a watch identical to yours (#803801) in a gold case hallmarked 1923. There is also a potted history of the company on the same page.

  3. #3

    Default Re: British Watch Company...help with movement identification please (By: PJQL)

    Hi, it looks similar to a "Lancashire Watch Co. Ltd" movement. A friend has one for sale so I can't show the photo. Regards Ray

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    Default Re: British Watch Company...help with movement identification please (By: Omexa)

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveyG View Post
    Certainly not by the Ingold/Barwise company of the early 1840s Piers; too late for that effort and that was not a 'limited' company anyway. I believe that William Erhardt marketed watches using this cover name in the 1920's, in fact, having just responded to a light bulb moment, check out Shenton - 'Pocket Watches of the 19th & 20th Century', page 146 where there is a picture of a watch identical to yours (#803801) in a gold case hallmarked 1923. There is also a potted history of the company on the same page.
    Thanks Davey,

    I read about Erhardt in another thread here....but I thought, like Ray, that it also resembled an LWC movement.
    Quite nice quality I thought.

    Piers

    Quote Originally Posted by Omexa View Post
    Hi, it looks similar to a "Lancashire Watch Co. Ltd" movement. A friend has one for sale so I can't show the photo. Regards Ray
    Snap Ray.......I'm looking for similar images on the web.
    The only thing missing from this watch is the hunter crystal. I have quite a few..
    ...but they're all slightly too large or too small...grrrr!

    Piers
    Piers Lawrence

    'In the end, time makes fools of us all...some more than others.'

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    Default Re: British Watch Company...help with movement identification please (By: PJQL)

    LWC closed down 1910/11 and although it does resemble the LWC Type 19 (Vigil amongst other names) not quite the same. The only LWC movements that I am aware of with visible winding gear are the Types 19 & 20. The 20 is, to all intents and purposes, an Elgin. So, I suppose that it is possible that Erhardt got hold of some LWC Type 19 movements, at the time of the company's demise, to be utilised at a later period, although by 1910 Erhardts (then run by William Jnr) were major manufacturers in their own right.

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    Default Re: British Watch Company...help with movement identification please (By: DaveyG)

    Thank you Davey,

    Certainly nothing is as straightforward as many would imagine...which is kind of the attraction! Your Erhardt theory is entirely
    plausible...but I suppose other individual or companies may have done the same thing.
    I would like to pin this one down. Lifting the dial may help a great deal and yield a clue or three....I'll inspect it and report back.

    Regards

    Piers
    Piers Lawrence

    'In the end, time makes fools of us all...some more than others.'

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    Default Re: British Watch Company...help with movement identification please (By: PJQL)

    Do you have a copy of Shenton Piers? If not I will scan the potted history of this BWC Ltd and display it. An easy snippet to pass on is that the registered offices of this BWC Ltd were the same address as the London premises of Erhardt. The BWC Ltd were also, apparently, involved in some innovative (aka dubious) marketing practices.

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    Default Re: British Watch Company...help with movement identification please (By: DaveyG)

    No Davey, unfortunately not.
    I have long been on the trail of a reasonably priced used copy, but they all carry a premium. Might just have to bite the bullet.
    If you were able to post that bit of history, that would be superb!

    And it might just come down to marketing....maybe trying to emulate the late John Forrest!!

    Piers
    Piers Lawrence

    'In the end, time makes fools of us all...some more than others.'

  9. #9

    Default Re: British Watch Company...help with movement identification please (By: DaveyG)

    Piers/Dave - I found this in McKenna 'Clockmakers and Watchmakers of Central England'

    " With the collapse of the Lancashire Watch Company in 1910, a representative of Ehrhardt's is reported to have attended the auction, as did a representative of Rotherham's of Coventry. At the outbreak of World War I, Ehrhardt's became The British Watch Company Ltd., and shifted to munitions production. At the end of the war the manufacture of watches resumed, but not a the previous rate of production. The firm appear to have ceased manufacturing in 1924-5 and in the following year Gustav Victor Ehrardt appeared in Kelleys Directory for Birmingham as a 'watch cleaner and repairer"

    Also in Grace's Guide to British Industrial History - no Ltd. but I believe its the same company

    "British Watch Co of Time Works, 214 Barr Street, Birmingham
    in association with William Ehrhardt with Office at 17 Hatton Garden, London.

    • c1840 The company was established to manufacture watches by mass-production methods using machine tools designed by the Swiss craftsman P. F. Ingold.
    • 1922 Listed Exhibitor _ British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of English Lever Watches, Watch Cases and Gramophone Motors. (Stand No. E.44)
    • The company failed owing to total opposition from the trade."



    I have just found a copy of the exhibitors in the fair - entry for BWC attached



    John
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    Default Re: British Watch Company...help with movement identification please (By: John Matthews)

    John,

    That's a super extract....nice find!

    Bearing in mind the troubled industrial times, it makes me wonder of Rotherhams were either in direct competition at the auction, or if they were even considering some kind of coalition with Erhardt. In any case, looks like Erhardt won out...but things obviously didn't last.

    Piers
    Piers Lawrence

    'In the end, time makes fools of us all...some more than others.'

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    Default Re: British Watch Company...help with movement identification please

    Nice work John, although I don't believe that the transcript is entirely accurate and the quote from Grace's Guide most definitely inaccurate. Unfortunately there is much confusion in the extracts between the British Watch and Clockmaking Co. and the British Watch Co Ltd

    The British Watch & Clockmaking Co was formed in 1840 with the aim of mass producing watches using machinery designed and built by a Swiss engineer, Pierre Ingold. The endeavour was supported by John Barwise who invested significant capital in the venture. The company failed for a variety of reasons but principally because of the death of Barwise in 1842 and the opposition of the trade who, using the Clockmakers Company to petition Parliament to stop the funding of the company. In this they were successful and the British Watch & Clockmaking Co. was denied the ability to raise the necessary capital to properly fund the business. The company struggled on until 1845 when they completely ran out of capital and the company shut up shop for good.

    The British Watch Company Ltd was formed some time in the early 20thC, probably November 30 1905. This company has no links whatsoever to the earlier British Watch and Clockmaking Company. In 1921 Kelly's Directory the London offices of the BWC Ltd are listed at the same address as Erhardt's London office. Viewing John's attachment above clearly demonstrates that the BWC Ltd is now fully integrated with the Erhadt organisation

    There is an earlier thread 'here', to which John and I contributed, with much of the above information and more

    The information that points to William Erhardt attending the death rattle auction of the LWC is interesting.

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    Default Re: British Watch Company...help with movement identification please

    I too have one and dated to 1911 as a much lower ser #
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