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  1. #1

    Default John Johnson fusee

    Another from the estate of a collector who took everything apart and put nothing back together... Thought I would share this one while still apart. I'll update once I have it back together. This is a John Johnson of Liverpool. Solid gold case. STUNNING dial. The serial number on both the movement and case is 9706. As English watches are not my area of expertise, any information would be appreciated.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: John Johnson fusee

    Dave, very nice, hope all the parts are there... American cased, indicated by non English marks, typical for the period..With movement number same as the case..
    Massey III roller table .. I would date this to late 1830's to Mid 1940's, maybe a bit earlier .. I like the dial.. Did you find the dust cap ?

  3. #3

    Default Re: John Johnson fusee (By: John Pavlik)

    Yes, I have the dust cap.

  4. #4
    Registered User gmorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Johnson fusee (By: Dave Coatsworth)

    Hi Dave,

    It's had some use, as indicated by the punched up top fusee pivot hole, a common enough practice over the years but now regarded as most barbaric. I'd be inclined to place it towards the end of John's date range because of the dial, which may conceivably be Swiss in origin.

    The level of polish on that roller is quite superb, no doubt done with the help of swing polisher tools.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

  5. #5
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    Default Re: John Johnson fusee (By: Dave Coatsworth)

    This is the highest serial number I have yet seen for a John Johnson. I have a very tentative theory that for a while the firm used the name of John Houghton Johnson, who died young in 1836, as a grade-marker for seven-jewel movements. At least this new example does nothing to contradict this idea.

    Dave, does the cut-out for the cock-table in the dust-cap give any clue to the shape of the cock itself? Is it parallel-sided, giving the shape of an arched doorway, or does it taper from bottom to top?

    Oliver Mundy.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: John Johnson fusee (By: Lychnobius)

    Hi Oliver,

    Since the cock foot is tapered, I'd expect the table to be tapered as well.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

  7. #7

    Default Re: John Johnson fusee (By: gmorse)

    Thanks for the info, guys. I'll post photos of the cock and dust cap tonight.

  8. #8

    Default Re: John Johnson fusee (By: Dave Coatsworth)

    Cap and cock. About as plain as it gets...
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  9. #9

    Default Re: John Johnson fusee

    Hi Dave, here is a similar Dial on an R & G Beesley movement. Regards Ray Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
    Registered User gmorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Johnson fusee (By: Dave Coatsworth)

    Hi Dave,

    Is there anything stamped under the cock foot, and is the cock screw flat or raised?

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

  11. #11

    Default Re: John Johnson fusee (By: gmorse)

    Screw is flat.
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  12. #12
    Registered User gmorse's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Johnson fusee (By: Dave Coatsworth)

    Hi Dave,

    No idea who "I" might have been, but the flat screw in the countersink is right enough for the period. One day we'll see a balance cock foot signed for Edward Massey!

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

  13. #13

    Default Re: John Johnson fusee (By: Dave Coatsworth)

    How about a movement signed Edward Massey! Regards RayClick image for larger version. 

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: John Johnson fusee (By: Omexa)

    I love this watch, Dave, so beautiful!

  15. #15

    Default Re: John Johnson fusee (By: gmorse)

    Quote Originally Posted by gmorse View Post
    Hi Dave,

    One day we'll see a balance cock foot signed for Edward Massey!

    Regards,

    Graham
    Hi Graham/Dave,

    I have just been re-reading Bacon's Watchmaking in Llangollen by Robert Hughes, in trying to improve my understanding who did what in converting a raw movement to a finished movement. Bacon's account is the most detailed account that I know of the activities of a specific watchmaker who actually built watches. It is supported by a description of unfinished movements together with associated documents. Hughes, like many of his contemporaries, I assume, acquired the raw movements from Prescot and then much of the material needed to complete the movement was bought in. The account describes both tins containing individual components and also partly completed movements with the raw movements associated with a set of components necessary to produce the finished movement. Among the tins of individual components was one containing 'escape wheels with lever pallets wrapped as pairs' and one containing 'balance rollers'

    Hughes method of working I assume was typical of a watch maker who actually built the movements. The escapement would have been built from the individual bought in components and fitted to the balance cock which was part of the raw movement. I appreciate that Hughes was working in the last quarter of the C19th, but would not the more famous watchmakers from earlier in the century, have constructed their movements in-house, in order to ensure the quality of their product?.

    So (at last!) to my question - when we read that the escapement was provided/made by Massey and supplied to the well established watchmakers of London or Liverpool, what do you think was actually supplied? Alternatively, is there evidence that watchmakers such as Tobias, Joseph Johnson, Litherland etc. sent their movements out to Massey to fit the escapements? If the latter is the case then I can see that a Massey signed cock, might be a possibility.

    John

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