Search results

  1. L

    Bargain Burdess

    Adam Burdess of Coventry, who worked from about 1868 until at least 1895, has appeared in several of our discussions over the years. He was a reputable maker who patented a keyless winding system for fusee movements, consisting of a kind of pump-action lever acting on the fusee arbor; he also...
  2. L

    George Lewis verge, 1756

    For many years I have been without a complete and functional verge watch. A recent eBay sale has allowed me to fill this gap at, for once, rather less cost than I expected. The watch has nothing distinguished about it, although the 'frill' around the cock-table is an agreeable touch, and it...
  3. L

    Chronometer by Russells of Liverpool (or is it?)

    I have just bought a two-day chronometer signed by, or for, Russells Ltd. of 18 Church Street, Liverpool (just across the way from my old friend Joseph Johnson). It came from a vendor in the United States who seems thoroughly knowledgeable and responsible. The instrument arrived today, but I am...
  4. L

    Joseph Johnson in gold

    I have been absent from the forum for months, largely because of my involvement in an especially gruelling house move; apart from a few items of massive Victorian furniture, I had to pack unaided everything that went from the old house to the new (including about 10,000 books and 2000 78 r.p.m...
  5. L

    Anonymous English lever fusee: 1846 or 1897?

    This is not a distinguished watch – a nameless seven-jewel single-roller fusee with a plain steel balance – but it was priced at less than GBP100, and as I cannot remember the last time I saw a complete and functional English fusee watch at this sort of price, I snapped it up. Once I had...
  6. L

    Richard Webster 'up-down' watch

    A correspondent has asked me if I can help with information on this watch. As it is stem-wound it can scarcely be earlier than about 1870, and so the Richard Webster named here must be the younger, who seems to have worked between about 1849 and 1881. I am rather at a loss regarding the...
  7. L

    Cannon pinion loose on centre-wheel arbor

    Is there any way of dealing with the situation where a cannon pinion is no longer a tight fit on the centre-wheel arbor, so that (for example) the minute-hand can be moved by one's finger? The problem with this, of course, is that the reduced frictional adherence between the pinion and the arbor...
  8. L

    William French 3/4-plate, circa 1850

    Sometimes nearly everything works out right. Last week I bought a three-quarter-plate movement by 'French, Royal Exchange, London' with compensated balance and jewelled escape-wheel and fourth wheel and an unusual dust-cap; there were no hands and the balance would sleepily swing half a dozen...
  9. L

    Unusually accurate verge, c. 1760

    Having been without a working verge watch or movement for some years, I recently fell for the example shown here. The signature is that of Robert Thorne who was apprenticed in 1738 and, according to Baillie, was in business on his own account by 1754. I would date this movement to the early...
  10. L

    Identifying Massey escapements without dismantling

    In discussing English fusee lever movements made between about 1812 and 1850, we often come up against the question whether the escapement is a standard English single-roller pattern or one of the five styles developed by Edward Massey from 1812 onwards. One can usually recognise the Massey...
  11. L

    Identifying Massey escapements without dismantling

    In discussing English fusee lever movements made between about 1812 and 1850, we often come up against the question whether the escapement is a standard English single-roller pattern or one of the five styles developed by Edward Massey from 1812 onwards. One can usually recognise the Massey...
  12. L

    My latest Joseph Johnson

    Here is Joseph Johnson No. 30309, a 19-jewel English-lever fusee with compensated balance in a silver case with Chester hallmarks for 1861. John Matthews brought it to my notice as a candidate for the Johnson database, as he has often done recently (thank you, John!), and I determined to bag it...
  13. L

    Short cut to dial restoration (sometimes)

    The art of hand-painting enamel watch dials seems to be utterly lost. George Daniels, that otherwise universal genius of practical horology, apparently did not practise it, and modern attempts to restore the details even on clock dials (to say nothing of watches) generally look as if they were...
  14. L

    English levers with unjewelled pallets

    I have just dismantled a Joseph Johnson movement (No. 1263) with Massey V escapement, dating from 1815 or 1816, and have noticed something which I have never observed before: the pallets on the lever are plain steel, without any jewels. As the train-wheels are not jewelled either, this means...
  15. L

    Joseph Johnson: first attempt at a dating graph

    I do not usually mention updates to the Johnson database here, but I thought it might be of interest to say that for the first time I have attempted a graph correlating serial numbers with hallmark dates. The evidence for this is still extremely scanty – I have seven credible dates between Nos...
  16. L

    Early pocket chronometer movement (Pennington?)

    Here is my latest treasure from David Penney: a watch movement with a true chronometer escapement, signed by (or rather for) James Hatton who practised alone between 1805 and 1816. The balance is of the form developed by Robert Pennington, and I understand that the detent of the escapement is...
  17. L

    Marine: 19th-century marine chronometer (sort of)

    To be more precise, what I have just bought is part of a chronometer: the dial and brass edge, the bezel with its glass, and the brass shell or bowl (I do not know the correct name for this and shall be glad if somebody can tell me) which held the movement but now (alas) holds nothing but air...
  18. L

    Substitutes for fusee-chains: a new thought

    In the past we have discussed the possibility of making a substitute for the traditional steel fusee-chain, and several practical suggestions have been put forward by Ray and others. The principal difficulty seems to lie in forming the hooks at each end. What I should like to do here is to offer...
  19. L

    The watch that ran without power

    Some weeks ago my James McCabe gold watch with Savage escapement (formerly Martin's) suffered a broken fusee-chain. This was fairly easy to rectify (only 'fairly' because the movement is very slim by English standards and was therefore awkward for even my child-sized fingers to manipulate), but...
  20. L

    James McCabe 3440 (cylinder)

    Just arrived from David Penney is a cylinder (steel) movement by the original James McCabe, datable I understand to about 1800. Mr. Penney's listing commented on the unusual quality of the finish, and rightly so; my pictures cannot do justice to such details as the regulator disc, which is...

Forum statistics

Threads
174,426
Messages
1,524,199
Members
52,199
Latest member
phred01
Encyclopedia Pages
1,063
Total wiki contributions
2,971
Last page
Hard Life for Wristwatches by Roy Gardner