Chronometry: Pocket: A curious later case Arnold watch

Discussion in 'Chronometers' started by Siyuan Gu, Jun 7, 2018.

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  1. Siyuan Gu

    Siyuan Gu Registered User
    Student Member NAWCC

    Feb 8, 2017
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    Dear all, and Mr. McIntyre,
    I recently received a curious later case Arnold watch from auction house. I believe it is part of Mr. Ross's collection. I guess it might be examined by Mr. McIntyre who lived not too far away from the auction house?

    I previously owned an JR Arnold lever movement with such main plate engraving on a series 3xxx non-chronometer pocket. This is the case for his commercial ones with cylinder, duplex and lever. And now I found it is weird it appeared on a chronometer. I also do not understand why the watch has No 693 and only ARNOLD's name (no J or Jn R etc.).

    Is it before partnership with Dent on year 1830 at 84 strand or after 10 years with Dent? I learnt from Mercer's book that in later years, J.R. no longer used Arnold escapement anymore. Could this watch be an older watch get refurbished in his later years?

    Finally, why it is said the (too small) endstone also need to be replaced during repair?

    Thank you very much.
    Best regards,

    IMG_1554.JPG IMG_1555.JPG
     
  2. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
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    My take on this piece is that it would have been finished from old stock or a trade in at some time between its origins around 1815 and the 1840 to 1843 period when J. R. was working after Dent. It might have also been refurbished during the Dent period. Apart from the slightly odd balance cock for an Arnold detent by J. R. it looks authentic to me. I believe the balance cock could date from the time it was finally put back together.

    I do not own anything comparable. I have an Arnold detent on a Prest's ketyless work chronometer that I think could be contemporary with this example. I believe it was an early piece that was finished rather later. Mine is signed Arnold & Dent, but another example is just signed Arnold.

    I did not examine your watch so I am not sure what you mean by the end stone comment. I don't see any particular problem with it.

    Here is my Arnold & Dent for comparison.

    Back.jpg BackIn.jpg Case.jpg Detent.jpg Dial.jpg Front.jpg Movement.jpg Winding.jpg
     
  3. Siyuan Gu

    Siyuan Gu Registered User
    Student Member NAWCC

    Feb 8, 2017
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    Many thanks! Arnold detent escapement with a keyless work, WOW!
    The Z balance and engraving style appears as quite an old style for Arnolds' family, compared to 'modern' looking watches after 1830's partnership.

    To raise the discussion again, I could not why they used number No 693... it started from No.1 again when JR. moved to 84 strand, London?
    Neither old John Arnold & son ear or later J.R. Arnold used such numbering, according to various reference books?
     
  4. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
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    Questions of why regarding markings are an invitation to speculation. They left no records to tell us why. Pocket chronometers by Arnold and Son used the 301 fractional numbering system. Chronometers of the Best Kind and marine chronometers used their own number sequence.

    Commercial watches and Prest's keyless watches each used their own numbering system.

    If you have Mercer's Arnold and Son, it will help and Hans Steiger's compendium of all the known Arnold watches including both Dent and Frodsham may provide some pattern data.

    Using Steiger it would appear that the 3 digit numbers are part of the Prest sequence but mine is recorded in error and the listed sequence stops at just above 200 so it it really hard to come up with a good speculation.

    I have thought from time to time that J. R. may have just assigned shop numbers to these pieces and they were experimental in some non-obvious sense.
     

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