$ A J Harrison watch with Columbus Ships engraved on dial....any idea on value

PWR_family

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Jun 5, 2016
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Unique dial -- wonderful scene of Columbus leaving Spain. Not clear to me if case if 18k gold but the forum seems to think so. Watch runs for just 10 seconds at a time...balance wheel appears to be good....need a key so might just need to be wound...

Wondering what value might be and where the right venue to sell such a collectors item would be?

IMG_3308.jpg IMG_3310.jpg IMG_3311.jpg IMG_3314.jpg IMG_3315.jpg IMG_3318.jpg IMG_3319.jpg IMG_3324.JPG
 

MartyR

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Dec 16, 2008
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What escapement does it have?
 

gmorse

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Hi PWR_family,

The escapement is some species of lever, that much is clear from the two banking pins visible on the top plate near the edge next to the balance wheel. The word "Patent" engraved on the balance cock foot is often seen on English lever watches, although, somewhat perversely, that particular escapement was never patented as far as I'm aware. The word "Detached", (or "Detach'd"), appears on some with Massey escapements, which were a series of precursors to the English lever, and were patented by Edward Massey in 1814. To see which one you have isn't easy, as the difference lies in very small details of the roller on the balance staff. Since this is pretty well buried in the centre of the watch, it's often only possible to be sure if you take the balance out, and this is not recommended unless you know what you're doing!

Regards,

Graham
 

PWR_family

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Jun 5, 2016
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found the key and watch is running really well...I don't want to take it apart at this point...so I continue to wonder if this is really valuable or :???: I've got a dozen or so watches to figure out what to do with so any advice on this one would be greatly appreciated.
 

MartyR

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Several watches by the maker J Harrison have appeared on this board, but apart from a record of a John William Harrison working in Liverpool in 1842 we do not seem to know much about him. He seems to have been a decent maker who entered the export market to America, following in the footsteps of quality makers including Tobias and Johnson. But this Harrison is not a name which attracts a premium price.

If the escapement happened to be a Massey other than a Type 3, or maybe another rare design (which is hinted at by the use of the word "Patent") then the watch could have a significant value. But if it is just a "regulation" lever then I suggest that the value of the watch is about 80% of the "headline" gold value.
 

Dr. Jon

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I agree with MartyR on the value.

If you are on teh East Coast of the US our two New Hampshire auction houses handle similar items. These are Jones and Horan and R. O Schmitt Fine Arts. Fair disclosure I have worked for both. They sell from most of the US and outside too.
 

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