A R.Hornby fake watch?

Allan C. Purcell

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I bought this pocket watch movement last week from America. All apperances would indicate a pocket watch made in Liverpool by R. Hornby,
then exported to America. Though this watch does not have the Liverpool arrows between Slow and Fast. This would indicate a Coventry pocket watch.
The escapement is a English single table roller of a later period than would be expected, and I would date the watch in the early 1850's. Both Richard Hornby watchmakers
of that period had died before the watch was made. I feel the hands on the watch were fitted in America, and I would like to know if that lithograph of a railroad engine was
done in England or America? Overall the watch is in very good condition, it still runs-the dial is and looks perfect, and if the case could be found:???:? Please take a look at the photographs below.
Best wishes,
Allan
 
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gmorse

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Hi Allan,

There was a lot of traffic in both directions between Liverpool and Coventry in terms of frames and finishing, so this could have started life in Prescot, as seems probable from the design, and been finished elsewhere. In any event, the characteristic "crow's feet" aren't an infallible guide to Liverpool origins, any more than are "Coventry Stars" for that city.

I agree that the hands aren't original, since apart from style they don't fit the dial properly; whether the dial itself is original is debatable.

Regards,

Graham
 

Lychnobius

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Further to Graham's comment on the dial: - Without necessarily disagreeing, I do think that at least the dial and the movement belong to very much the same period, namely the late 1850s or early 1860s. the movement has the small thick-headed cock screw with a corresponding hole cut in the dust-cap, and this was an innovation of that time; the dial, with its early form of sunken seconds dial having the track painted outside the sunken area, is I think pretty consistent with that era.

The engine looks British to me, with a single pair of driving wheels, narrow smoke-stack (as opposed to the American wood-burning type with its wide mouth) and no cab for the unfortunate crew; however, I would not put much weight on this.

Oliver Mundy.
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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Hi Graham,
I know you are right about the above, and Oliver too, though no-one mentioned Richard Hornby. If you look at photographs two and three, you will see a liverpool arrow in the centre, I only noticed myself
while looking at these photgraphs enlarged. I don't know enough about watch dial makeing, but would have thought this one is English. If we say the watch was made in 1858, that is thirty years since the "Rocket" set out from Liverpool to manchester. Just a thought. I think when the Americans wake up this morning they might know a little more.
Allan.
 
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PapaLouies

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Hi Allan,

The inverted balance wheel, with a hole in the arm at it's connection to the balance rim, is' I think, typical of Swiss practice, although, Lewis Samuel of Liverpool used this style of balance wheel on some of his watches, mid 1840s.

The balance is a bit crude and is without mean-time screws.
A photo of the pillar plate could be helpful.

Regards, PL
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Hi PL,
Right now he watch is running down, and I might add keeping good time face down. I will know more when it is completely run down. Just for you PL I will try to take the dial off maybe tomorrow.

Regards,
Allan.
 

John Pavlik

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PL, I have seen this type of balance on English watches, usually 1850's or later.. but I have not seen any Swiss watch with
a top top plate made like this.. By this time frame I believe most if not all Swiss makers were using the going barrel and the typical bar style movements... The Swiss makers changed and the English had a difficult time changing... Even going barrels were not the norm with the English trade until the 1875-1880 period.. so I would guess its an Authentic English made movement, by who, difficult to say.. lot of Hornby's but not at this time frame... hmmmm..
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Hi John, just out of interest, Richard Hornby (The one that married William Robinsons daughter and signed his watches 41, Pool Lane) can trace his family back to Thomas Hornby in the late 16 hundreds, then to his Grandson Richard Hornby in c1885. So this Hornby family was around in Liverpool for some three hundred years. Though I still don't think an R. Hornby made this watch movement-would be nice to be wrong?
Regards,
Allan.
 
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MartyR

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Just out of curiosity, is this Hornby related to the model railway maker?
 

novicetimekeeper

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Just out of curiosity, is this Hornby related to the model railway maker?
More than likely, Frank Hornby was born in Liverpool in 1863 though not directly to a watchmaker it was probably a branch of the same family.

EDIT: He invented Meccano
 

PapaLouies

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Hi John,

Nice to hear from you. Hope this post finds you in good health.

The statement saying this style of balance wheel is typical of Swiss practice is not a statement that Allan's Hornby is a Swiss watch.

If you can find the time, maybe you could post some photos of this style of balance on English watches made by various makers.

Regards, PL
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Hello John-Nice Liverpool movement-though Loomes has only one entry for this maker John Saqui 1870.

Regards,
Allan.
 

PapaLouies

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John, thanks for the response. Yes, the balance wheel on your Saqui is inverted, but it is missing the holes through the arms, which is the typical characteristic of Swiss practice.

Regards, PL
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Hi PL,
On Davied Penney's ANTIQUEWATCHSTORE he has a Hornby repeater movement for sale-well worth a look. The watch is Swiss but Penney could not find a makers mark. Worth a look.

Regards,
Allan.
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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I too have had a look for watches with this type of balance, and noticed the photograph of Rob.Roskell 36608. This watch was and is the start of PJQL (Piers) thread Robert Roskell Liverpool. after 1880.
This is in the main a typical Liverpool watch, Liverpool windows, liverpool arrows, Liver bird on the cock, andthe number would give a date of c1821/22. Though then comes the escapement, a STR Single table roller, not impossable, with a Swiss Balance wheel?? It would be nice to know how much Roskell had to do with this watch-without readding the whole tread again-I supose I will have too.

Regards,
Allan.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Have gone through all the photographs I have of Roskell watches: below a small list of those with a compensation balance-those with screws all round the rim-there are other types-the blued steel and brass rim,and those with just four screws, but these are not included.
21379 Converted from RACK Lever to STR.
49078
53907
55922
56941
57767
63132.
I would have liked to show photgraphs, but they don't belong to me.
Regards,
Allan.
 
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