A strange movement that seems to be a mixture of styles and years? What is it?

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Omexa, May 22, 2017.

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  1. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

    Feb 28, 2010
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    #1 Omexa, May 22, 2017
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
    Hi, this looks to me to be a Conversion from a Verge to a "What"? It is highly unusual in that it has had the whole Top Plate, Balance Cock and Balance Wheel and Hairspring replaced. It all looks to be a very professional job by what looks to be a Watchmaker in Bristol? It is very hard to make out the engraving and the Serial Number near the Bosley Regulator. (If someone can make it out I would be pleased) I have purchased a number of movements from this seller who I have found to be very wary of wrong description and I have had 4 movements over the years where in the description it states Balance Broken, and when it arrives it is not broken. This seller sells in the thousands and probably does not want the hassle of refunds etc. Can anyone hazard a guess what sort of escapement it has? Maybe from the Top Plate Layout? Regards Ray View attachment 344527 View attachment 344528 View attachment 344529 View attachment 344530 View attachment 344531 View attachment 344532 View attachment 344533 View attachment 344534
     
  2. SKennedy

    SKennedy Registered User

    Jan 5, 2017
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    99% sure that's an English lever escapement in there, just a standard single table roller. From the style of the balance and cock I reckon the converison was probably done in the 1830s maybe 1840s. As you say, it's a much more comprehensive swap than normal. There's one of the typical thick conversion plates screwed to the dial plate to take the bottom balance, lever and escape wheel pivots. Looks like it might also incorporate a pillar to protect the balance staff in the event of a chain breakage.
    Amazing that someone went to the lengths they did to retain the core of this movement, presumably with its original case(es) at the time. They've not updated the dial to a 'modern' type so it would still have looked like quite an antiquated watch even if they had recased it as well.
    Regards,
    Seth
     
  3. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Ray,

    I agree with Seth that it's a conversion of a 1760s-70s watch, most probably from a verge, and quite unusual in having the whole top plate replaced. It looks as though the barrel has a small split, and the fusee stop post has half missing.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  4. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    #4 Omexa, May 23, 2017
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
    Hi, I am fascinated by the virtual "Watch (more modern) within a Verge Watch" approach to this Conversion; it would have been simpler to put the Dial Plate and Dial on a New Movement and then put it in the Case? I wonder if it was an important Family Heirloom and they wanted to have as much original parts as possible? But this theory is shot down by not using the Top Plate and Balance Cock which are visible to the owner. I think now that it was just handed over to a trusted Watchmaker in Bristol (Watchmakers in Bristol?) with the instructions to upgrade it? He or She certainly took the long way round to this up-grade and I have a few very simple Conversions to a Table Roller (if it is) using the original Top Plate, Balance Cock and Balance Wheel . At one stage the Scrappers took away any originality with the Case Melt down. I think that I will continue to scratch my Head for a long time with this movement. I would love to know who owned this movement; I purchased it from Coventry west midlands, West Midlands, United Kingdom. http://www.coventrywatchmuseum.co.uk/history.asp I included the link as a matter of interest; I hope that the Museum is still open? Regards Ray
     
  5. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Hi all, I am not doing much at the moment; I have had the Flu for a week, so not feeling very well. Seeing as I am not working on Pocket Watch movements at the moment, I looked up what is coming and going. I was surprised at how many Bidders there were on this movement, 17 Bidders. I always work out what is the maximum I will pay before the Auction ends and I wait like a Vulture for the time to strike. I outbid the nearest Bidder by 2.00GBP and it was 3.00GBP under my maximum Bid. I have avoided getting into a Bidding War by using this method, having had my fingers burnt in earlier times. This little story may be of use to new time Bidders; avoid Bidding Wars at all cost. Regards Ray
     
  6. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Hi, I am still waiting for this movement to arrive; Australia Post has got slower since the new Mail "Slower upper" Depots have been opened in Brisbane and Sydney. I did not think that the service could get any worse, but they (Australia Post) showed me how wrong my assumption was! It now takes longer to get from the Depots to Darwin than it does to get from the other side of the World to the Depots. Now that I have got that out of the my System; my pet hates are (not in order) Banks, Postal Services, Politicians aarg, and anything else that gets in the way of Pocket Watch collecting. Now to my question, I am being eaten up by curiosity as to what sort of escapement this movement has? There do not seem to be any Banking Pins on the Top Plate. Regards Ray View attachment 346925 View attachment 346926 View attachment 346927
     
  7. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Hi, I received the movement a couple of days ago, it is a very thorough Conversion with some Screwed in Jewels and the Top Plate is the Original but altered and then re-gilded. It has 3 upright Bars to protect Balance Pivots. It also has good Balance Pivots; my assumption was right that the seller put in "Broken Balance" on almost all his Sales to avoid trouble from the purchasers. It has a good Fusee Chain with both Hooks. When I get it back together it will be a very nice movement. The Hinge has been ripped off. Regards Ray View attachment 347821 View attachment 347822 View attachment 347823 View attachment 347824 View attachment 347825
     
  8. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Ray,

    Someone has gone to a lot of trouble to convert this, possibly nearly 100 years after it was made. It must indeed have been valued by the owner, and I wonder if the original cases had some special significance for them as well.

    The balance aperture in the top plate is often left square in these, but this one has been rounded off to take the index lever.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  9. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Hi Graham, it certainly is a nice movement; what a pity about the Cases; the barrel does have a small split, and I am not sure what I am going to do about that, I think that I have another one the same size. Now that you have seen it in bits, do you have a better idea of the date? It would not have been cheap to convert! Regards Ray
     
  10. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    #10 gmorse, Jun 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
    Hi Ray,

    I think this was made in the 1750s or 60s, but harder to say when the conversion was done. Can you post pictures of the lever and train wheels please?

    The dial is excellent, and doesn't seem to have any hairlines; the dial was often "updated" on these conversions but you have a fine original. How's your stock of beetle and poker hands?

    The crack in the barrel doesn't appear to be near the hooking opening which is often where they fail. I have dovetailed a new section into a barrel wall before with some success, which is worth a try before replacing the whole barrel. In this example I had to cut a new opening opposite the old one, and I did put a thin sleeve inside as "belt and braces", but I'm not sure this was really necessary.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  11. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Hi Graham, my luck was in, a Case this very small size is very hard to come by; I looked in my pile and lo and behold I found one (I think I purchased it when I had lots of money in one of my buying splurges) so I now have an incentive to finish the movement. I am not sure when it was made and it appears to be made of Steel? I will get to the question you asked after the Movie finishes. Regards Ray
    View attachment 347900 View attachment 347901 View attachment 347902 View attachment 347903 View attachment 347904 View attachment 347905
     
  12. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    #12 Omexa, Jun 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
    Hi Graham, here it is. At the moment I have no Beetle and Poker Hands. Regards Ray View attachment 347922
     
  13. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Ray,

    Thanks, that's a standard "waisted" lever; I was wondering if it might have been an earlier straight-sided one, so it's hard to date from that.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  14. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    #14 Omexa, Jun 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  15. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Hi, I am still trying to come up with a Maker. There is the Serial Number 19661 Scratched into the Mainspring Barrel and a "D" engraved on it as well. Regards Ray View attachment 348277
     
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