American?

Jeff Hess

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HAs an American case. (for sure) and the name John Guier comes up a LOT inthe philadelphia area in the late 1700's to early 1800's. This is not my watch, but a customers and I am trying to find out info for him. Alo the lack of an english CITY on the movement and the unusual dial lead me to beleive (hope) that this is American.

Anyone?

Thanks.

18k gold WW&C0 case signed simply "john Guier" on movement. compendated bi-alloy balance. Looks Massey-esque.
 

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gmorse

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Hi Jeff,

This has the look of a Liverpool piece; the "crow's feet" on the regulator scale, the engraved rosette around the top balance pivot, the large "window" jewelling up to the fusee, and the word "Patent" on the cock foot all suggest that's where it originated.

Regards,

Graham
 

Keith R...

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It has the same balance wheel as my Johnson, less temp compensation curb. 1820's?? Keith
Looks 100% American, (assembled and finished here).
 
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gmorse

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Hi Jeff,

I'm not sure of the function of that bimetallic balance wheel, it can't be temperature compensation so probably just cosmetic, but it is yet another pointer to Liverpool.

Regards,

Graham
 

Jim Haney

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I would say European based on fan tail Balance Bridge and location of winding key arbor.

Just doesn't look like any American Cottage Industry movements.
 

Jeff Hess

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As I said, looks like a Massey. But I am interested in cracking the watchmakers name. Lots of people by that name in Philadelphia area. Case American, movement originated in England likely. But is this a Post-Colonial watch retailed by an American?

Thanks for the interest. If no one can pinpoint this John Guier then I am barking up the wrong tree. :)
 

RON in PA

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The movement appears to be much later than Colonial times, 1825-1850? Also the dial looks very 19th century and not American.
 

Keith R...

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Jeff, It would be nice if the customer has a trail of watch papers. Mine are early Banks & Biddle.
Also there could be possible marks inside the outer case, from previous US repairs. Keith
 

Jeff Hess

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The movement appears to be much later than Colonial times, 1825-1850? Also the dial looks very 19th century and not American.
Ron, these 1820 to 1855ish watchesa re comonly called "post colonial" or sometimes "pre civil war". Tehy are generally American cases like this one and oftimes signed with American
makers
(actuall, often retailers) on movement. We know this is an American case and we know it is a Massey type movement.

I am trying to discern this fellow john guiers nationality.

thanks.

jeff
 

PapaLouies

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Hi Jeff,

The case may not be American.
It could be an English case that slipped out the back door.

For a couple of Helsby's cases you might want to look at:

1) On the net: M I Tobias Rack Lever 18K item 874
2) OPfanCC post #1 at Thread:
MI Tobias with very worn hallmarks

Regards,

PL
 

Keith R...

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Although PL and I don't always agree............we happen to here. I would not be surprised if
it were an MI Tobias private label for your guy Jeff. I'd say English case too. Keith
 

John Pavlik

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Jeff, neat watch !! My only comment is I think the signature is American.. Being On the barrel bridge & along with the font.. Generally, in my experience, the 2 piece / color balance is late 1820's to approx 1839... Serial number is high enough to have been imported... I can not establish the specific name to any one in the trade .... But only did a quick search.. Interesting outer case number is different than movement..
 

gmorse

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Hi John,

Putting a "private label" name on the barrel bar rather than the top plate would make sense, because then only the bar would need gilding afterwards. It's hard to tell from photos, but I get the impression that the bar is a slightly different colour from the rest of the gilding.

[Edit] Looking again at the case, the outer of an English pair case would normally hinge at 9 o'clock, not 6, and outers were sometimes made by a different craftsman from the inner.

Regards,

Graham
 

John Pavlik

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Agree Graham, but both cases have the same makers mark & different serial numbers.. Perplexing to me.. I agree about hinge
placement on English cases, that's why I believe it is an American made case.. Many American key wind cases had the hinge placement as seen on this watch.. If I remember, and that's debatable at times, I have seen a couple of English outer pair cases with the "off set" hinge..but not enough to say it's common.. This one appears to be hinged at 35-40 minute mark..
 

PapaLouies

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If Jeff's case tested at greater than 18K, would that not suggest English made.
I don't think that American karat marks were very reliable at this time.

PL
 

gmorse

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Hi PL,

All English goldsmiths and silversmiths would certainly ensure that their work passed assay by exceeding the relevant standard slightly.

Regards,

Graham
 

Jeff Hess

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Thanks. I am pretty confident it is an American case. And just have this "felling" with thte way ti is marked that the "maker" (really importer) is American as well. It just frustrates me that I cannot find this fellas name in any American OR ENGLISH database. Anywhere.

thanks to all of have made comments. Very much.

Jeff
 

PapaLouies

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John,
I'm aware you have handled more watches from this period that I have only seen photos of. But, for this to be an American case it would be necessary for an American case maker to make this case with the pendant, crown and bow virtually identical to that of Thomas & John Helsby.
It is likely the only American case maker at the time possibly able to accomplish this would be William Warner, Philadelphia, 1811 to 1844, and after his sons brought into the business it became William Warner & Co.
Both cases are marked W.W. & Co. and this could indicate made by Warner after 1844 or that Warner simply stamped an English case.
I have the remains of a M. & I. (not M.I.) Tobias movement #2709 once housed in an 18K William Warner case with pendant, crown and bow far removed from the Helsby style. The case was damaged beyond repair and since melted. This movement has a dial plate separate from the pillar plate and is 3.5 mm between plates. This could possibly fix it's date.

Jeff, I have found the following.
CALENDAR OF NEW JERSEY WILLS
Volume IX 1796-1800
1800, Oct. 30. Smith, Hugh, will of.
15 pounds to John Guier, baker, in Lumber Street, Philadelphia.

THE
PHILADELPHIA ASSEMBLIES
THOMAS WILLING BALCH
" Philadelphia, Feb. 2, 1792 "
The list of subscribers to this building fund in 1792 and 1793 was as follows, many names including John Guier.

APPEWOOD'S AMERICAN CITIES
SERIES 1839
A History of Philadelphia
officers, and citizen soldiers
In 1812-13 & 14
SECOND TROOP, CITY CAVALRY
PRIVATES
John Guier
Philadephila nativist riots Wikipedia

Casualty of May 1844 Riot:
Pvt. John Guyer (sic) (killed)

Hope this helps. Regards,

PL
 
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Jeff Hess

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Thanks john, Graham and Keith.

It smacked of American the minute I saw it. What really gets my collector/researcher juices going is trying to find the watchmaker or retailer.

95% of the time a few minutes to a few hours on line and I can pinpoint and obscure American or British watchmaker or retailer. This one has taken way too many hours of my time.

Yet, I am sill looking for this fella.

Thanks.

Jeff