An unmarked English fusee

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by TJ Cornish, Jul 8, 2017.

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  1. TJ Cornish

    TJ Cornish Registered User
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    #1 TJ Cornish, Jul 8, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2017
    This weekend turned into a bit of a buying trip, and capping off several American watches, I picked up this unmarked English fusee. Sterling silver, keywind. There is an onion paper from Hector Struthers of Glasgow, but other than that I can't find any other markings. Anyone know more about this?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

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    Picture No4 shows what appear to be Hallmarks on the inside of the case
    If so it will be possible to date it
    There may also be case makers marks, there, which some one will be able to identify
     
  3. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi TJ,

    From what I can make out of the hallmarks, (difficult to see clearly in the oblique angle of the picture), the date letter is for London, 1868, which coincides with the style of the movement and especially the dial. A clearer picture of the hallmarks should reveal the case maker, but very many watch movements are unsigned like this, and even when they are, the name is that of the retailer. Many watches at this period were made in Coventry as frames, even if they were subsequently finished in London, but this could equally as well have been completed in Coventry.

    It's an English lever with maintaining power on the fusee, as is usually found on watches of this type, and jewelled to the third wheel. By this time cut compensated balances were becoming commoner but were by no means universally fitted.

    Almost everything seems to be in good condition, although the hour and seconds hands aren't original, and there's some wear to the inked seconds numerals.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  4. TJ Cornish

    TJ Cornish Registered User
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    Thanks for the replies - here's a better shot of the case back.

    Would this have been a high grade watch? "Jeweled to the 3rd wheel" - does that mean 7 jewels?

    I know almost nothing about English watches, but with my name being "Cornish", I probably should learn some more.

    Thanks!
     
  5. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi TJ,

    The date letter is a "p" and not an "n" as I first guessed, so the year is 1870. The case maker is William Carter at 7 President Street, Goswell, London. The train is jewelled from the escape wheel up to the third wheel, with the 5 on the balance and 2 pallets, (but none on the lever pivots), which should mean that there are 13 jewels in all, so a reasonably good quality watch.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  6. TJ Cornish

    TJ Cornish Registered User
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    Thanks so much! Is there a public source for the information you provided?
     
  7. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    It's easier with a decent book but there are plenty of lists of hallmarks online. google British silver hallmarks.
     
  8. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

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  9. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi TJ,

    For hallmarks I use "Bradbury's Book of Hallmarks" which is a handy little pocket-sized book, available from the Sheffield Assay Office. For case makers, the standard book is "Watch Case Makers of England 1720-1920" by Philip T. Priestley. This is NAWCC Bulletin Supplement 20, and although it's no longer in print there are often used copies available online. Have a look at bookfinder.com.

    For the design and construction of English pocket watches, (and indeed any mechanical watches), "Watchmaking" by George Daniels is the bible, not forgetting the years of looking at them and repairing them!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  10. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    More valuable than any book
     
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