Antique Working D.D. Neveren London Pocket Watch (lots of pictures)

JohnOak

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Nov 23, 2015
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I just got a good deal on an antique possibly 1700's (not sure though) pocket watch. It is marked D.D. Neveren London. I have photos of the watch and very close ups of the movement and the dial. I believe it is silver and has a ruby movement.

I was just wondering if anyone knows much about this watch? Especially the year.

I know this may not be the most valuable pocket watch in the world, but the fact it could be over 200 years old makes it really neat.

My second question is, it runs well, but it is very fast (3 minutes late an hour). Is there a way to slow down the movement? I see there is a place on the back that it may be possible.

Thanks a lot for your help!!


30532342513_418cb409ee_n.jpg IMG_5430-2 by Conrad's Media Services, on Flickr




31339802265_f06151b2cc_n.jpg IMG_5428-1 by Conrad's Media Services, on Flickr



31339798415_16136b578d_n.jpg IMG_5432-3 by Conrad's Media Services, on Flickr

30517508854_23bb10bd80_n.jpg DSC_4664-4 by Conrad's Media Services, on Flickr



30532354413_a8098ce28e_n.jpg DSC_4680-6 by Conrad's Media Services, on Flickr

30532352253_0f4bb13552_n.jpg DSC_4683-7 by Conrad's Media Services, on Flickr

31339807265_bf75460e77_n.jpg DSC_4686-8 by Conrad's Media Services, on Flickr

30532348173_ee667ed583_n.jpg DSC_4688-9 by Conrad's Media Services, on Flickr



30532345553_208df5c51b_n.jpg DSC_4690-11 by Conrad's Media Services, on Flickr

30532340993_9346f3da30_n.jpg IMG_5436-4 by Conrad's Media Services, on Flickr
 

novicetimekeeper

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I've seen this signature before and wondered about the origin. There is always the possibility that he came here and carried on his traditions from wherever he started but to me they don't look very English.

My Baillies has him in London 1784 but whether he made your watch we must wait for others to say.
 

gmorse

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Hi Ray,

It's in the archive section, so it's been sold. A piece like this with a spurious signature purporting to be from London when it isn't, can justifiably be described as a fake, intended to deceive.

Regards,

Graham
 

MrRoundel

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Interesting about the possible origins of this "D.D. Neveren, London". I don't have one exactly like it, but it's pretty close. It's a "D. Neveren, London". The bridges look the same, etc., but it doesn't have the second "D" on the dial or the movement. Still, I'm guessing it's from the same maker. I always thought that the bridge design looked different than other English fusees. A fake, eh? Interesting. Cheers.
 

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gmorse

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Hi John,

There are quite a few clues to suggest that this watch isn't from London, or indeed anywhere in the UK.

The balance bridge has already been mentioned, but there are others; the shape of the pillars, the style of the dial and hands, the relatively crude engraving and piercing of the bridge and the slide plate, the brass regulator disc, and the mechanism between the plates for adjusting the crown wheel depth into the verge.

Neveren.JPG

Most of these by themselves might possibly be found in English watches, but in combination like this, the conclusion is clear.

Regards,

Graham
 

eri231

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I think it is a fake made in France. the case has the hallmark of a French casemaker. This type of balance bridge was made by Japy freres of Beaucourt.
regards enrico
 

Lychnobius

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I would guess that the watch under discussion dates from about 1780-1800, which is consistent with Baillie's date. It is true that verge watches were still being made much later (certainly in the 1850s and some say in the 1880s), but many features visible here - the convex dial, the flattened bow, the pierced slide-plate and the hexagonal pillars - make me think of an earlier date.

It is, unfortunately, not at all uncommon for unrestored verges to gain several minutes each hour. This is a simple matter of wear. The verge escapement - a miniature version of a pattern devised for huge wrought-iron church clocks in about 1300 - is a very unrefined system; it has no jewels at all and it involves sixteen thousand head-on collisions every hour between the mild-steel pallets (which project from the balance-staff) and the soft brass crown-wheel. The result is that the pallets wear down, thus making less and less contact with the wheel, and after a while the depth-adjustment system mentioned by Graham can no longer take up this wear; I have seen cases in which pallets and crown-wheel teeth no longer overlap at all, so that the train-wheels simply buzz away like the mechanism of a push-and-go toy and the watch runs down in a matter of seconds just as if the balance assembly were not there, even though nothing is actually broken or missing.

Oliver Mundy.
 
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JohnOak

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I do have a question. What is the ruby (I think) that I can see on the back of the movement? Is it just for show? Thanks!
 

Lychnobius

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This is what is called an endstone. In theory it is a cap placed on top of another jewel which is pierced right through to act as a bearing for the outer end of the balance-staff, the cap serving as a means of holding the balance-staff firm and reducing its tendency to wear and the ends. In practice, however, only the very finest verges had any functional jewels at all, and I suspect that the ruby here is indeed only decorative, with nothing under it except a pivot-hole in the brass cock itself.

Oliver Mundy.
 

novicetimekeeper

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I'm no watch repairer, but the endstone is a cap over the jewelled bearing for the pivot.

In English watches of the period the endstone is usually a diamond.

edit you got a much better answer first
 

pmwas

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I decided to dig out this thread to re-post some long lost pictures of mine (from 2017).

I happen to have a Neveren watch as well. Not like a big deal - plenty of Neverens around...

neveren 01.jpg

Hallmarks as seen. Inlay card shows a watchmaker form Denmark, which might be revealing...

neveren 02.jpg

Took a while to take that apart. terribly jammed taper pins and rusty cannon pinion… yuck… I remember that even today...

neveren 03.jpg

Modified escape wheel bearing's height (to fit replaced parts?)...

neveren 04.jpg

Crudely cut ruby endstone...

neveren 05.jpg

Fusee assembled...

neveren 06.jpg

The movement is NOT English, definitely as Swiss as it can be. It could also be French, but definitely not English watchmaking philosophy...

neveren 07.jpg

Nothing very special about this movement. Only the fact that it is huge, that's all...

neveren 08.jpg

Nearly done, but on adjustment I broke the rusty hairspring and had to use an American one, with a grotesquely wide outer coil...

neveren 09.jpg

OK, done...

neveren 10.jpg

Later I fitted a crystal and the watch has been sitting in my 'oldies' box for 3 years.
I took these forgotten boxes out recently and I check on each and every of them if there's nothing wrong with them.
I've even re-repaired one quartier with parts and experience gathered through these years, but for this one I have no more ideas.

I could try to fit a nice, old hairspring as I have one or two of them (but probably for lighter balance wheels), but I will not cope with the terribly (audibly) unstable rate.

This verge movement just keeps speeding up and slowing down and speeding up again even when it lies steadily on table.
There's clearly something wrong with the escapement, but... whatever - I don't use it for timekeeping anyway ;)


As for the origin of these Neveren 'London' watches - I once read (not reliable source) that these oversized watches were Swiss made fakes for Scandinavian market. The Danish inlay card could support that theory, but... who knows?

One thing is for sure, these Neveren watches are definitely continental and have nothing to do with English watchmaking whatsoever.
 

pmwas

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Years passed by and I decided to use up one of my hairsprings for a more proper repair...

237310AF-8BD5-43C4-9D40-6D2DDC316325.jpeg

647F60B8-2941-4F51-ADFE-FD4A9CEF15CE.jpeg

So far so good...

00BEDE23-2691-42A2-9FD7-A393E63ABC1F.jpeg

2ADC3807-70A6-4826-B16E-E93C75EFDEA3.jpeg

And I... can’t believe it! A flawless repair finally ;)

4A9C47CC-D449-4708-9C94-D831A2F3F337.jpeg

This is never gonna work right as the escape wheel is worn, but... at least looks much better now ;)
 
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novicetimekeeper

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I have a couple of earlier English watches with far fewer turns on the hairspring. Is that an age thing or a nationality thing?
 

gmorse

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Hi Nick,
I have a couple of earlier English watches with far fewer turns on the hairspring. Is that an age thing or a nationality thing?
It's related to age; the spring that Paul has used is a much later one with different characteristics, the earliest springs only had around 2 to 3 turns. Longer equals slower but thicker equals faster, so his is probably slightly thicker than the original to arrive at the same rate. Strength is proportional to the cube of the thickness so a small increase can make a significant difference.

Regards,

Graham
 

pmwas

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That spring was ‚harvested’ from a Swiss 19th Century wrecked verge watch with balance of similar size.
 

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