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Barwise File.

svenedin

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Hi Stephen, Yes I would say the same, there are indications that clock could have been imported, the compensation balance looks to be Swiss-the clock people on here may know more, not that it really matters, its a first-class carriage clock sold by a top firm. I wish it was mine.:)

Allan.
OK let’s hear what the clock experts have to say. It looks to me like an English lever with the characteristic shape of the teeth of the escape wheel and the layout of the escapement. Of course platform escapements are replaced sometimes but this one seems to be right.
 

zedric

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Hi Stephen
Unfortunately the clock is only marked on the dial for Barwise. While it would have been retailed by him, this is a French made clock

An English clock, and Barwise did retail a few from memory, will have characteristically have fusees rather than going barrels, and would not use such a case. Many well known English makers sold a French clocks as a cheaper line.
 
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svenedin

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Hi Stephen
Unfortunately the clock is only marked on the dial for Barwise. While it would have been retailed by him, this is a French made clock

An English clock, and Barwise did retail a few from memory, will have characteristically have fusees rather than going barrels, and would not use such a case. Many well known English makers sold a French clocks as a cheaper line.
Fair enough. I am not remotely concerned. The clock was one from a "mixed case" that my father acquired 50 years ago or more. I am not joking by saying "mixed case". He bought 6 carriage clocks in a wine case as if they were bottles of wine. A nice case in fact: this Barwise, a Margaine, a differential winding LeRoy and 3 others.
 

zedric

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Very nice, I’ve always wanted one of those LeRoy’s
 

svenedin

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Keep it going Stephen, and tell us more about your father, did he buy watches too??

Allan.
My grandfather, great-grandfather and several of my great-uncles were watchmakers or clockmakers. My great-grandfather was a clockmaker for the Croydon company, Gillett and Johnston who made clocks for churches and public buildings as well as some domestic clocks. In fact, as a church bellringer, I ring bells cast by Gillett and Johnston and our church has a Gillett and Johnston clock in the tower too. During WW2 my grandfather was in a "reserved occupation" (as well as being a bit too old) and rather than being conscripted he worked as an "instrument maker" making instruments for aeroplanes. After the war he worked for Garrards in London and then set himself up in business as a watch and clock repairer. He had a workshop in the garage but if it was too cold he would sometimes work at the dining table. He would fashion parts on "the turns" and appropriate my grandmother's gold wedding ring for electroplating so that the poor ring got thinner and thinner. My father died when I was a child and had nothing to do with the horological industry but he loved antiques and all things that go tick. He would sometimes buy watches from his father who would come by watches when customers used them to fund repairs to something else and my grandfather did deal in watches on a small scale too. My father loved clocks more than watches but nonetheless would almost always be wearing a pocket watch. He loved collecting but he never really thought much about maintaining his collection given he had family on tap to do that. Of course, this has not been the case for many years and my watch and clockmaking relatives have all now passed away long ago. I have added to the collection over the years but my focus is now more on watches as I have no space for any more clocks and there are clocks sitting in cupboards and on shelves with nowhere to put them (I was even thinking of putting up a wall clock in the downstairs lavatory!). Since the lockdown I have carried on working as normal but have been working remotely to a large extent and so I have had much more time at home (I usually work and stay away from home). I am trying to rationalise my (fairly small) collection of watches, sort out and offload the junk and have more decent pieces repaired. The idea is to bring the standard of my watches up.

Stephen
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Thank you, Stephen, I am sure you are not alone, many of us are in the same boat, I started collecting watches because I had no more room for clockes. It was a case of you or the clocks. By the way, there is a large dial clock in the guest toilet here. I think it is far more mentioned than all the others together.

Allan.
 

Sandy2404

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I’m new to this forum and would welcome any advice. I have just inherited a 1854 Barwise pocket watch. Aesthetically, it’s in very good condition, but sadly does not work. The watch is currently with a local (and highly regarded) horologist, who is investigating whether repair is possible and if so, at what cost. He has already advised that the watch is “very, very interesting” as it was apparently developed with marine use in mind (I can’t remember most of what he said, but I do recall him mentioning “ships Captains?”) Anyway, apparently, the part(s) that are required to restore the watch, need to be manufactured and he’s advised that he could not do this and indeed, the techniques required are on the border between horological and science. It seems that I’m looking at a likely restoration cost that will be in the early £000’s. Simply, I would welcome any views on what I’ve said here. I’m naturally very keen to restore the watch and to develop a true family heirloom - but I’m also terrified at the likely cost to achieve this.
 

PatH

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Welcome to the forum, Sandy -

If you have pictures of the watch, please post them as they would be very helpful to those who are more knowledgeable. Thanks!

Pat
 

Dr. Jon

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Welcome the message board and this forum!

Repair of a watch of that era will probably require parts making and this is expensive. Here is some general advice,

If the repair person meant it is a captain's watch this is usually a watch with two sets of hands and dial rings on a single large dial to keep time from two places and often has an independent seconds hand. These are interesting watches, usually Swiss an not to difficult to repair and fun to watch in action.

If it is an English spring detent chronometer, it is much more valuable and more difficult to repair if it has a serious problem.

Most repairs add much less value than they cost so you have to want to make it run for other reasons.

Most restoration costs accrue from undoing previous botch or make-do work. It is better not to do at all than to try to get it done for a fixed cost.
 

John Matthews

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Sandy - welcome to the forum - we are here to help if we can.

As others have said, it really is not possible to give a definitive answer without further information, in particularly photographs of the movement. Barwise signed watches typically have high quality English movements. Reading between the lines it is possible that the watch is a pocket chronometer with a spring detent escapement - if that is broken, a repair will be very expensive. There are very few horologists who have the skills to make a replacement.

You may like to look at this thread, and compare it with your watch - unfortunately, my example is only a movement, but fortunately the detent was not broken. A Barwise detent is a very fine watch, I hope the detent is not broken in which case it will be far less expensive to repair.

I assume you obtained the age of the watch from the hallmark on the case, this is reliable unless the movement has been re-cased, so you need to check that the movement is consistent with the date. If it is 1854 then it is should be signed Barwise & Sons, my movement is much earlier ~1820. By that date the serial numbers being used were of the format 12/xxx for example 12/273 was a pocket chronometer made in 1859 and purchased by the Admiralty. The output of Barwise at that time included watches with a range of escapements, including duplex and lever. Therefore, it may not be a pocket chronometer, but from the description you have been given, I think it probably is.

Ask the horologist - is the watch a pocket chronometer with a spring detent escapement?

John
 

Sandy2404

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Thank you all for your comments to date. The watch is currently with the horologist and so the only photographs I can post are shown above.
I’m afraid I don’t have photographs of the inner workings.
The 1854 date was taken from the case markings.
The number on the case is 12/049.
 

John Matthews

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Sandy - thank-you for posting the photographs that you have.

It appears to be a fine example in good condition. The dial and the hands look to be original and are undamaged as far as I can see - no chips or hair line cracks in the dial are good signs.

The number on the dome or dust cover will be the serial number of the watch and the number is compatible with the date of the case. The case carries a maker's mark of AS in an oval cartouche. This the mark of Alfred Stram, native of Switzerland, who was a highly regarded case maker He initially worked from Red Lion Square in Holborn from 1850 and then ~1854 moved to 12 Ashby Street, Northampton Square, Clerkenwell in the East End.

I am afraid it is not possible to identify the escapement, without photographs of the movement.

John
 

svenedin

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I know I’m not allowed to promote or link to a seller but just to say I was browsing tonight and saw a Barwise verge fusee pocket watch for sale from one of the well know London dealers in such things. Inexpensive as not in great condition. I was slightly tempted.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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I know I’m not allowed to promote or link to a seller but just to say I was browsing tonight and saw a Barwise verge fusee pocket watch for sale from one of the well know London dealers in such things. Inexpensive as not in great condition. I was slightly tempted.
Could you please PM with the details-thanks in advance,

Allan
 

Allan C. Purcell

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I bought this ugly looking watch yesterday, no one else bid on it. It´s a case of only "Fools and horses" or "Going where angels fear to tread" Anyway I convinced myself that the watch is a Duplex, though the photographs are not very good, it is also a re-case, Silver hallmarked Birmingham 1847.
It also has a going barrel, I don´t like them, and this barrel looks to be Swiss, so it did occur to me, it could be a fake. Then I remembered the one on this file, which is not a Duplex, that one has a 30 tooth escape wheel, and could be a Massey. (Page 13). So not a lot of information on this sort of ebauche or where it came from. Does anyone know more about these watches, and do members have one at home, willing to share??



222-8.jpg 222-9.jpg 222-10.jpg

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Allan C. Purcell

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It's certainly a duplex!
Thanks, Chris, you will be the first to know when it arrives. While working on something else today, I came across this watch by Robert Roskell, in the AHS book "Your Time" page 25,
I quote,
" Pocketwatch by Robert Roskell, Liverpool, No.25710 with going Barrel half-plate movement, an alarm and quarter-repeating work, activated by turning the pendant clockwise for the hours and anti-clockwise for the quarters. Several types of repeating mechanisms were patented by Joseph Anthony Berrllas (1800-30) who worked in London and Paris. The patent relating to this watch is No. 3174 0f 1808. The movement has a plain gold balance with a Massey Type I lever escapement. The escapement train is fully jewelled, The white enamelled dial has blued steel hands and a concentric alarm setting hand, all of which are later replacements, The movement dates from around 1825, but has been re-cased since, the silver case has an 1887 Chester hallmark"

It was the going barrel that interested me more, and wonder if Roskell was in touch with Barwise??

222-16.JPG


Allan.
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Wow, it's neat. I love the upside-down "hanging" barrel. Did the missing stop works reappear in the mail? It's a miracle!
They were in a little plastic bag taped to a piece of card, and the watch on the other side was wrapped in bubble wrap, so I took the watch unwrapped it and threw the rest away. I then realised later that those bits were part of the sale and dug them out of the waste paper bin. I think it is beyond repair, so I will keep it for reference. Still looking for info, there seems to be some French influence, any ideas?

Regards,

Allan.
 

eri231

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I think there is a Lépine influence very similar to the DEF of the design, but in the UK it was also used by William Anthony in his watches for the Chinese market which was then taken over by Bovet and widely used in Switzerland too,

lepine.jpg

this for the Chinese market by Richardson London

Richardson, London.jpg


William Anthony Born about 1765, William Anthony worked in Red Lion Street, St John's Square, Clerkenwell, where he made high class, decorative watches for the Chinese market. Characteristic of his production are watches with oval dials and hands which are jointed so as to adjust automatically to the changing radius of the dial as they travel round. As a successful tradesman, Anthony played an active part in the founding of the Watch- and Clock-makers' Benevolent Association in 1815, but thereafter suffered a series of losses following unsuccessful litigation with Grimaldi & Johnson and an ill-fated attempt to set up a commercial exhibition in the Somerset Gallery, Strand, of Commonwealth and Stuart costume displayed on wax models. He died in straitened circumstances in 1844.

Regards enrico
 

Allan C. Purcell

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William Anthony Born about 1765, William Anthony worked in Red Lion Street, St John's Square, Clerkenwell, where he made high class, decorative watches for the Chinese market.
Thank you for the information, Enrico. I should have seen that connection with the Chinese market watches. You now have me running around looking at all these types of watches, from should we say 1800 onwards, or a little earlier? I too feel there is a French influence, I must do some more research on these watches, especially because Roskell seems to have got involved along with Barwise.

Thank again,

Allan.
 

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