Brockbank & Atkins

Jerry Treiman

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I am pleased to have just added this watch to my mini-collection of watches from the succession of Brockbank concerns. Previously I acquired a large, ~22 size watch with duplex escapement, signed “Brockbanks” (circa 1800) and a 6-size ladies’ watch from the much later “Brockbank, Atkins & Moore” (circa 1888). My new “Brockbank & Atkins” (circa 1864) helps fill the gap.
BA_10869_f.jpg BA_10869_m2.jpg

I have a couple of questions to ask, though, of others. My new watch is a 10-size watch. In its time period would it have been a gentleman’s watch or would it have been a simple, unadorned ladies’ watch? Also, this has a dust ring rather than a complete dust cap. How common is this?
BA_10869_mobl.jpg

I am also facing a challenge in servicing this watch. It appears that somewhere in its life it lost two of its dial feet and the last enterprising “watchmaker” to handle this watch solved the problem by gluing the dial to the pillar plate. Gentle probing of the dial-pillar plate contact with a razor blade makes no progress and I am reluctant to make any prying attempts on the dial in fear of damaging it. So my thought is to soak the watch, face-down in a shallow solvent bath that is just deep enough to wet the dial and pillar plate and hope that weakens the cement. I will try denatured alcohol first and, if that doesn’t work, acetone. I can foresee that this might also loosen the seconds bit, but are there other risks? (other than to my health and safety).
 

eri231

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Please avoid the use of acetone, it is an excellent corrosive for brass. It is very dangerous for health and certainly affects the brass of the plate.
regards enrico
 

gmorse

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Hi Jerry,

I'd try some light naphtha first, (Coleman's Fuel), which doesn't attack any of the metals, (or the shellac). A loose seconds bit is easily remedied afterwards if it does detach.

Regards,

Graham
 

Jerry Treiman

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Thank you for the chemical advice. Fortunately I have since been able to remove the dial with my razor blade without doing any damage, so I can continue to service this watch. The dial still has one good dial foot and a second partial foot to at least stabilize it. Here are some additional photos. The pillar plate now tells me that the movement is considered an 8-size rather than 10-size which is perhaps less ambiguously a ladies' size movement. The frame maker appears as "C.S".

Any comments on the dust ring versus a full cap? (see previous oblique view)

BA_10869db.jpg BA_10869pp.jpg
 

gmorse

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Hi Jerry,
The frame maker appears as "C.S".
Any comments on the dust ring versus a full cap? (see previous oblique view)
The frame maker is possibly Charles Scarisbrick, working in Prescot from the 1860s. Rim caps are certainly less common than the full variety, allowing a slightly slimmer case, but 3/4 and 1/2 plates made much more difference.

I notice that the back of the dial is signed for Brockbank rather than the dial maker; shame it isn't 'Willis'.

Regards,

Graham
 

John Matthews

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I agree with Graham, Charles Scarisbrick is a possibility, this providing the movement was supplied to Brockbank with at least the train in place.

John

EDIT - Jerry do you have photographs of the hallmarks that you could post?
 
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Jerry Treiman

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Thanks, Graham.

Jerry do you have photographs of the hallmarks that you could post?
rather worn, but here they are -
BA_10869hm1.jpg BA_10869hm2.jpg

The tiny mark in the middle almost looks like a W but it is straight across the top and bottom - more like an incuse keystone with two raised slashmarks that almost make a V, more like \ /.

That is an "S" below the sponsors mark ("TH") in the outer cover.
 
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John Matthews

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Thanks Jerry - I wanted to see that it was cased in London.

TH incuse will be Thomas Holliday, who registered the mark 4 Jun 1862 when at 304 Goswell Road. The other 2 marks are probably the marks of craftsmen who contributed to the manufacture of the case.

John
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Any comments on the dust ring versus a full cap? (see previous oblique view)
Hi Jerry, This is my Litherland and Davis, with a Massey I. Off the top of my head I forget the hallmarks, (In the Bank) but if you look at the old "Early Single Roller Escapemt" thread it's on there, plus Graham discussed that on there too.I just had a quick look at the old thread, and a large part of side three is missing along with the Litherland & Davis, but Grahams watch is still there on post 113, Jones of Bristol 1825. I believe the L&D was around that date too.

zzz-22.jpg


Around the same time, there was the introduction of the sprung cap for the three-quarter plates and half- plates, please see below. Hallmarks
for Chester 1824/25

R/

Allan

zzz-26.JPG zzz-25.JPG zzz-24.JPG zzz-23.JPG
 

John Pavlik

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Jerry, in regards to your dust ring vs cap, I have not seen anything written, but I have had and seen quite a few like this.. Most have been made 1860’s plus and are generally on these smaller 8-10 size.. my opinion Is is was done to make the watch thinner and still provide some dust protection… By this time, this type of ring resembles the American ring, sans the 2 holding screws, on movements that came from the factory with dust rings ..
 
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aucaj

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Jerry,
I have seen dust rings secured with screws on French watches from the 1730's to the 1780's (Pierre Le Roy, Andre Hessen, etc.). I have seen on a lot of American watches, but not a London maker, but I'm not an expert on these.

Regards,
Chris
 

John Matthews

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but not a London maker,
Many of the unfinished movements I have seen have their dust protection made before the train is fitted. As this movement probably started life in Prescot, that is where the rim cap would have been made. I know of unfinished movements with the stamp JW (John Wycherley) from ~1850 with the rim cap held in position by two oval screws.

This example from ~1860 ...

20181201 004.jpg

I agree with JP regarding their use was probably related to the move to thinner movements.

John
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Though the dust ring was not used as often as the dust cap, there were off and on individual efforts to make the watches thinner by using these rings.
Below is an effort made for Joshua Bates of Huddersfield, Chester hallmarks for 1836/37, escapement STR. Case-makers Thomas Ellison & Henry Fishwick of Liverpool. How many of this style is very hard to say, I have only seen two. Maybe members have seen others. Who actually made the watch and cap-ring for Bates will stay a mystery.


zzz-28.JPG zzz-27.JPG


I had forgotten I bought it from David, here is what he had to say.


Allan.
 
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Jerry Treiman

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Thanks for the added photos and comments on dust rings and caps. One of my favorites in my movement collection is this 1/2 plate, with a sub-plate on short pillars instead of individual cocks for the remainder of the train.
Moncas9864_cov.jpg Moncas9864obl.jpg

I also have to add photos of my three cased Brockbank et al. watches, together for one photo to show their relative size --
3_Brock-faces.jpg 3_Brock-mvts.jpg
 

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