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Dating a family heirloom - Liverpool Pocket Watch

Altdorfer

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May 19, 2020
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I wonder if anyone could shed some light on the approximate age of a pocket watch that has been handed down through a few generations. I believe it to be around 1880 but I can't find a hallmark to indicate the assay office on the case. It looks like a fairly conventional escapement and construction, but I am no expert so would love to know what others think. The crystal is missing (I assume it broke and damaged the hour hand which someone tried to solder and repair afterwards). I was always fascinated by the watch as a child and was one of the many reasons I got into Horology.
Screenshot 2022-11-04 194836.jpg
 
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gmorse

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Jan 7, 2011
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Hi Altdorfer,
I believe it to be around 1880 but I can't find a hallmark to indicate the assay office on the case. It looks like a fairly conventional escapement and construction, but I am no expert so would love to know what others think.
There should be a town mark somewhere on the case, but being signed for Liverpool, it's probable that it was assayed in the Chester office. The date letter matches Chester 1874/5, and it's 18 carat. The maker's/sponsor's mark looks like 'RO', which is probably Richard Oliver, a London case maker who also registered his marks in Chester and Birmingham, or possibly Robert Over in Liverpool.

The movement, from what little I can see, is a 3/4 plate English lever, key wound and back set, of a type often referred to at the time as a 'chronograph' since it has a sweep seconds hand that can be started and stopped at will, although in this instance, that stops the whole watch, unlike a true chronograph.

If it hasn't been serviced for some years, and especially since the crystal is missing, it shouldn't be run until that's been done and the crystal replaced.

Regards,

Graham
 
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Altdorfer

Registered User
May 19, 2020
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Hi Altdorfer,


There should be a town mark somewhere on the case, but being signed for Liverpool, it's probable that it was assayed in the Chester office. The date letter matches Chester 1874/5, and it's 18 carat. The maker's/sponsor's mark looks like 'RO', which is probably Richard Oliver, a London case maker who also registered his marks in Chester and Birmingham, or possibly Robert Over in Liverpool.

The movement, from what little I can see, is a 3/4 plate English lever, key wound and back set, of a type often referred to at the time as a 'chronograph' since it has a sweep seconds hand that can be started and stopped at will, although in this instance, that stops the whole watch, unlike a true chronograph.

If it hasn't been serviced for some years, and especially since the crystal is missing, it shouldn't be run until that's been done and the crystal replaced.

Regards,

Graham
Good evening Graham,

Thanks so much for the information - it's very interesting. The watch has never been run for at least 50years and it would need a complete service to get it in any condition to run. It would be nice to get it running again but I'd definitely leave this one to a professional given the sentimental value I have attached to it.

best regards
 

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