Pocket: Detent pocket R Roskell pair case

Discussion in 'Chronometers' started by Travler1, Sep 3, 2017.

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  1. Travler1

    Travler1 Registered User
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    Dec 26, 2012
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    Hello, I would appreciate any thoughts on this pair cased Roskell ....I have read a few post regarding serial numbers and that a Roskell might be a divorced and remarried watch if in a pair case? I neglected to photograph the inner lid with the key hole ....however this inner lid has exactly the same hallmarks as the outer case as well as an additional punched second portion of the serial number which is 39488 the complete serial number is 396/39488.

    I believe I have read that the 396 refers to the number of detent chronomers made by Roskell and 39488 is the running serial number ....in any regard 39k is a bunch of watches! Is this watch right?? I notice that the movement is ultra plain without engraving on balance bridge. That seems unusual ? ...it does keep to 2-3 seconds a day :)) ....any help and information on this timepiece greatly appreciated ...thanks
     
  2. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Aug 24, 2000
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    It is hard to imagine that he knew how many he was going to make before he started. It is even less likely that he had all his customers bring them back to put the count on them when he was done (or dead).

    For Barraud, the numerator is the series of 10,000 watches that the denominator is in. For Arnold the numerator differs from the denominator by 301 for many watches and those represent a particular series of watches that presumably started with 0/301, 1/302 etc. I would hazard a guess in Roskell's case that 396 may have been the first chronometer and thereafter all chronometers had the 396 numerator (with lots of other models mixed in between.)

    The inner case looks like a pretty good fit to me. I certainly would not think it was a recase just because of the style.

    Pocket chronometers had a job to do and decorating the balance cock did not contribute to the performance, so many of them by many different makers are plain.

    Nice watch.
     
  3. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Jan 7, 2011
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    Hi Travler1,

    This was strongly endorsed by Thomas Earnshaw, who it is believed did undertake some chronometer escapement finishing for Robert Roskell.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  4. Travler1

    Travler1 Registered User
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    Dec 26, 2012
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    Thank you Tom and Graham,

    Tom I probably was unclear with my thoughts on Roskell serial numbers. I have understood that Roskell kept a separate sub serial number on all detent watches ....in my watch's instance this sub or preface serial number is 396 ...the next produced Ernshaw chronometer would be 397. If the next movement produced or sold was a lever then it would not have this sub set number prefacing the serial number ....with my watch being numbered 396 written above the 39488 the next lever or duplex would be numbered only with 39489 ...thus lacking the chronometer/Ernshaw number. Graham ....I had no idea Earnshaw was possibly the movement maker/finisher ...a very nice thought .....I did understand that Roskell paid a fee to Earnshaw for using his detent ?? ...which was the reason for the separate count on the chronometer movements ??

    Thank u guys both ...u are ( along with a few others ) my watch hero's on this site......after reading and lurking a few years ...now if Dr. Jon pipes in ...its be a holly trinity !

    respect

    John
     
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