Finer & Nowland.

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Allan C. Purcell, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. For the new NAWCC home page
    Click this image at the upper left corner of this page.
  1. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 9, 2013
    2,283
    780
    113
    Male
    retired
    Germany
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I did some research a while back on Finer & Nowland, (Thanks to Ray) and this week I bought a Verge by the firm, so while inserting it on my file list of numbers, I found another on the net which raised quite a few questions. Of interest here are the updates on page two, and the strange watch on page three. Could members help to explain and give some more information if they have it on this firm. Best wishes, Allan.

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Keith R... likes this.
  2. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 9, 2013
    2,283
    780
    113
    Male
    retired
    Germany
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I have had information sent to me that indicates that the cases are English-(Page 3) or at least Hallmarked in London-I now have photographs of two of these watches, both have Duplex escapments in the English style. Research ongoing. It appears to me that this small firm of Clock & Watchmakers have been underestimated-and turned out some very fine clocks and watches (chronometers too)-a firm to look out for. On the few so far seen on the watches numbers file, it appears they were at the forfront of the technical knowledge of their time.
     
  3. zacandy

    zacandy Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 6, 2019
    15
    21
    3
    Male
    Country Flag:
    < Ahem > …** coughs quietly***

    I am the guardian of the beautiful “Swiss fake” breguet style medallion size pocket watch with the guilloche dial and duplex movement discussed below and attached.

    andrew on Instagram: “Finer and Nowland of #highholbornlondon gold #medaillonpocketwatch #openfaced Silver #guilliochedial with Roman numerals and…”

    Personally I think it deserves a place please in your pantheon as a genuine Finer & Nowland (FN) watch.

    Yes it is “strange” but

    - Faking an FN watch seems an unlikely even perverse thing to do? Yes fake Rolex/ Frodsham / Dent/ Arnold but FN? In a modern context is it not like faking Habring 2 wristwatches? ie they make wonderful amazing pieces but outside of horology enthusiasts who has heard of them? Why bother?

    - I am just a beginner but I thought the Swiss/ French did not really ever use duplex movements much ( at all?) but mainly went from the verge to the cylinder? However I could very easily be completely wrong and have just misremembered my reading which is only after all from faded coffee table watch books from abebooks by the greats - Clutton/ Cutmore / Jagger etc.

    - And by this stage were the Swiss not quite confident enough in their own watchmaking skills not to bother faking? Or were there many fakes from the 1830s 1840s?

    - I understood that it was not uncommon for there to be watches with English movements and Swiss French cases often with enamel dials – the best of both after all – well in my opinion. Beautiful enamel or guilloched dials without the unreliable movements. As you can see from your list - FN made this exquisite piece.

    FINER & NOWLAND “CONSULAR” POCKET WATCH MADE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET; 18K YELLOW GOLD, ENAMEL, PEARLS AND DIAMOND | Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces | Hong Kong, October 27th, 2019

    - There is a pretty drum clock advertised in country life 08/09/1966 suggesting FN knew how to do guilloche or knew someone else who did? See attachment.

    Seth who serviced it identified the casemaker being William Rowlands of 32 Lower Smith Street, Northampton Square. This is local and no one wanted to travel that far in those days on foot. Hallmarked 1834.

    They are not the letters TATD on the outer cover but just WR impressed incused incompletely. This is apparent in a different light. see attached

    The French based dealer collector (with a Russian sounding handle) who sold it could only say to me

    “I bought this and many others watches as one collection from Ukrainian collectioner. Most of watches are simple, but all made in gold cases. He collected them for 10-12 years. This is the story.”

    Maybe a middle European aristocrat came to London in 1830 to buy a watch and wanted a Breguet French style cased watch for a gift to a servant?

    Just on my travels on the WWW I think there are further FN watch / marine chronometers to add to your excellent list.

    Marine Chronometer No 285

    Bonhams : A rare early 19th century one day mahogany marine chronometer Finer & Nowland, Holborn, London, No 285

    From the AHS online in 1987

    Dear Sir, Another movement that may be of interest because by a previously noted maker:

    Finer & Nowland, London 3299, also numbered under the balance plate 1220; bell shaped cock, small half-moon counter poise to lever and a compensation curb.
    Others recorded for reference: Grimalde & Johnson 6653, early % plate, silver o.f. h.m. London 1824; C. Maddeford Theale 1841, full plate, silver o.f. h.m. London 1840; Brockbank & Atkins 8787, 'english lepine', small silver hunting case, h.m. London 1840.
    Another oddity is a Barrauds movement, re-cased, and doubtless re-scaped, with a wide jewel instead of the two pins, no 2/1212.
    I fondly imagined this to be a Savage until informed by one of our eminent and learned members it was in fact a Dovetail lever, acting conventionally. Are all the Barraud conversions, listed as 'modified Savage', of this kind, or is this an exception? Since the literature on Dovetail levers is slight, to say the least, would someone be kind enough to throw some light on the subject? Yours faithfully, M. R. Gibbons.
    P.S. I miss the summaries of London lectures, notably those of Mr. Wadsworth and Mr. Law. Perhaps they are planning to publish in the near future and are censoring their material?! Editor: That is the intention. "


    FN enamel.jpg WR casemaker.jpg finer nowland clock 1966 country life.jpeg
     
    Keith R... likes this.
  4. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 9, 2013
    2,283
    780
    113
    Male
    retired
    Germany
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #4 Allan C. Purcell, Mar 22, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
    Hi Andrew, Sorry I had a problem following all that. You will notice that there was little or no interest by members to that thread. It would appear listing numbers for past, watchmakers is seen in some quarters as wasted time. Try the one below, there is huge interest in Barraud, that in the main is the efforts made by Cedric Jagger.

    Paul Philip Barraud 1753.pdf

    Allan.
     
    Keith R... likes this.
  5. sternerp

    sternerp Registered User

    Nov 23, 2010
    57
    17
    8
    Country Flag:
    #5 sternerp, Mar 24, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
    Hi Allan!

    A few weeks ago i bought also one Finer & Nowland movement. I upload some photos from this, so you can added this new informations also to your database. My movement has verge escapement, the dial diameter is 41 mm.

    Regards! Peter

    IMG_20200324_180945.jpg IMG_20200324_181019.jpg IMG_20200324_181044.jpg IMG_20200324_181246.jpg IMG_20200324_182955.jpg IMG_20200324_183103.jpg
     
    zacandy likes this.
  6. sternerp

    sternerp Registered User

    Nov 23, 2010
    57
    17
    8
    Country Flag:
    Hi Allan!
    I checked now my picture database, and found two other Finer & Nowland chronometer, if i saw good, these are also not included your database. I send 8 more photos from these movements (i saved this earlier from internet).
    Regards! Peter

    finer & nowland chronometer 1_2.jpg finer & nowland chronometer 1_3.jpg finer & nowland chronometer 1_4.jpg finer & nowland chronometer 1_5.jpg finer & nowland chronometer 2_1.jpg finer & nowland chronometer 2_2.jpg finer & nowland chronometer 2_3.jpg finer & nowland chronometer 2_4.jpg
     
    zacandy likes this.
  7. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 9, 2013
    2,283
    780
    113
    Male
    retired
    Germany
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hello Peter, Thank you for your interest and the very nice watches you have posted. First, though I must refresh my memory on Finer & Nowland and then I will enter these on the file. I will get back to work on this, this evening.

    Regards,

    Allan
     
  8. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 9, 2013
    2,283
    780
    113
    Male
    retired
    Germany
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Now having read the two letters above, and read my own thread again, I have inserted the watches they have kindly sent, but sorry to say there are huge gaps of information missing. I think I need to look at everything written above, yet again.

    Thanks again for the new information, and I will get on with it, and let you know the results later.
     
  9. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 9, 2013
    2,283
    780
    113
    Male
    retired
    Germany
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    So I have read through my file on Finer & Nowland, and I came across a mistake on page 10. The note at the bottom of Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty should read.

    Roskell 8, Bishop 2, Goffe 1, Norris 1, Eiffe 1, Goffe´s number is 900. Goffe, being William Goffe (AM) The Moor, Falmouth, Cornwall, c1800-1835.
    According to "Chronometers of The World " by Tony Mercer. Mercer also dates number 900 to 1820.

    Also in the book by Mercer there is a list of Finer & Nowland chronometers, starting with 1822-286 going through to 342 in 1856. There are none with higher numbers. So we now know the list is incorrect. It is that I am now working on.
    Please see the revised file.

    Allan.

    [&#x200B;IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    sternerp likes this.
  10. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 9, 2013
    2,283
    780
    113
    Male
    retired
    Germany
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #10 Allan C. Purcell, Mar 26, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
    A great conversion!

    I tried to cancel this, its an old thread about Finer & Nowland savage two-pin escapements.
     
  11. sternerp

    sternerp Registered User

    Nov 23, 2010
    57
    17
    8
    Country Flag:
    #11 sternerp, Mar 27, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
    Hi Allan!
    Thank you, that you complements the "Finer & Nowland" file with new informations. Some time age i've been looking information about it, if i find something, i will be inform you.

    doesn't belong closely here;-)

    Hi Andrew!
    The previously mentioned Finer & Nowland duplex pocket watch it also seems to me, that is original!
    But i would disprove your one earlier contention:
    ( "I am just a beginner but I thought the Swiss/ French did not really ever use duplex movements much ( at all?) but mainly went from the verge to the cylinder?")

    Here is some swiss/french watchmakers, who produced pocket watches with duplex escapements:

    Andre Liodet, Geneve ruby duplex quarter repeater 1_1.jpg droz quarter repeater with duplex escapement 1_1.jpg G.H MEYER - Fc. ZEISLER duplex 1_1.jpg G.H MEYER - Fc. ZEISLER duplex 1_3.jpg gontard et cie 15 day duplex 2_5.jpg h l matile duplex 1_1.jpg HENRY CAPT A GENEVE DUPLEX 1_1.jpg HENRY CAPT A GENEVE DUPLEX 1_4.jpg Lepine Fusee Duplex ca 1835 1_2.jpg mottu duplex 1_1.jpg moulinie duplex 1_1.jpg sylvain mairet duplex 1_1.jpg unsigned duplex 1_1.jpg unsigned duplex 3_1.jpg unsigned duplex 4_1.jpg unsigned duplex 5_2.jpg unsigned duplex 7_1.jpg unsigned duplex 8_4.jpg
     
  12. sternerp

    sternerp Registered User

    Nov 23, 2010
    57
    17
    8
    Country Flag:
    Hi Allen!

    Nowadays there is more time, so i did a little search in this topic.
    some additional information:

    1. table last line maybe there is a typo, sn: 13682, i think this correctly sn: 13862. Or i found one another piece with similar serial number? Please check this with your own source.
    the source is: Lot 345, 1 December 2016 | Dix Noonan Webb

    2. I found the source, that i previously showed, the pocket chronometer with sn: 4653.
    the source is: Stockholms Auktionsverk Online

    3. new piece found in Jones & Horan archiv, sn: 2000 with rack lever escapement!
    the source is: J&H Archive Search

    4. one more new piece, i found this on ebay, this is similar to a duplex (sn: 4656) with sn: 4823, but this has not duplex escapement, maybe english lever. But this has very rare pull winding mechanism!
    the source is: Very Rare Pull wind 18K Open Face Pocket Watch in Beautiful Condition 1840 N 196 | eBay

    This is an another example, that Finer & Nowland produced watches were of high quality!

    PS: If you like this piece, give a quote to seller, unfortunately i can't buy it;-(
     
  13. sternerp

    sternerp Registered User

    Nov 23, 2010
    57
    17
    8
    Country Flag:
  14. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 9, 2013
    2,283
    780
    113
    Male
    retired
    Germany
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi Sternerp, that is very good research, though here we are moving into the realm of bought in watches, private labels, and downright Swiss fakes. We have to remember when looking at these watches, that the firm of Finer & Nowland did not exist after 1839. Plus the pump action for winding watches was a Patent by Joseph Anthony Berrolas taken out in London on the 13/12/1827.
    So lets us go through what you have here.

    1. 13862 is in a Hallmarked case for 1859. The case looks to have been made in England and dated correctly and GM for the maker George Makins, 34 Clarence Street, Islington, London.1859-69 Who made the movement, I have no idea, but there are people on this board who can tell us. For sure-not Finer & Nowland.

    2. Nothing to worry about there, nice pocket chronometer. Though the more I see of watches signed by Finer & Nowland the more I think they were bought in.

    3. One of their very early watches, probably c1811.

    4. The case on the watch is hallmarked London 1840, so could have been sold by them, but again who made it. It looks to be Swiss. Case makers mark TJ with a dot in the middle. (Not in Priestley).

    So we have a small firm of Jewellers in London who seem to have had good connections to the trade, and bought in the best they could buy, and sell at a profit (Like many others)

    Collecting what is left is still great fun.

    Allan.
     

Share This Page