Front & Rear Wind Fusee?

aucaj

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I have seen a few of these over the years. This movement has a fusee with winding arbors on both ends.

In general, continental watches are front wind and English watches are back wind. Why would someone want both options? Why were these made and for whom?

This is by Juntes of London, no. 101 made in 1799. The date 1799 is engraved on the back plate. Baillie's only list 'Juntes' makers from Amsterdam. So, is this watch a continental fake? Or was there a London maker by that name?

Regards,
Chris

1.JPG 2.JPG 3.JPG 4.JPG 5.JPG
 
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zedric

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It might just be be the angle that the photo is taken on, but from what I can see the winding arbor at the front attaches to the fusee, while the one at the back connects to the barrel? Which seems to be an even stranger configuration than "a fusee with winding arbors on both ends"...
 

zedric

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I see it now - for some reason I couldn't make sense of the edge on photo..
 
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gmorse

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Hi Chris,

I think this is a continental confection, the slide plate covering the whole of the top plate, what appears to be a tapered case bolt, and the 'A' and 'R' on the cap next to the regulator disc are further clues. Fusees with squares at both ends aren't unknown, sometimes being fitted when a movement was re-cased into a single back case, but I suspect that this example was the makers covering themselves for whatever type of case was used. I can't make out whether there's a brass edge, but if not, that's another hint. If it is a 'fake', it's one of the better ones.

Regards,

Graham
 

John Matthews

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Like many of these watches, I believe it is a marriage of components that were from a variety of sources. Some of the elements might be of better quality than others but sorry, Graham, I don't think it is such a good quality example of the type. It might be a good example, though ;). Not helped by the resolution of the photograph, in making a judgement, but the quality of the engraving does not appear to me to be good. Quantity rather than quality is my impression. Better photographs might persuade me otherwise.

John
 

gmorse

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Hi John,

It does depend on what you compare it with; it's a lot closer in superficial appearance to the lower end English products than many of the more obvious fakes.

Regards,

Graham
 

aucaj

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I can't make out whether there's a brass edge, but if not, that's another hint.
HI Graham,

I will put this one in my lightbox and get better photos posted this evening. Could you tell me where to look for the 'brass edge'? I'm sorry; I'm not sure what that is?

Thank you,
Chris
 

gmorse

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Hi Chris,

It's the plate that fits between the dial and the dial, (bottom), plate in older watches to make space for the motion work under a flatter dial. Into the 19th century, they gradually fell out of use, partly because convex dials became commoner and partly because the dial plates themselves were hollowed out ('hollow-back'). The brass edge often carried the case joint, as here, and sometimes the case bolt as well.

DSCF6963.JPG DSCF6964.JPG

Regards,

Graham
 
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aucaj

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Here are some more photos. It looks like it does not have a dial plate. The top plate appears to be milled to produce a lip around the periphery.

I might guess that the maker may have had training in England but was not operating there?

Thank you,
Chris

IMG_5973.JPG IMG_5974.JPG IMG_5975.JPG IMG_5976.JPG IMG_5977.JPG IMG_5978.JPG IMG_5979.JPG IMG_5980.JPG
 

Lychnobius

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I agree with John that this watch seems to combine British and European elements. The engraving on the dust-cap looks thoroughly British, apart from the A and R which I suspect were added later; so does the engraving and piercing of the cock. On the other hand the ruby endstone and the rather sloppy painting of the dial suggest the Continent. It would be interesting to see how the outer end of the crown-wheel arbor is supported; a brass plug with a transverse 'handle' would be British, a steel plate with two small screws in it would be Franco-Swiss.

The well-known maker James McCabe favoured double-ended winding in the early 1800s.

Oliver Mundy.
 

aucaj

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Here is another example of a front & rear wind fusee. This one is appears to be an authentic English-made version. Both the movement and case are dated 1823. I believe the case is an example of Paktong which is alloy made to appear silver.

1.JPG 2.JPG 3.JPG 4.JPG 5.JPG 6.JPG 7.JPG 8.JPG
 

gmorse

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Hi Chris,
Both the movement and case are dated 1823. I believe the case is an example of Paktong which is alloy made to appear silver.
The marks in the case certainly aren't English hallmarks, and a dated signature on the movement is unusual and is probably for the first owner. Whether the movement was made in England is unclear.

Regards,

Graham
 
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John Matthews

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Chris - why do you believe the case to be made of paktong?

I did a couple of quick internet searches. If you are correct interpreting 1823 as the date of the engraving and the case, then given the first commercial production of patong outside China, at least in Europe, was 1824, I infer it is most unlikely. In its pure form it was quickly superseded by nickel silver from the 1830's - I didn't find any mention of watch cases made from paktong. In you photographs the case appears to be tarnished - is it?

As Graham has indicated the case marks are not English, I have a vague recollection that I have seen them before on an American silver case.

English movements in hunter cases from the first quarter of the C19th, with or without a bezel and crystal, fairly commonly have fusee arbors that can be wound from the front and the arbor also extends above the back plate. Here is an example that has a cylinder escapement from 1812/13.

20180514 006.jpg 20180514 007.jpg

I suspect for your example the movement was made in Europe or England and was married with an American case.

John
 
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aucaj

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Thank you for the additional information. I was only guessing on the case metal and strange case marks. It is tarnished and the outer surface have a faint yellow hue. Its probably some other cheap alloy. It is really interesting to learn that paktong was not made outside China until 1824! If anyone does find a paktong case, I would really like to see it.

I also assumed the signature was a past owner and adds to the uncertainty of the watch's country of origin.

That is a beautiful cylinder watch!

Thank you,
Chris
 

gmorse

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Hi John,
English movements in hunter cases from the first quarter of the C19th, with or without a bezel and crystal, fairly commonly have fusee arbors that can be wound from the front and the arbor also extends above the back plate.
...
I have a vague recollection that I have seen them before on an American silver case.
With a key wound movement in a single-back case, there's no alternative to front winding. These double-ended fusees were clearly available from the fusee makers, but I don't know if they were all made like that and the 'extra' square was later cut back; I suspect not, since anything could be made to order.

I think I've seen the marks before as well, those zig-zag edges to the cartouches are quite distinctive.

Regards,

Graham
 

John Matthews

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Graham,

Examples of unfinished Prescot movements, in the early stages of manufacture, that I have seen with an fusee in place, have both arbors left long, so I suspect that many (most? all?) were made that way.

John
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Here is another example of a front & rear wind fusee.
Hi Chris, I had a looked at your Goddard watch, and was unable to find an M: A: Goddard. Now I don´t know if you know the story of Luther Goddard who was the first American to make watches in Quantity; he made 500 from 1809 to 1817. He is not your man, but we are in America. There was also a Nicholas Goddard, Northampton (Mass. USA) b1773-97, he then moved to Rutland (Vt. USA) 1797-1823. Could that date 1823 have something to do with your watch? It´s just a maybe. Around this time there was a watch case maker by the name of Joseph Keeler, 1786-1824 who´s mark was IK in an oblong with a perforated edge like a postage stamp. Norwalk, Conn. Anyway, you now have somewhere to search, and your watch will shoot up in worth if you can find out who M.A. Goddard is?? I think there must be a connection.

Good Luck,

Allan.
 

John Matthews

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Graham - that is a very good question.

Unfortunately, all the examples in my collection are later, i.e. >1850. They do not have a square on the pillar plate side. I cannot find a photograph of an early example, so perhaps, although they were extended at both ends, the pillar plate side was normally round. This would mean you are correct and they were made to order.

However, I notice that the arbors appear to be very much longer than they need to be for a standard rear wind watch.

20191217 011.jpg

In this late flat fusee it is very noticeable.

So I'm considering that the manufacturing process might commence with a standard cone and arbor of 'standard' length. The great wheel has to rotate on the arbor which means that it is positioned on a round section of the arbor. So if the arbors were made to a standard length, for a front wind watch the arbor would be turned closer to the midpoint of the arbor and the square on the pillar plate side of the arbor formed. Of necessity the dimensions of that square would therefore be smaller than the arbor on the back plate side. It is too late for me to check the relative size of the square ends tonight, but I will tomorrow.

I hope that makes sense. Could it explain why the fusee arbor of a standard rear wind watch is made so long?

John
 

gmorse

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Hi John,

These components were made by turning between centres and the lengths were probably standardised to allow adequate working clearances and avoid having to keep changing the lathe and fusee engine setups.

Regards,

Graham
 

John Matthews

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The front and back squares on the fusee arbor both take the same key on the Powell cylinder, so I was mistaken. Given arbors of standard length, the reason for which Graham has explained, it is likely that they would extend further above the back plate in an unfinished rear wind movement than one that was destined for a front wind movement. Further, at least in the higher quality watches, the maker finished the winding square at either end of the arbor to the same size.

John
 

Allan C. Purcell

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It appears to me, Gentlemen, that it was purely a quality issue between the finishers. Naff on the left, getting there in the middle, and on the right by Joseph Johnson, a small plate and jewelled.
zzz-52.JPG . zzz-51.JPG
 

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