• Upcoming updates
    Over the next couple of weeks we will be performing software updates on the forum. These will be completed in small steps as we upgrade individual software addons. You might occasionally see a maintenance message that will last a few minutes at most.

    If we anticipate an update will take more than a few minutes, we'll put up a notice with estimated time.

    Thank you!

Help identifying fusee pocket watch

macaw

NAWCC Member
Jul 23, 2014
657
20
18
Minnesota
Country
DSCN2824.jpg DSCN2828.jpg I need help identifying this pocket watch that's been in my family for generations, & I've had it for many years. It's made by W. Gerrard Watch Maker. I'd like to know if it's American or European & how old it is, & if it's worth getting repaired. The fusee chain is broken, or missing. It has an inner & outer silver case, both original, with the paper label still in the outer case. I know little to nothing about fusee's and any information would be a great help. (The outer case is partialy visable in the corner of the first picture).
 

Jim Haney

NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Donor
Sep 21, 2002
7,556
2,858
113
73
Decatur, TN.
Country
Region
macaw,
I moved your inquity to the European Forum for better info.
Thanks
 

Les harland

Registered User
Apr 10, 2008
1,809
231
63
Hertfordshire England
Country
Region
Loomes Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World has one entry:
Gerrard William a.c 1812 to James Dalziel of Frazerburgh Scotland then Turriff Scotland 1812 d1872
Are there any Hallmarks on the case
They would make it easy to date it
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
14,854
3,942
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi macaw,

Some clear closeups of the inside of the cases will show any hallmarks and help us with identification and accurate dating if it's English, which it would appear to be. Unfortunately your pictures aren't clear enough to read the location of the maker/retailer with any certainty, but it may be Turriff in Aberdeenshire in Scotland. If so Gerrard would almost certainly have been the retailer, not the maker. From its style, it looks to date from around 1800-1810.

Be very careful with the watch-paper in the outer case, as they're fragile, and probably best left in place, but a picture of this one would be interesting.

Regards,

Graham
 

macaw

NAWCC Member
Jul 23, 2014
657
20
18
Minnesota
Country
I'll try to get a picture of the hallmarks & paper tonight. W. Gerrard is written on the movement itself on the top center (where the greenish color is) as well as the watch-paper. I'll also try for a clearer picture of the movement as well tonight.
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
14,854
3,942
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi macaw,

The case hallmarks show that it was assayed in London in 1848, and the case maker was James Thickbroom at 10 Galway Street in Clerkenwell. The Thickbroom family were very well regarded case makers. However, this dating poses a problem, because the movement features, particularly the Tompion disc type regulator, would not have been present at this later date, having been replaced by the Boseley type with a lever moving over a scale by 1810-1815 or thereabouts, so this seems to be a re-case. I don't believe that the movement is later than 1815 at most.

Regards,

Graham
 

Tony1951

Registered User
Dec 1, 2011
219
2
0
Hi macaw,

The case hallmarks show that it was assayed in London in 1848, and the case maker was James Thickbroom at 10 Galway Street in Clerkenwell. The Thickbroom family were very well regarded case makers. However, this dating poses a problem, because the movement features, particularly the Tompion disc type regulator, would not have been present at this later date, having been replaced by the Boseley type with a lever moving over a scale by 1810-1815 or thereabouts, so this seems to be a re-case. I don't believe that the movement is later than 1815 at most.

Regards,

Graham
Excellent reading there Graham. When I opened the thread, I knew you'd all have solved it, but I went sequentially through the posts and when the inner case photo was produced, I enlarged it and worked out the date of the case - just for the fun of the puzzle, and I was surprised at the verge type escapement for that date. I think it is a verge from what I can see, but your expertise on the regulator, the case maker and the information on the date of the movement left me in the dust. Good fun joining in the puzzle though.
 

macaw

NAWCC Member
Jul 23, 2014
657
20
18
Minnesota
Country
Thank you all for the information! How did they make a replacement case to fit the watch perfectly? Was it a custom made case? And, is it worth it or even possible to have the watch repaired?
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
14,854
3,942
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi macaw,

Cases at this period were always made to fit the movements; the movement would be sent to the case maker who measured up and fitted it exactly, since there was no standardisation of sizes as such, unlike the later practice, especially in the US industry, of the customer choosing a movement and the retailer offering a choice of cases.

It's certainly possible to have it repaired, but depending on where you're located, you might have to hunt around for someone who's prepared, (and indeed competent), to undertake this work. It need not be outrageously expensive, but that does of course depend on what needs fixing.

Regards,

Graham
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
14,854
3,942
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi Tony,
...and I was surprised at the verge type escapement for that date. I think it is a verge from what I can see, ...
Verges were still being made well into the second half of the 19th century, despite being much inferior to the lever escapements, partly I guess because of the inherent conservatism of the English watch trade and its clients, and also the robustness of the verge.

Regards,

Graham
 

G_Z

Registered User
Dec 20, 2013
259
5
0
Country
Region
It's a family heirloom and very likely not altered since 1848 and therefore it is well worth to be repaired and put in a proper condition to survive the generations to come, (just my opinion and certainly a different point of view as it would be towards a today purchase of a vintage watch with no connection to the family history).

Regards
Gerald
 

macaw

NAWCC Member
Jul 23, 2014
657
20
18
Minnesota
Country
Now knowing the age of the watch, I'm not sure how it came into the family. At that time my family were poor dirt farmers in Poland. Thanks for the great information! Any more opinions as to weather I should have it repaired would gladly be accepted.
 

macaw

NAWCC Member
Jul 23, 2014
657
20
18
Minnesota
Country
All the watch repair people came in at over a grand to repair as it needs a lot more then just a fusee chain, so it will be relegated to a display piece.
 

MartyR

Registered User
Dec 16, 2008
11,072
346
83
UK
Country
All the watch repair people came in at over a grand to repair as it needs a lot more then just a fusee chain, so it will be relegated to a display piece.
Wow, that's an astonishing quote :eek: That must include making a new balance staff, I guess, but even then it's very high!
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
14,854
3,942
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi macaw,

I don't know where you're located, but it sounds to me as though the quotes were from people who didn't want the work! Did they give you details of the repairs needed?

Regards,

Graham
 

macaw

NAWCC Member
Jul 23, 2014
657
20
18
Minnesota
Country
I was told the parts would have to be hand made, if they could even do that. I'm in the western suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. If someone knows of someone in this area that actually wants the work, please email me. I'd really like to get it running.

Thanks,
Mark
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
14,854
3,942
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi macaw,

It's entirely possible that parts for an English watch of this date would need to be hand-made, but do you know exactly what's needed? A chain repair doesn't take much time, and even a verge staff shouldn't be that expensive; I do have trouble in working out how anyone could arrive at a four-figure sum!

What was made by hand originally can be made by hand now!

Regards,

Graham
 

macaw

NAWCC Member
Jul 23, 2014
657
20
18
Minnesota
Country
They didn't tell me what's actually needed other then the chain that's missing, and the little flag that's taped to the movement. I don't think they really want to do that much work, so they price it out of sight. They only want the easy work.
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
14,854
3,942
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi macaw,

That little flag is the bottom half of the verge balance staff.

Regards,

Graham
 

Forum statistics

Threads
179,122
Messages
1,571,206
Members
54,073
Latest member
Ron Bor
Encyclopedia Pages
909
Total wiki contributions
3,088
Last edit
Swiss Fake by Kent