Help to identify John Harrison watch

minshall

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Aug 4, 2009
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I have a John Harrison key wind watch handed down through several generations and would like some history on it. On the inside of the back cover it has John Harrison, Liverpool, Hand, N 2948, CYLINDER, ESCAPEMENT (not sure of spelling), 4 holes jeweled. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Even if you can direct me to a research path. Thanks!
 

Dexx

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Mar 10, 2009
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There are quite a few listed watchmakers of that name. There is a John Harrison listed as working in Liverpool from 1824 to 1851. This is the most likely maker of your watch, I would guess.

Two other Harrisons are listed as working in Liverpool: John, who probably died in 1753, and Thomas, working in 1774 and died 1814. These may be relatives of your John Harrison. You'd need to exercise some genealogical skills to determine if this is the case - I can't help you there!

For general research you might want to contexualize your watch historically by reading some general works on the history of English watchmaking (e.g 'The English Watch' by Camerer-Cuss). There may also be specialized books on watchmaking in Liverpool. You'd need to take time to browse through the titles in a horological library or bookshop to find out. You might try browsing the inventory of 'Shenton Books', which can be accessed online.

Good luck!
 

MartyR

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Dec 16, 2008
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The most likely match in Loomes is John Harrison, Liverpool, Lancs working from 1818-1854. Could the name "Hand" you mention actually be "Lancs" ?

I doubt that you'll get any more information until you post some photos of the dial and (most important) the movement. Are there any hallmarks on the case? If so, photos again!
 

Jerry Matthews

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Sep 20, 2005
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Totally agree with Richard. A Swiss watch, making play with the famous name of John Harrison. No English watch would have engraved on the inside rear cover "cylinder escapement" etc.
 

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