Is this a true Robert Roskell movement?

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Jazam65, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Jazam65

    Jazam65 New Member

    May 20, 2013
    4
    0
    0
    Hello
    This is my first post here.
    I bought this Robert Roskell pocket watch and now I would like to know if it's a true one.
    It's a fusee movement but the chain for it is missing as well the case.
    I would appreciate any help also if someone will know the chain size which I will need to put this movement back running.
    Thank you!
    Jose
     

    Attached Files:

  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    9,252
    477
    83
    Male
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi Jose, and welcome to the Forum,

    Your watch looks genuine enough, and in decent condition, especially the dial and hands. I'm not aware that Roskells were particularly liable to be faked.

    The fusee chain size can only be established by measuring the width of the groove in the fusee cone, and you can get a good idea of its length by wrapping some thick thread around the groove and then measuring that, allowing for the extra to reach the barrel; it's much easier with the fusee out of the movement. There are always chains being advertised on the bay, but finding a complete one of the right size might take a while. Joining up broken ones is fiddly, but not too difficult.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  3. MartyR

    MartyR Super Moderator
    NAWCC Member Donor

    Dec 16, 2008
    10,502
    66
    48
    UK
    Country Flag:
    The watch in itself looks OK to me but ...

    I have a Roskell serial number 74750 which is just a little higher than yours, and that is signed Robt. Roskell, London & Liverpool, it dates to 1899, and most importantly it has a cut and compensated balance wheel while yours is solid.

    22 6 Robert Roskell.jpg

    It is always possible that Roskell was selling two distinct grades of watch, but I'm surprised that in (presumably) the late 1890s he was still selling a watch with a solid balance! One also has to allow for the possibility that Roskell's numbering system was illogical!
     
  4. Jazam65

    Jazam65 New Member

    May 20, 2013
    4
    0
    0
    Yes MartyR, I noticed this too as I have still two other Robt. Roskell which are ealier than this one and are basically the same kind of movement I posted on this thread. Both have also cut and compensated balance wheels. Your watch has got a movement different from mine and this one I posted has got even a smaller movement without the seconds display feature. I think while we haven't right and exact informations about the grades of watch he was using on his watches and knowledge good enough about the numbering system used by him we can't tell the solid balance wheel on my watch isn't right for this movement.
     
  5. Jazam65

    Jazam65 New Member

    May 20, 2013
    4
    0
    0
    Hi Graham
    Thank you to welcome me on the Forum!
    Also to comment about my Roskell as well the info for the chain size.
    Regards
    Jose
     
  6. MartyR

    MartyR Super Moderator
    NAWCC Member Donor

    Dec 16, 2008
    10,502
    66
    48
    UK
    Country Flag:
    Jose, I would be pretty sure that the balance wheel on your watch is original to the movement. Also it is notable that your movement is a 3/4 plate, and has the general layout of a late 19th century movement. I am just expressing surprise that a maker of Roskell's quality would still be making a movement with a solid balance wheel at such a late date.

    I'd love to hear some comments on this from Graham and others. Also, I cannot find any reference to the date at which Roskell started his London location at 14 Soho Square, which interestingly was the address of Nicole Nielsen so I assume that means Nicole Nielsen were selling his watches at their own address. Is it just possible that NN actually finished my watch for Roskell?
     
  7. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    9,252
    477
    83
    Male
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi Martin,

    Whilst I can't say for sure whether Roskell made ranges of watches of differing qualities, it seems to me that Jose's movement is a rather lower grade than the one you illustrated, and I don't find it surprising that a solid balance was being used at this lower price point, even in the 1890s.

    Maybe Davey will have a useful comment on this.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  8. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

    Feb 28, 2010
    4,681
    318
    83
    Hi, enter "omexa robert roskell" in the search top right of forum and you will see a Swiss movement in a Birmingham Case Roskell Pocket Watch. I am sure that the Robert Roskell Company would have sued the seller if it was not kosher. Regards Ray
     
  9. Jazam65

    Jazam65 New Member

    May 20, 2013
    4
    0
    0
    Hi Ray
    I have got also a swiss fake Roskell
    pocket watch ;-)
    Even if obviously it hasn't the same high quality standards
    of the watches produced by Roskell I don't think they are
    bad ones at all and being also around 120 years old and
    still running good shows they aren't that bad ;-)
    here a picture of mine "Swiss " Roskell ;-)
    Regards
     

    Attached Files:

  10. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

    Mar 21, 2005
    2,347
    27
    48
    Male
    North Wales, UK
    Country Flag:
    I don't know if it will be useful but, FWIW:

    Marty's watch is clearly a cut above the watch shown by Jazam65 and I think Marty's thought that it may have been finished by NN is entirely feasible, the relationship between the two goes back quite some way. There is a watch illustrated in Shenton, marked Robert Roskell, Liverpool but clearly a NN movement, with the patent winding and an Adolphe Nicole case and this is dated to 1860; Ser No 65110. I would say, with some degree of certainty, that Marty's watch here was neither made nor finished by Roskell. It could, however offer an explanation for the disparity/proximity (however you want to look at it) of the serial numbers.

    With regard to Jazam65's watch, I would be less surprised to see a solid balance on a watch of the late 19thC than I would be to see one with the style of hairspring fixing that is employed on this watch. This is a style that harks back to the late 1820's was very common throughout the 1840's and lasted until the circa the 1860's and perhaps just occasionally into the 70's. The hairspring studded to the balance cock became the prevalent method after that.

    I would think that Marty's question about the usefulness of Roskell serial numbers is apposite, plus of course that the possible introduction of NN serial numbers muddies the waters as well. I would be of the view that Jazam65's watch is considerably earlier than 1899 but would hesitate to say by how much.

    I don't know how useful that input is - or isn't :)
     
  11. MartyR

    MartyR Super Moderator
    NAWCC Member Donor

    Dec 16, 2008
    10,502
    66
    48
    UK
    Country Flag:
    I have moved an ensuing discussion about Hunt & Roskell to a separate thread under that title. Apologies to Jose for going off his topic. Further discussion of Robert Roskell will be welcome :D
     

Share This Page