john harrison

dan12159

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Jan 18, 2011
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John Harrison. key wind, opens from the front. Has extra piece covering the workings. Slide a piece of metal to take that off. Silver case overall. Has lion in square stamped in, U stamped in, this is in square. HF stamped in, and some triangle thing stamped in. John Harrison Liverpool. patent on bady of workings. No 10224. This # is stamped into the case as well. No markings on the dial. Tryint to figure how to post pictures but no luck. Neat watch I ad had for years.
so opens from the back to reveal a hole for the key. glass opens from the front, then the whole workings fold out, and there is a piece covering the workings, take that off and then see the mechanics and markings on the body. markings and assay as above. what year is U in a square? thanks, hope to be able to share pics.
 

AbslomRob

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Pictures would help. Sounds like a english lever watch from the mid 1800's. The lion is probably the mark for the london assay office, which makes the U the date code for 1815 (upper case serif), 1835 (lower case serif), 1855 (upper case gothic), 1875 (lower case gothic) or 1895 (upper case serif). Technically, the last two should be in a shield shape, but that isn't always reliable. HF is probably the case maker, but we'd need to see the font.
 

DaveyG

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Dan, I agree with AbslomRob in that it sounds like an English lever watch from the 19thC. John Harrison of Liverpool is listed as working from 1824 to 1851 in Loomes. I think, however, that the lion that you see is probably the English mark for sterling silver. It is known as the Lion Passant and should show a lion, facing left, with one fron leg raised. It is quite possible that the assay office for a Liverpool made watch would be Chester rather than London and I note a Liverpool casemakers mark HF as being that of Henry Fishwick whose mark was registered 1830 to 1865 - right time frame. I see no London maker fitting the time frame. The indication as to whether the case is Chester or London is the assay office mark, that for London is a leopard's head in a shield and for Chester, 3 wheatsheaves with a central sword in a shield. The font of the U is important for determining date but an upper case, serif 'U' in a square stamp, from the Chester assay would be 1838/9. As Rob says, this is all speculation without pictures.
 

dan12159

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Jan 18, 2011
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Re: john harrison with pics

thanks for your replys. I was able to get pics (to my album), can you take a look? 81776.jpg 81777.jpg 81778.jpg 81779.jpg 81780.jpg 81781.jpg 81782.jpg 81783.jpg 81784.jpg
 
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RON in PA

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Looks like sterling silver, Chester and 1838 to me.

Any chance of some sharp close-ups taken from the side of the movement so that we have a better idea of what's really in there between the plates.
 

Jerry Treiman

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This movement looks very similar to mine, although mine is slightly later. My Harrison has a Massey type III escapement. Unfortunately mine lost its case long before I found it, but your hallmarks give me a rough timeframe for mine. I am surprised it would still have a Massey escapement at this date. View attachment 442574
 

DaveyG

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I would agree on the date as 1838/9 and the word 'PATENT' engraved on the balance cock is indicative of the watch originally having been fitted with a Massey escapement of one form or another.

Jerry, the Massey escapement was used quite widely up until c1850. I quote from Dr Kemp's 'The Fusee Lever Watch' - "however, in practice its usage extended to 1850 after which it was dropped abruptly". That book is now about 30 years old and I'm not sure what any later research might have revealed but I have an example of Massey 3 in a 3/4 plate mov't, with the gold case hallmarked for 1846/7. Strangely the Massey 5 does not seem to have had such an extended life.
 

dan12159

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Jan 18, 2011
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Thank all. I will post some more photos this evening. What is the triangleish mark on the case. I have HF, maker, The lion, No 10224 (matches the watch, so case and watch match) the U and this triangle thing. Ideas? Jerry, yes very similiar. I will try to post one like that.
 

Skutt50

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I am not sure what you mean but the triangular mark is the city mark for Chester and the U is the date letter for 1838.
 

dan12159

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Jan 18, 2011
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Ok so some final pics>Thanks to all
-> posts merged by system <-
still more
So how many of these watches would have been made each year. We know the dat eof this watch and the workings and case match as # 10224. I see another similiar watch with the # somewhere in the 16 k range. How many years apart are they? 81863.jpg 81864.jpg 81865.jpg 81866.jpg 81867.jpg 81868.jpg 81869.jpg 81870.jpg 81871.jpg 81872.jpg 81873.jpg 81874.jpg 81875.jpg 81876.jpg 81877.jpg 81878.jpg 81879.jpg 81880.jpg 81881.jpg 81882.jpg
 
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Martin Rosen

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Jan 20, 2011
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dan12159;524598 said:
So how many of these watches would have been made each year. We know the dat eof this watch and the workings and case match as # 10224. I see another similiar watch with the # somewhere in the 16 k range. How many years apart are they?
That is the $10,224 question :D The problem with most English and Swiss watchmakers is that they have nor been researched, and/or no production records exist. So establishing a date from a serial number is largely guesswork. Finding an English watch cased in a known original case (like yours) is in itself a rarity - stamping the movement number on the case seems to have been a practice confined to the best makers.

In any event, even if there were a record of Harrison case numbers with hallmark date that wouldn't give you any clue as to how many of your model were made. Early English makers were not making from machine production runs like the later Americans; it is quite likely that they went backwards and forwards to different models as demand required.

I suppose that easily the best documented English maker ever is Charles Frodsham (superb book by Vaudrey Mercer) and even that book leaves much doubt as to the production dates of specific serial numbers, and whilst it is possible to deduce the number made of specific models it is still far from certain.
 

DaveyG

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As Skutt says, the 'triangleish' mark is the hallmark for the Chester City Assay office. It is representative of a shield with the three peripheral marks being wheatsheaves and the central mark the City sword. I believe that this is the old Chester City crest. Chester is an ancient City in the North West of England very close to the Welsh border. Each assay office in the UK had thier own individual identifying mark. If you want to find a little more about hallmarks on silver try www.925-1000.com
 

Audemars

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Looking at the 5500 or so serial numbers we have, I think numbering systems were completely chaotic and cannot be relied upon for any assumption of date of production - and I see no reason why Audemars would be unique in that respect.

Many movements seem to have been started in small batches of broadly similar mechanisms, but were not necessarily completed, finished and sold until after greatly varying lengths of time, depending on individual customer requirements. Additionally many customers required their own serial numbers – or no number at all, to be visible on the movement.

Most of our numbers date between 1872 and 1885 but they are 3, 4, 5 and 6 – digit numbers and I have not yet perceived any great correlation between date and number length although some of the shorter ones are probably a bit earlier than the 6-digit numbers.

There also seems to have been some correlation between numbers and quality levels, although it will take somebody much more knowledgeable than me (and younger!) to spend time working that one out.

P
 

dan12159

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Jan 18, 2011
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Thanks all. I had a book or two and did some research before the internet but this helps immensly. Thanks again. It is neat to have a little more history on it.
 

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