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19th c John Moncas 428

Jerry Ellis

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I have A John Moncas Movement and Case number both 428. I know nothing about this watch only that it runs very well. Did John Moncas do each piece different ? Something else I tried to find is that the case also has a Hallmark NB & Co. I couldn't find anything on that either. I was told this one was made in 1809 which may not be correct. I have read all threads and have to say thanks to everyone for the info. I'm not even sure how old thread is. 16424575406588132520362444389046.jpg 16424576113513354079159708762993.jpg 16424576686376020005458904919771.jpg
 

jboger

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Most, maybe nearly all, movements signed John Moncas have the name blocked out in capital letters, not script. There seems to be a consistency in that regard from movement to movement.

Some pictures of the case and any markings would be most helpful. Is it a gold case? The mark NB&Co strikes me as possibly a US maker's mark. I'll go ot on a limb. The shape of the balance cock and barrel bridge strike me more as 1840s in style rather than 1809, or in any case, later than 1809.

The low serial number strikes me as odd, as does the hairspring. But heh, what do I know? Others will comment.

John B
 
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Jerry Ellis

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Most, maybe nearly all, movements signed John Moncas have the name blocked out in capital letters, not script. There seems to be a consistency in that regard from movement to movement.

Some pictures of the case and any markings would be most helpful. Is it a gold case? The mark NB&Co strikes me as possibly a US maker's mark. I'll go ot on a limb. The shape of the balance cock and barrel bridge strike me more as 1840s in style rather than 1809, or in any case, later than 1809.

The low serial number strikes me as odd, as does the hairspring. But heh, what do I know? Others will comment.

John B
Thanks John,
I've been sitting here online for several hours trying to find any info. I did find the NB&Co it was in the UK. I also found one other with that stamp but it's in a museum with not many pics. The watch appears to be all solid 18k gold but I definitely don't want to try and find out. The dial appears to be done by hand. I sell gold jewelry for a living but totally clueless about these watches. That's why I posted. Be nice to be able to look up serial number.
 

Jerry Ellis

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Thanks John,
I've been sitting here online for several hours trying to find any info. I did find the NB&Co it was in the UK. I also found one other with that stamp but it's in a museum with not many pics. The watch appears to be all solid 18k gold but I definitely don't want to try and find out. The dial appears to be done by hand. I sell gold jewelry for a living but totally clueless about these watches. That's why I posted. Be nice to be able to look up serial number.
Just wanted to mention the watch was running when I took photos.
 

Jerry Ellis

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Well that's incorrect. I was able to find three circa 1815 same exact writing as mine. The person I bought mine from said it was a 1809 and that would be correct. The block lettering was used in the later watches. You guys had me sweating bullets. Bought mine from an elderly man in Texas he sure knew what he was talking about.

Screenshot_20220117-222655-405.png Screenshot_20220117-222102.png Screenshot_20220117-221903.png
 

John Matthews

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Jerry

There are many threads on this forum with photographs of Moncas signed watches. Here are three links. A careful comparison of your example with those in the threads should help you unerstand the comments so far received.


If this was a genuine Moncas movement made in Liverpool with a serial number of #428, it would be from ~1815 on the basis of the research by the author of the last post. As others have said, the appearance of your watch does not conform to the style that is normally found on Moncas watches. Personally I do not believe it is a genuine example, the quality of the finishing, particularly the engraving, is not what I would expect from a genuine example.

I just found the tiniest microscopic signature on artwork on dial, John Moncas
A photograph of the signature may help. Where is it located? From what I can see of the dial, it may be of continental origin. Additional photographs, showing the case marks and a side view of the movement may reveal further clues to its origin.

John
 

gmorse

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Hi Jerry,

Your watch has a lever escapement, and although this was invented back in the middle of the 18th century, it wasn't in use in this type of watch until 1812 at the earliest, so yours can't be from 1809.

Bought mine from an elderly man in Texas he sure knew what he was talking about.
Whatever else he knew, he clearly wasn't aware of the history of English lever watches. A word about the details; there is a distinctive 'Liverpool' style of engraving on the balance cock, the lettering on the top plate, the large jewels and the way the regulator scale is divided with 'crows foot' markings. These details are not specific to any one maker but are common in most watches produced in the area at the beginning of the 19th century.

I can't find an English maker's mark of 'NB&Co' in the standard reference for watch case hallmarks in the Chester, Birmingham or London lists. We really need to see clear pictures of the hallmarks inside the case, which, if they are English, will tie down the date of assaying.

I agree with John M about the quality of the engraving, in particular, that on the balance cock is very sketchy and lacks the characteristic crispness and the 'pie-crust' edging.

Regards,

Graham
 
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Bernhard J.

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Generally, my experience is that in case of watches offered in auctions the statements as to the year of make quite often are wrong (typically at least decades earlier than real), even if the auction photos of the (English) hallmarks clearly indicate the (later) year in which the case was made. And if one points to that, it is not corrected.

In this case, I also would be really surprised, if the movement were made in the first decade of the 1800´s.

Cheers, Bernhard
 

Allan C. Purcell

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It´s all about the case, this watch has a lever escapement, so could not have been made in 1809. Another small point is John Muncas was not recorded in Gores till 1813 at 22 Bevington Street, Liverpool. This watch was probably a no-name, then re-worked.

Shame really,

Allan.
 

gmorse

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Hi Bernhard,
In this case, I also would be really surprised, if the movement were made in the first decade of the 1800´s.
I would be more than surprised, provided that it isn't a conversion. Although the date of the introduction of the English lever is being pushed back with the results of research, the earliest verified example I'm aware of at the moment is probably from the early 1820s. This is of course as distinct from the work of Edward Massey and George Savage on the detached lever and Peter Litherland on the non-detached rack lever.

Regards,

Graham
 
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gmorse

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Hi Jerry,
I was able to find three circa 1815 same exact writing as mine.
The first example, serial number 495, isn't a detached lever, it's a rack lever, patented by Peter Litherland in 1791. The other two appear to be the same watch.

Regards,

Graham
 

gmorse

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Hi Jerry,

Regarding the comment from Chris in post #6, the setting for the third wheel jewel appears to cut through the engraving,

16424576113513354079159708762993.jpg

as does the steel setting for the fusee on the left, which suggests that the jewelling was done after the plate was engraved, something that was not usual. The lack of screws retaining the settings is also unusual. I suspect that this was made, or at least finished, in Coventry.

Regards,

Graham
 

John Matthews

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Graham,

I favour a continental origin rather than Coventry - I haven't been able to find another example with both the crow's foot marking and the Coventry inward pointing arrows mark inside the regulation scale. I don't think a Coventry engraver would have been instructed to add both, if the intent was to deceive a Liverpool origin for the movement. Also, when I have seen what I have thought to be Coventry finished movements in the Liverpool style, the windows jewelling has been far more convincing.

John
 

Jerry Ellis

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495 shows the same. There's a group of watchmakers about 30 minutes from my home. Watkins Jewelry in Clinton, Illinois I know they specialize in very old pocket watches. They have been in business since the 1800's I will call them tomorrow and get it in there and have it looked at. Those old guys worked on probably just about any watch there is. If it's a fake I'll take care of it with a grinder. I'll update the thread this week with what they say.
 

gmorse

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Hi Jerry,
If it's a fake I'll take care of it with a grinder.
Even if it's a fake, it's a very old one, and it still has a story to tell; indeed, these are collected by some, so please don't destroy it, someone else may find it worth having for its own sake.

Regards,

Graham
 
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Jerry Ellis

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Very carefully I just tested the dial, dial is 18k case is not, case is less than 14k maybe 12k considering how long it took to turn to flakes. I figured the hell with it. Even if it isn't a John Moncas I still have a little gold right. I've never heard of John Moncas till a couple weeks ago. Thanks for the help everyone. I'll get to Watkins and have it looked at today.
 

gmorse

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Hi John,
Also, when I have seen what I have thought to be Coventry finished movements in the Liverpool style, the windows jewelling has been far more convincing.
I agree, but if times were hard, all sorts of dubious things were done. The conditions in the Coventry trade did spark a Parliamentary Report after all. Although fitted in a unusual way, these do appear to be functional jewels. Perhaps the O/P should send it to Rebecca Struthers!

Regards,

Graham
 

jboger

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Jerry:

I did not want to be the bearer of bad news when I posted my response. But others have since responded so may I tell you what I think you have? I think you have a relatively inexpensive watch made for the American market ca 1840-50 and is not a genuine John Moncas watch and does not show the finish I've grown to expect for a product retailed by his shop. I suspect the movement may have been cased in the U.S., but if possible, let's see some pictures of the case. I think the case may be original to the movement, and knowing a bit more about it may reveal the origins of your watch.

Every watch tells a story. I have a watch ca. 1780 made in the English manner for the English market. It's even signed for London. But the watch is Swiss in origin and was exported into England via Holland as the case has Dutch export marks. Not worth as much as the genuine article, but a fascinating history nonetheless.

John
 

jboger

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I think there is an interesting story lurking about. We have Jerry's watch discussed in this thread. Then there was that "Swiss fake" with the going barrel signed John Moncas. And of course all the other Moncas watches. All of this suggests that the Moncas name carried some weight. I think the current watch under discussion is a very interesting watch.
 

Jerry Ellis

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Jerry:

I did not want to be the bearer of bad news when I posted my response. But others have since responded so may I tell you what I think you have? I think you have a relatively inexpensive watch made for the American market ca 1840-50 and is not a genuine John Moncas watch and does not show the finish I've grown to expect for a product retailed by his shop. I suspect the movement may have been cased in the U.S., but if possible, let's see some pictures of the case. I think the case may be original to the movement, and knowing a bit more about it may reveal the origins of your watch.

Every watch tells a story. I have a watch ca. 1780 made in the English manner for the English market. It's even signed for London. But the watch is Swiss in origin and was exported into England via Holland as the case has Dutch export marks. Not worth as much as the genuine article, but a fascinating history nonetheless.

John
I understand. I figured such. Doesn't explain the 18k solid gold dial. I guess at least something is real about it
 

Jerry Ellis

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One more question guys, does anyone know what is engraved on dial. I mean the building portrayed. If I can find out maybe I will remove dial and list for sale. At least recoup something.
 

gmorse

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Hi Jerry,
...does anyone know what is engraved on dial. I mean the building portrayed.
It's impossible to say from the picture, but these engravings were usually of imaginary landscapes, often exhibiting a European rather than an English character, which has led to speculation that many were imported from Switzerland.

Regards,

Graham
 

jboger

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. Jerry:

I have a U.S. watch in a 14k case made by Howard around 1895. Although Howards are avidly collected by many people, I believe it is safe to say most of the value lies in the case, not the movement. So if you do in fact have a solid gold case of some carat, that's where the money is, not so much in whether it is a Moncas watch or not. What interests most of the people on the Forum is the history of a watch, or the mechanism, or some other feature. These sorts of things may not drive the market value so much, but your case very well may. So don't despair. Anyway, I'd like to forget what I paid for a few things over the years--and not just watches.

John B
 

Jerry Ellis

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I took watch in, I'm not paying to disassemble. They said it doesn't matter most watches then shared parts and even if you have a watch that says Any name that most likely it isn't. He looked with his loop and a couple parts inside was engraved JM but that doesn't matter either. He did not know the Hallmark inside of case and stamp Hallmark inside the case is too far gone to make out. Anybody and everybody was engraving the watches just to get more money. I had no idea that kind of stuff happened back then. Watches constantly changed, movements were constantly being made different. Another thing he pointed out is that there isn't a patent number or applied on the movement. Who knows. I will say I will never buy another watch from the 19th century. Anyone who owns a branded watch from then most likely don't have what they think and that makes sense when you can't look up a serial number. Oh, by the way, serial numbers didn't even matter back then. I thought I had the 428 watch he made, wrong.
Well guys I can say I learned a lot and very little at the same time. No more fusee buying for me. I think I'll start playing lotto instead. Probably will have better luck.
 

John Pavlik

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Jerry, As seen on this forum the most critical thing with Fusee’s is knowledge …and that is not a quick learn… nothing will substitute…. Knowledge will trump serial numbers, always ….. Sorry about your experience ….
 

gmorse

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Hi Jerry,
He did not know the Hallmark inside of case and stamp Hallmark inside the case is too far gone to make out. Anybody and everybody was engraving the watches just to get more money. I had no idea that kind of stuff happened back then. Watches constantly changed, movements were constantly being made different. Another thing he pointed out is that there isn't a patent number or applied on the movement. Who knows.
I think your man is taking a view on English watches based on his experience with the American watches with which he must be most familiar. The difference is that the English watches were mostly not factory products but largely hand-made individually. Although many English watches were exported to the US in the 19th century, the numbers are still small when compared with the output of the large factories and it isn't surprising that knowledge of the English watch is sparse amongst most US repairers.

It's very unusual to find a patent number on any of them and the serial numbers don't mean anything if the records no longer exist, (if they ever did). The concepts of 'brands' and 'factories' aren't relevant, and the whole process of making a watch was complex and diffuse. The names engraved on watches were not for those who made them but mostly for their vendors. This wasn't an attempt to deceive but just a characteristic of the way the trade was structured; you could regard it as an almost universal 'private label' model, which is not unknown in the US.

As John P has pointed out, knowledge is critical, as it is with any specialised interest.

Regards,

Graham
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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Hello Jerry, I have been reading your sad story and can understand your feelings about the watch you have. Crime started when Adam ate the apple, so nothing new about that. The point being made here is, if you read up on the Forums on this board, take your time. You could then walk into a shop or auction house knowing what you wanted to buy, and be pleased when you came out. Take in the words of John Pavlik, and keep in touch we are all here hoping you will try again.

a10.jpg This watch was bought in America, by another firm in Liverpool, this time the case was made in England of 18K gold. The firm is Litherland & Davies. Litherland was the man who patented the Rack Lever. This watch though as a Massey I escapement. It also has a serial number. (11166) These numbers on a genuine Litherland watch can be collected and filed and they can tell you the year it was made, along with its hallmarks in the case and the initials inside the case will give you the name of the case maker. If you know where to look. If you cannot recognise the escapements, again the forums here will help you, try to concentrate on one Liverpool maker at first, because all that you learn about him or her, will be the same as all those other Liverpool watches in the era you choose.

I have put below my copy of the Litherland File. All the points you need to buy such a watch are there and believe me when I say the serial numbers are a true history of that particular watch. If at any time you need advice on a purchase, just ask. That's why we are here.

Has oft said "Time tells all"

Allan.
 

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Jerry Ellis

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Really interesting article you have, I downloaded and can keep for further reference if needed. Sucks when no one alive can give 100% facts if something was just assembled by a box of parts you bought on eBay or if a piece is Genuinly from the time period. You can look up most watches from late 1800's to know by entering the serial number from the movement. But can't on these and older. So without a database and a for sure serial number I don't believe any of these type of watches can be trusted. Sure it may have correct parts but what I just seen on eBay these fusee movements are a dime a dozen. Quite a few Moncas movements no dial or case and they are cheaply priced. I deal with gold jewelry everyday and can spot a fake in an instant but the watches I haven't a clue. Fake Rolex watches are being made now that a trained certified Rolex Dealer can't even tell. The fusee movements are like child's play. Im angry at myself for not waiting to buy and researching first. I read a article about an hour ago that said these movements came over by the thousands and they had to have a makers name and they were engraving any name they could possibly think of. And of course the well known names probably a lot more. These watches are beautiful and come with a lot of history but I think for now on I'll stick to Diamonds well hell, even those are made in a lab now and no one can tell the difference. Well technology and knowledge sure screwed up a lot of good things. I appreciate everyone's input on this. I came for help and got it immediately. Can't ask for a better community. Thanks everyone !!!
 

Jerry Ellis

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Guys, I can't let this go. Something just feels off about the watch I guess for me, I got an offer today. Maybe I should of let it go but I just can't yet. Can you guys look at this photo I'm sure you already seen it but tell me something. I think maybe I'm missing the point but why does this resemble mine and the plate, the holes the balance wheel the screws and the low number. If in fact the number is a serial number then mine would still be older with some difference I'm the way it was made I'm sure. I did find more markings on the case but need a better camera to capture. I don't even care about the case I'm just focused on the movement anyways. Have any of you guys seen a 3 digit Moncas watch, do you have one, did you see photos of one online? If online where, I want to see it and if you have one post some pics of it. I guess what I'm getting at is no matter how much your knowledge is if you haven't seen one then how would you know for sure. Please look at the photo and tell me what I'm not seeing. I want to learn.

Screenshot_20220117-233542.png
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Hi Jerry, That photograph comes out of an article by Mike Paice, publish in the AHS Journal 2015. The watch was made in 1815 according to the hallmarks on the case. The name and the number were put there later, and that was more than likely made by the two firms that made this RACK Lever watch. The word patent on the cock, was that of Peter Litherland & Co. though it could have also have been made by Robert Roskell, who exported more than 30,000 of this type of watch to America before 1820. In the serial number list in Mike´s article, there are only 13 three-digit watches going from 369 to 956. So the difference in the main is the hallmarks in the case. Hallmarked Chester 1815/16 case maker Thomas Helsby, Try and get hold of a copy, I think there is one on the board somewhere that was made later than 2015, then there are more numbers given.

By the way, when you read the Litherland file, did you learn something of use to you. Keep at it, research can be great fun.

Best wishes,

Allan
 
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gmorse

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Hi Jerry,

Most of the opinions you've been offered here aren't based solely on single factors such as serial numbers, but on a combination of often subtle design and qualitative assessments of the pictures you've shown us, based on lengthy experience in handling and restoring these old watches, (per post #29).

Regards,

Graham
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Pity you did not read post 32. Graham, oops I forgot you don´t read any of my posts. If you read this one, things have changed over the years, and you can tell the date of watches by their serial numbers if you bother to do the research. Not all watches have a case.

Regards,

Allan.

PS: If you remember, Mercer, Evens, and Thompson, only listed watches with their cases.
 
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Mike Paice

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Hi Jerry,

I thought that I should chip in here – not that I claim to be an expert in anything. I have continued to keep records of Moncas watch movements and now have some detail on over 260 of them. I also own John Moncas #346, which I think is in about as original a condition as one is likely to find for one of these older Moncas watches and the Thomas Helsby case has a Chester hallmark for 1814.

The watch you have acquired doesn't sit well with my observations of Moncas watches. All the three-digit ones I am aware of have a rack lever set-up (although some have later been converted), whereas #428 is clearly a detached lever. Jewelling to the fusee is something I see rarely on a Moncas full-plate watch movement and is something I would associate with later product when it is used. Early Moncas watches all include his signature in script but I only ever see his signature on the barrel-bar not on the plate itself (again this is only the case with the early watches, as time went by the signature moved around). The dial also concerns me (although it is not very clear in your picture). I would tend to agree with John Matthews that the dial looks more continental Europe in its styling – it has a rather later feel about it than 1815 – but again, I am no expert.

Mike
 

jboger

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Mike's post has raised a question that's not necessarily specific to Jerry's watch.

Some think his dial is Continental in origin. Could the movement (sans dial) be English-made and the dial Swiss-made? I've often thought that, if the Swiss were engaged in the production of "fake" watches, then they would not make fusees--at least not in the latter half of the 19th C--as the production of such movements would limit their ability to undercut the competition. (Here I think of that "Moncas" watch with the going barrel that is discussed in a different thread.) That being the case, could Jerry's movement have an English origin and the dial a Continental one, the dial then being fitted to the movement?

There are 19th C English fusee movements that were exported to the US and cased in the US, often in elaborate gold cases. Some of these have this sort of fancy dial. I've never given this much thought and always assumed dials were locally made along with all the other parts. That is, the dial was just another part of the movement. Could a dial, however, have a different country of origin other than the movement?

Much of my speculation rests on the assumption that the Swiss in the mid-19th C did not "fake" fusees. Perhaps my assumption is wrong. Still, even if that is the case, that does not in itself disallow the importation of dials from elsewhere.

Coming back to Jerry's Moncas, if the dial is Continental in origin, does it follow that the movement is also?

John
 

gmorse

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Hi John,
Much of my speculation rests on the assumption that the Swiss in the mid-19th C did not "fake" fusees. Perhaps my assumption is wrong. Still, even if that is the case, that does not in itself disallow the importation of dials from elsewhere.

Coming back to Jerry's Moncas, if the dial is Continental in origin, does it follow that the movement is also?
The Swiss did fake fusees and much else besides, but you're quite right that they also made dials which were imported to the UK and used perfectly legitimately on English movements, so the presence of a potentially Swiss dial doesn't in and of itself imply that the movement is also Swiss. The arguments regarding reliance solely on a single element of the watch design have already been exercised earlier in this thread.

Regards,

Graham
 

John Matthews

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I think you have to be careful when you are describing a component of a watch as fake.A watch has many components that can be sourced from different locations within a single country or imported into that country. While some of the imported components may have been specifically made in the style of the country to which they are exported, that doesn't justify branding them as fakes. They may not have been manufactured in order to deceive. The point at which an item can be described as a fake, is when it is presented in a manner that is intended to deceive. A Swiss dial on an English movement cased in an ornate American gold case, where the movement has an Liverpool signature and the case has a New York maker's mark, is not a fake, neither are any of its component parts.

John
 

Bernhard J.

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They may not have been manufactured in order to deceive. The point at which an item can be described as a fake, is when it is presented in a manner that is intended to deceive.
Well, this is a really difficult issue. If I look at my Golay minute repeater with chronograph, one would indeed suppose that the movement is English-made, like the case, the dial, balance and escapement, which indeed are. Among others Audemars Piguet supplied such "Genre Anglais" ebauchs to the UK and presented them in contemporary catalogues.

Why was this done? I would suppose that the intention (of the English buyers of the ebauchs) was to "deceive" the average English customer, who cherished home-made watches. Because the latter believed English watches to be second to none. In case of the Golay watch, of course, there was no intention to deceive about the quality, since there were very few makers (where ever) able to produce complications of this kind in-house, in particular in England, but even in Switzerland.

Or to mention another aspect without cross border component, is it a fake, when PP or V&C pretended to have made wristwatch movements by themselves, but actually bought the movements from LeCoultre? Or Rolex using the Zenith El Primero movement? Or Audemars Piguet selling "Genre Anglais" as own ebauchs, but actually purchased from LeCoultre, like Enrico is sure?

So, in case of the Golay watch I would rather not tend to "fake", but only because it is a top level watch, only "faking" English origin of the ebauch, but not made to deceive in that a cheap movement is supplied for maximum profit.

Perhaps the concept of fake or counterfeiting should be limited to when inferior quality is supposed to pretend a top product. It would be a different matter to follow a "fashion" in the target market. Or to buy a top movement and put it into watches of the own (famous) brand.

This is imho one of the interesting aspects in collecting English watches, all too often the name on dial and movement is completely irrelevant, one has to look at the quality in any case, also in cases with "famous" names.
 

Dr. Jon

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The English and to a large degree the Swiss industry was composed largely of specialists with reatilers coordinating the process. To my knowledge nobody until George Daniels made a complete watch in one shop and even Daniels used American factory made balance springs.

We are seeing a lot of one shop watches today but the current view of most contemporary watch collectors is that the movement is just another part. They like "manufacturers" and retailers did some parts but largely combined elements including adjustments and kept records.

I try to buy the watch not the name.
 
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jboger

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When I wrote post #41, I deliberately put quotes around the word fake because I know there are complexities associated with the use of the term and left it at that as I wanted to focus on the dial. I never meant to suggest or imply that those Liverpool movements housed in US cases, for example, were anything but the real McCoy. In general I would agree with Bernhard, that a "fake" watch refers to an inferior product being passed off as a superior one in order to obtain either a higher price or market share or both. There is certainly an attempt to deceive foolish customers who all too often soon part ways with their money.

Let me come back to the dial and limit my discussion to English watches made before, say, 1870 or so. During the period prior to 1870 were there any other parts of the movement imported from abroad, such as any of the wheels, the fusee, its chain, jewels, clicks, the frame, etc? If so, then some of my basic assumptions about English fusees are challenged. If not, then the dial has a certain singular status (hmmm . . . alliterative) different from the other parts of the movement.

What about the case? These movements were of standard sizes on the Lancashire scale. One merely had to fit the case to the movement by, for example, properly positioning the winding hole peculiar to a particular movement (I'm alliterative today--unintentionally so). And we know this was done after the case was assayed. The assay marks only tell us the quality of the silver, that it met British standards, not the country of origin. I could imagine the Swiss making sterling cases (in both senses of the word), those cases then being assayed in Birmingham, London, elsewhere, before being fitted to a movement.

John
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Only a few little mistakes there John, English cases had the maker on there as well as the Hallmarks which tell us where they were hallmarked. Actually, the Swiss did not know what STERLING SILVER was, and when they did start making English style watch cases they were hallmarked 935 content of silver not the sterling grade of 925. So keep your eye open for the
those, silver is rising. :?|.

Best Wishes,

Allan.
 

jboger

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Yes, the maker's mark would suggest a domestic origin for the case. So let's exclude cases so marked. There are what appear to be perfectly good English fusees in unmarked, unassayed cases, some of base metal. These could be imported. And there are tortoise shell, shagreen, and gold-plated cases as well, some of these going back into the 18th C.
 

Dr. Jon

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My understanding is that precious metal English made cases had to be assayed and hallmarked to be sold as such, as a legal matter.

I imagine there are exceptions for bespoke watches but I have yet to see one.
 

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