Joseph Johnson/Massey movement.....help with dating please.

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by PJQL, Jul 13, 2017.

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  1. PJQL

    PJQL Registered User
    Donor

    Jun 13, 2011
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    Retired police officer
    Cornwall UK
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    Hi all,

    This is a movement that I rescued from a dealer following the case being removed and scrapped (again)!

    It is marked Josh. Johnson, has a 30 tooth-escape wheel and what I think is a Massey III escapement.

    It's only the second Johnson movement I've ever had, and this one is not as highly jewelled as the previous one. However, I wonder if someone could accurately date it for me please and give an opinion on the quality of the piece ?

    I was also particularly taken with the dial, which I think is beautiful.

    Thanks,

    Piers
     
  2. Lychnobius

    Lychnobius Registered User

    Aug 5, 2015
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    Semi-retired designer & printer
    Redruth, Cornwall, UK
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    Suddenly the air is full of Johnsons! This movement appears to be entirely genuine and can be dated with some confidence to 1818, since by a very rare chance we have authentic hallmarked cases from that year for numbers 1629 (very similar to this) and 2605 which is a rack-lever but has the same train and jewelling. (A thousand movements in a year was a tremendous pace for a pre-industrial watch workshop.) There was nothing déclassé about seven-jewel movements at this period; obviously they are not at the top of the range, but still distinguished makers such as James McCabe and John Roger Arnold were not ashamed to put their names on them.

    The dial, with its unusually bold chapter-ring, is certainly very handsome. I have rarely seen the technique of colouring gold so vividly displayed.

    Oliver Mundy.
     
  3. PJQL

    PJQL Registered User
    Donor

    Jun 13, 2011
    1,248
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    38
    Retired police officer
    Cornwall UK
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    Oliver,

    Thank you VERY much for that observation. The date is somewhat earlier than I had anticipated...good news nevertheless!

    I guess that the dial was custom made for a client? It's one the best I have come across....bar my current

    Liverpool Roskell of course!!

    Regards

    Piers
     
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