Josh Johnson

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Keith R..., May 5, 2015.

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  1. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Good news from my watch maker today, the Joseph Johnson watch is now running and balance has good motion.
    He's going to polish inner pair case, install a gold plated bow, polish original crystal and regulate it. He confirmed it
    as a Massey II escapement. Keith

    100_3229 (1024x768).jpg View attachment 261069

    100_3229 (1024x768).jpg
     
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  2. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi, really nice and with Compensation Curb. Regards Ray
     
  3. Nedredbeard

    Nedredbeard Registered User

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    it's purty. love the bristol windows.
     
  4. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #4 Keith R..., May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
    Bristol, is that near Liverpool?? By the way, I've decided to name her "Charlotte". Oh, Denis had to hand clean the dial, but cleaned up nicely.

    Thanks guys, Keith
     
  5. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

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    Bristol and Liverpool are about 180 miles apart
     
  6. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Very neat watch! Is it an English hallmarked case? I have a very similar Johnson movement (#9250), but unfortunately without a case -- a date on yours would help bracket the age of mine.
     
  7. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #7 Keith R..., May 6, 2015
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
    Les and Jerry thanks.

    Jerry, this watch is in an American case with those mythical American hallmarks ,(case maker HS). However, the directories for Johnson at
    25 Church street had this operation there until 1825. My watch maker has pin-pointed a date of 1824 for sn# 7771. Also the case contains
    sn#7771 on the inner pair case. Joseph Johnson died in 1827. If your movement was signed 25 Church street, and 9xxx, I'd say late 1825. Keith
     
  8. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Nedredbeard,

    Bristol was once famous for glass, but not this type! They made a very distinctive dark blue ware, now much sought after by collectors.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  9. Les harland

    Les harland Registered User

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    I forgot to mention that Bristol and Liverpool are ports on the west coast of England
    They were very heavily involved in trade with the American Colonies before and after they became the USA
     
  10. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Question for Jerry or all. Jerry, do you have similar dial? I have yet to set time on this watch or clean it (this will be the first time it's run for me).
    I was wondering how fragile is the dial. It's a gold dial with diamonds in it, don't clean?? Keith
     
  11. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    My Johnson is, unfortunately, lacking its dial. I cannot offer advice with any confidence on the care of dials like this.
     
  12. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Keith R,

    A very gentle clean by rolling a cotton bud moistened with some naphtha, (Coleman's), should be safe enough, since there doesn't appear to be any printing or inked lettering on it. Anything at all abrasive is obviously a no-no, so if there's any deeper staining it's best left alone.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  13. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Thanks Jerry, hope you find a dial on the cheap. My watch guy says these aren't cheap.

    Thanks Graham, Denis had indicated someone in the past had put something abrasive on the dial and it took two hours of hand
    cleaning after soaking to clean it. I will order some Colemans. You guys have seen the dials I'm used to, this is not one of them.

    Thanks, Keith
     
  14. Nedredbeard

    Nedredbeard Registered User

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    I always called those huge jewels on english watches "bristol windows" don't know why. Do they have a name other than gigantic jewel?
     
  15. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Yeah "Liverpool Windows".
     
  16. Nedredbeard

    Nedredbeard Registered User

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    See, that makes more sence. But now it's stuck in my head. I've always liked the name Bristol, maybe thats why.
     
  17. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    I enjoy the research on these old watches, but all things require "others" who take their time to document and coach. Thanks to
    PL, enrico, Graham, Marty, Jerry, Ray and many others for due diligence. Keith
     
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  18. Nedredbeard

    Nedredbeard Registered User

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    Absolutely, I don't know much about the terminology and the history of European watches. I have learned a lot from reading these threads. I am more of a "mechanic" I guess you could say but I am getting a lot of good info daily. Thanks guys!
     
  19. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #19 Keith R..., May 13, 2015
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
    OK, after yesterdays discussion, this Josh Johnson watch was discussed as a Rack lever vs. Massey II, Afte reading further I believe
    it is Massey II after seeing certain documentation to support this (figure 9). I will discuss this with my watch maker, and want to thank
    Graham for pointing me in the right direction (post 51). (great PDF file). Keith
     
  20. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Keith,

    If your Johnson is marked as "Detached", it can't be a rack lever; that escapement is not in the detached family since the balance pinion and the lever rack are always in engagement. The shape of the lever and the roller are the only sure way to tell. Also, not all Masseys are marked with "Patent Detached". Life isn't that simple I'm afraid!

    This is a Massey V for instance, without any markings apart from the retailer:

    attachment.jpg

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  21. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Got it, Thanks again. I've been reading before until eyes were strained. Some times it takes a few more examples and understanding the balance pinion
    and lever rack. Thanks Graham. Nice watch, why don't you show the rest of it. Keith
     
  22. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I have seen very good results cleaning the dial with acid. The acid was sulfuric. If there is any part that is not gold it is destroyed to you really have to know the dial and be ready to snatch it out and get it into water fast if there is a problem but I have seen spectacular results from this method.

    Regarding the date, I have seen a similar example which I am certain is pre 1822 by its hallmarks (it has a recognizable leopard head crowned but the date letter is unreadable. (It is not my watch but I may be able to get permission to post the photos) The case maker dates it to pre 1816 on the other example. That example is also marked "Detach'd" It is also Massey II

    Massey got his patent in 1814 so is it possible that the notation "Detach'd" rather than "Patented" dates this Johnson watch also to before or nearer 1814?
     
  23. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #23 Keith R..., May 13, 2015
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
    Thanks Dr. Jon, Denis used the sulferic acid on the Johnson dial. The watch is in transit back this week from restoration. Here are my American hallmarks (assume American). Also note, I'm unsure if 25 Church Street pre-1820. Keith

    7771HM (180x200).jpg
     
  24. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I saw that dial and it will knock your socks off.
     
  25. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Keith,

    Although I can't find a "HS" or a "SH" in Priestley with the right date range in Chester, Birmingham or London, the rest of the marks look remarkably convincing. Priestley's lists are just about as good as it gets, but even he isn't infallible, and it could be that this maker was registered in one of the books that have gone missing over time.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  26. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #26 Keith R..., May 13, 2015
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
    Thanks Graham, so a domestic watch at first. Note, I say first because of the watch papers Bailly Banks & Biddle also. Keith
     
  27. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Tea & crumps.......In the morning guys. Good news is my old model 6 comes home this week, (exposed escapement). Keith
     
  28. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Crumpets........I was close. And I know my answer, thanks guys. Keith
     
  29. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    In our own museum we have 4 Johnson watches, two of which affix Massey III classifications, 1 with a signed balance cock Detached Lever,
    Bosley style regulator, uncut brass balance, sn# 6097, circa 1830. The other listed Massey III in our museum with a plain unsigned balance cock.
    In all there are 4 Josh Johnson watches shown in the NAWCC museum. I have not talked to my watch guy, just doing home work.

    Next to review the Charles River museum Johnson example. Keith
     
  30. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Homework (cont.), sn# 5764 39mm Massey III Josh Johnson housed in Hamilton Glass back display case. NAWCC museum. Keith
     
  31. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #31 Keith R..., May 18, 2015
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
    Dr. Jon was correct, dial will knock your socks off. I will do a before and after on watch/dial. Thanks to CWRNH for Josh Johnson #7771 back,
    running and timing well. Still working on proper photo lighting. Keith

    100_4871 (800x600).jpg 100_5780 (800x600).jpg 100_5781 (800x600).jpg

    100_4871 (800x600).jpg 100_5780 (800x600).jpg 100_5781 (800x600).jpg
     
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  32. anguilla1980

    anguilla1980 Registered User

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    Wow, looks GREAT!
     
  33. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Thanks 92GTA, and thanks GRAHAM for all the help, (you guys should listen to him). When my Frodsham and Romilly come back it will be time
    for another sabbatical. Keith
     
  34. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #34 Keith R..., May 20, 2015
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
    I am running a timing test between this Massey II Johnson watch and my Howard series III kwks circa 11/64 and my up-jeweled model 83 kwks. The photo of all three were uploaded in my Misc. album this morning 5/20/2015 at 7:00 AM Eastern standard time. Tomorrow I will upload a photo of these same 3 running watches without touching or moving them no sooner than 7:00 AM eastern standard time on 5/21/2015. Keith

    Edit/note both, The Howard KW and the Waltham model 83 KW have extensive service history. The Johnson watch was just restored by CWRNH.
     
  35. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Well, looking forward to end of test, right now to the model 83 I just checked, it's -30 seconds after almost 16 hours. Not bad at all. Keith
     
  36. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #36 Keith R..., May 21, 2015
    Last edited: May 21, 2015
    Ran a bit past 24, as I slept in. Bottom line, the Johnson watch untouched after initial wind ran -1 minute to the model 83 serviced key wind and verified by my cell phone time, photo placed in my misc. album. Not bad for an old English watch. Later guys...........Keith

    100_5911 (800x600).jpg
     
  37. PapaLouies

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    Henry Stuart,

    Appears in the 1841 UK Census, age 36 watchmaker. He also appears in the 1851 and 1861 Census.
    This is the same watchmaker that was counterfeiting M.I. Tobias & Co. watches in the mid 1840's.

    His silver mark is HS and was registered at Chester c1850 and he was listed as Case and watch maker, Park Lane, Liverpool.

    The Hallmarks in Keith's case #7771 are some what confusing. The Date Letter appears to be a Gothic font which started at Chester in 1839 and at the same date the Leopard's Head was dropped. The Leopard's Head in this case appears to be double stamped. Could be the Queen's Head was stamped over it. In any event, if the Date Letter is Gothic the mid 1850's would be the likely date for this case.

    Now to the movement, straight line narrow balance cocks did not become commonplace until the late 1840's.
    It was usually standard to chase the balance cock, but I have never seen a Joseph Johnson watch with an elaborately chased barrel bridge. When I see a barrel bridge which is elaborately chased it brings to mind Van de Rohe's tenet "Less is More".
    To me this destroys the aesthetic balance of the watch and this is likely done to convince the buyer that the watch is authentic.

    As yet I do not have an explanation for the balance wheel and compensation curb that was commonplace at an earlier time.

    If the Date Letter is Gothic, then it is quite possible the Joseph Johnson #7771 is a forgery by Henry Stuart!

    Regards'

    PL
     
  38. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #38 Keith R..., Jun 12, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
    103_2878 (768x1024).jpg Virgin family watch purchased from a descendant PL, documentation back to 1845. I'd say it's a bit hard to fake a Massey II escapement confirmed by CWRNH. But here's an inner case shot. Edit: also see original thread by- Shanna11 titled "Joseph Johnson
    Liverpool pocket watch, need help. See page 2 starting with Jerry B. (my buddy who told me about the watch). Found this thread
    after posting my thread, same watch by a friend. Regards Keith

    103_2878 (600x800).jpg
     
  39. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    PL, comments from MartyR to thread "English W/ Massey I". From MartyR response as follows; " First in relation to Keith's hallmarks, I think they are genuine and I think the case maker is S.H and not HS. I can find no record of either mark".

    He made that response as I tried to provide hallmarks with SH letters as an example on a case maker. Please see that thread. Keith
     
  40. JDCKent

    JDCKent Registered User

    Beautiful watch, Keith! Nice to see the transformation from beginning to end of the restoration.
     
  41. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Thank you JDCKent, I know you were probably sweating "Customs" with your watch. This one was several years from purchase to restoration because
    I could not find one state side to tackle it. Glad I did. But some day he may retire, so hang on to your guy, we may all need him. Now I am going to have
    to go back a bit in time like you did. I blame Omexa, (Ray) and all those movements and watches he got me reading about, (thanks Ray).

    And thank you JDCKent for dropping in. It's time for you a Massey escapement. Keith
     
  42. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi Keith, "I blame Omexa, (Ray) and all those movements and watches he got me reading about, (thanks Ray)." that is only the tip of the Iceberg, there are lots more coming. Regards Ray
     
  43. JDCKent

    JDCKent Registered User

    Yeah, Keith, the customs holdup with the first attempt at return shipping was a little ridiculous. They held it a good full week before he had the original shipper return it back, and then shipped it off with a different carrier. So, it sounds like you've been bitten by the verge bug, Keith? ;)
     
  44. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    JDCkent, I was first bitten in 2005 by the verge bug. The good news is, I get to see new ones like yours or one of Omexa's about once a week, when that
    does not work, I'll pull one out of the display case and fire it up. However, if all else fails I'll go on the hunt.

    Sounds like you found the "Customs wall". You just about have to have a repairman or seller that has a long standing arrangement with a carrier, otherwise
    all one has is hope, and we know, "hope" is never a good plan. Our biggest risk on these treasures is the shipper, something often overlooked.

    Keep us posted on old "Poy" from time to time. Keith
     
  45. JDCKent

    JDCKent Registered User

    Ah, yes, never mind then. That period is about when I was first bitten as well. Was in my early 20s. Then, I got bitten by a few other bugs, until a few months ago, when that verge bug came back again! And old "Poy" was there to save me. Ha! :)
    Right now, it appears to have fairly remarkable accuracy. It does however, just like Graham had stated, tail off a tad after about that 24 hour mark. I'll keep looking for that outer case though, wherever in may be hiding.. Justin
     
  46. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    As I understand pair cases, you may not get the perfect fit, but a fit none the less. One of my favorite verges is plus several minutes a day. You got to love
    them. Best of luck. Keith
     
  47. PapaLouies

    PapaLouies Registered User
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    My speculation regarding the date letter of your Joseph Johnson #7771 is due to the photos of the hallmarks you have posted.
    The photos can not be enlarged and therefore the date letter is unreadable. Recently, I've come across Jerry Bryant's original posts of Johnson #7771 wherein the date letter is clearly an F, and the leopard's head is crowned, which puts the case at Chester 1802-3. Like DaveyG, I think it likely the watch works are Ca. 1840 or later.

    If this watch was produced by a Johnson, of which I have reservations, it would be Mary Johnson, Joseph's wife. After Joseph's death in 1827, there was no son old enough to carry on the business.

    Please see my post #18 at Thread:
    Joseph Johnson with Historical dial "HMS Brisk".

    Your watch papers Bailey & Co. could date back to 1846, not 1841 as indicated by Alan Trachtenberg!

    Maybe you can explain MartyR's post #18 at Thread:
    Joseph Johnson Liverpool Pocket watch, Need Help!

    Regards,

    PL
     
  48. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #48 Keith R..., Nov 11, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
    I don't mind proper discourse. But let's start with the movement. Here is the
    movement. All Johnson movements I have seen after 1840 were much thinner,
    the temp compensation curbs were gone by the 1840's, (did not work as planned).
    Let's address that is has a Massey II escapement. Then we can discuss the case.
    I say all this, because it could be a phonied case, (anything is possible). Keith

    ps, I thought crown was post 1823, no crown pre 1823?

    View attachment 279495
     
  49. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #49 Keith R..., Nov 11, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
    Then we need to move to the dial, after the movement. Here is the dial
    and the watch paper. Excuse me as I come and go, dragging up info for
    this discussion. Last photo, an 1823 Johnson parts watch. I'll go fetch some
    more.

    Note, the under side of the dial has a date of 1824. Keith

    Note 2, I have a saved photo copy from ebay of Josh Johnson sn# 15488
    that belongs to one of our team members that bought it, (I quit bidding).
    This watch is circa 1839, (But I don't have rights to post it). Send me a PM
    with your email PL and I'll send you the photo.

    Note 3, PL I have company coming over for about an hour. We need the address
    Of Joseph Johnson circa 1840's. In 1827 he died at 25 Church Street. What address
    was of record in 1840 for Jos Johnson (you can help with that while I meet the
    company). They are just going to hunt on my farm, I won't be long.
    103_2898 (800x600).jpg 103_8033 (800x600).jpg swissjj (800x770).jpg
     
  50. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    OK, I'm back PL, I notice no pm from you with an email address, as I have an 1839 thin
    Josh Jonson at 25 Church Street to send you. Also, I found a post by you responding to a
    Josh Johnson movement by Jerry Treiman sn#9250 with temp compensation curb just like
    mine, jeweled just like mine that you agreed was made shortly after his death in 1827. My
    serial number is 7771. Your post #18 is on record, (but folks do tend to forget things as time
    goes by). The thread was by Ben_Hutcherson titled Josh Johnson, Liverpool.

    If you are calling my movement from a different era, you should go get the correct parties
    together for this discourse. I would suggest Jerry T.. Marty, Graham, I think Art Bissel has
    almost a dupe to mine close serial number, dial and case (you should get him to post his as
    an example).

    Last by not least we should then look at the case. It has been tested and is 18k gold. Marty
    has confirmed through other discussions, that it is an English case, (not American).

    Heck, I'll sell ya the watch if you want it, (keeps excellent time). There's a Howard I'm trying
    to get anyway. So I'll await your plan to go forward PL. Keith

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