Late 1830s fusee with Massey 3 escapement....but where was it made?

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by PJQL, Oct 12, 2019.

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  1. PJQL

    PJQL Registered User

    Jun 13, 2011
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    Hi all,

    This is rather plain looking fusee, case hallmarked London 1838.
    I bought it because it had Patent Lever on the balance cock and a third wheel stop-lever. It turned out to have a Massey 3 escapement. When I look at it now I wonder if the barrel bridge is a replacement.. only because it's plain and unmarked though.
    There is a fleur-de-lys on the regulator index, and a small knob on the index lever... would these help indicate where this movement was made?

    Thanks,
    Piers DSC_2972.JPG DSC_2973.JPG DSC_2977.JPG DSC_2978.JPG
     
  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Piers,

    The blank barrel bar isn't unusual, it would have been up to the commissioner of the watch what, if anything, was engraved there. The balance brake looks as though it acts on the fourth wheel, which was common enough, although the small blued knob on the regulator is certainly unusual. The ornament in the centre of the regulator scale used to be taken as definite proof that the movement was from a Coventry workshop, but this is not now thought to be always the case; many frames were made in Prescot and then finished in Coventry, and there was also some interchange of craftspeople between the two centres, so this could be an example. There are some hints of Liverpool in the decoration of the balance cock. The escape and fourth wheel pivot holes in the top plate don't look at all healthy, does it run?

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  3. PJQL

    PJQL Registered User

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    Hi Graham,

    Thanks... really interesting information re production locales etc. I wondered why it wasn't marked more extensively since it was fitted with the Massey.
    Er yes...the fourth wheel... that's what I meant !!
    I thought it unusual that the stop mechanism operating lever is situated opposite the escapement though. Further to my last....Here are the hallmarks... plus the movement number is stamped into the case back too. The flat rim of the case is unusual I think for this kind of watch. DSC_2980.JPG DSC_2981.JPG DSC_2983.JPG DSC_2982.JPG DSC_2985.JPG

    Piers
     
  4. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Hi Piers, I could be wrong, but I think the little blued knob is there to hold the Massey compensation curb, which of course is missing. The IH sponsors mark is more than likely James William Hammon Clerkenwell who had a long run fron1822 to 1873. I would say very rare working dates. Allan
     
  5. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I think the barrel bridge is a replacement.

    1) I have seen barrel bridges with cracks and I suspect the original on this one cracked
    2) the color seems a bit off compared to the rest of the watch
    3) A plain barrel cover with a highly decorated main plate and balance cock is too far out of charater
    4) The pivot was hammered to fit suggesting it was adapted.

    I suspect all the work including the repair was done in Liverpool.

    I have seen th estop device several times.
     
  6. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Piers,

    Dr. Jon's points are valid and well taken; the barrel bar could be a replacement or not, and the connections between Liverpool and Coventry were sometimes complex. Digital pictures are fine, but no real substitute for seeing the watch in hand.

    The case was made by John William Hammon, with a fine set of hallmarks.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  7. PJQL

    PJQL Registered User

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    Thanks Allan
    Hmmm, Ok. What would it have looked like? I assume the purpose of a compensation curb was to increase accuracy?

    Thank you for that input Dr Jon,
    I tend to agree in terms the colour of the bar and the sharp contrast/absence of decoration.
    The stop devices are not rare I know...but the operating lever is generally located adjacent to the wheel being acted upon.
    Maybe there was a separate adaptation previously?

    It was certainly a complicated environment in watchmaking history. Is there any way to confirm anything in terms of the product locale?

    Regarding your previous post, yes the movement is running well.. quite accurately actually! I'm going to give it an ultrasonic clean tomorrow.

    Piers
     
  8. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Save me going through all my watches (I only have two with the Massey curve ) if you look at the thread"Early English single table roller escapements post 51 and 419 you will see them. On Rays movement you can see a very early one with two screws, in the other one, like yours would have looked. Best Allan
     
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  9. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Piers,

    I'm with Graham ...

    At the very very best you may be able to identify individual components PROVIDING you can find maker's marks AND identify who they belong to. The chances are that if you could, you would most likely discover the components were sourced from a number of locations. I suspect, with a low degree of certainty, that this watch was built on a Lancashire frame and the majority of the components were sourced from there or Coventry where it was finished and fitted into a London case.

    John
     
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  10. PJQL

    PJQL Registered User

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    Thank you John,

    I suppose this is just one of the many anonymous movements that were produced with nevertheless decent escapements etc.
    My opinion is that the barrel bar is not original....but I guess that just gives it added mystery!

    Piers
     

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