Looking for info on Thomas Russell Pocket Watch

Liv

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Oct 31, 2016
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Gentlemens!

I have inherited the following watch from Thomas Russell. I want to know the story behind this fine antiques. The pocket watch has a serial number 26020 and some gold stamps.
attach some pictures and hope you can find something out of this.
A picture speaks a hundred words. :)






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Dr. Jon

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HI Liv and welcome the NAWCC message board.

The watch movement looks ENglish and very likely is. I do not recognize the marks on the case but they are certainly not English. It is a medium grade watch, solidly made but not great. I estimate teh date to be about 1850,
 

MartyR

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Welcome to the board, Liv :)

The case is almost certainly American, and may or may not be the 18 carat gold suggested by the "assay mark".

The movement looks like a fairly standard English lever, and I would assume that it was indeed made by Thomas Russell ... but we have some Russell experts here who may disagree :whistle:

What I find really interesting is the stem, which looks like a very early attempt at a winding stem, almost a conversion from the typical spherical keywind pendant style. That suggests to me a date earlier than 1850, maybe as early as 1830. The solid gold balance wheel is certainly compatible with that date.

I don't know Thomas Russell's dates, and certainly not his dates at the Slater Street, Liverpool address, but hopefully someone who does will provide better information.
 

novicetimekeeper

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I thought those double sunk dials came in later, and surely the design of the movement is later too? I don't usually stray into the latter part of the 19th century but I wouldn't expect to find something looking like this much before that. Mind you I really am a novice with this style.
 

DaveyG

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Thomas Russell Snr was first listed as a watchmaker in Liverpool, with a Slater St address, in 1848, firstly at No 20 and later at No 30. In 1859 the company changed its name to Thomas Russell and Son when control of the company was passed to the sons Thomas Robert and Alfred Holgate Russell. This partnership was dissolved in 1870, although Thomas Robert retained the title Thomas Russell and Son, and the premises were moved to Church Street in 1877.

I think that information puts your watch between 1859 & 1877
 

MartyR

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I think that information puts your watch between 1859 & 1877
That all makes sense to me ... but don't you agree about that unusual pendant, that it looks earlier than 1860+ ?
 

DaveyG

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No :)

I agree that the case isn't English so I wouldn't necessarily impose English styles. Whether the case is continental European or American I wouldn't like to say but the 'button' is clearly the release for the front cover; not an unusual feature in American cases I believe, don't know whether it is of a style consistent with European manufacture.
 

Liv

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Oct 31, 2016
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Dear Gentlemens and experts!:chuckling:

Thank you very much for your dedication around this old master piece.


I attach a better picture of the watch, but it looks like we have found the right period of production.

:clap:
 

Attachments

Last edited:

DaveyG

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One additional thought Liv. The watch is desperately in need of a clean and service and I would advise you not to wind and run the watch until you have had that work carried out. Running the watch whilst not properly lubricated and dirty would be very likely to cause damage.
 

Liv

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Thanks,
Can you recommend any professionals who can assist with cleaning prossesen?
There must be someone who has good experience with this.
 

topspin

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Thanks,
Can you recommend any professionals who can assist with cleaning prossesen?
There must be someone who has good experience with this.
This may help - https://mb.nawcc.org/showwiki.php?title=Choosing_a_Pocket_Watch_Repair_Person

What you really need is someone who has experience of dealing with the particular type of watch that you have. It's like getting your car serviced, you need a garage that is used to dealing with the make/model/age of car you happen to be driving.

Regarding the button on top of the case - I recall a discussion over on the American pocket watches forum in which someone described one just like it as being absolutely typical for an American watch of the 1860s. So the 1859-1877 range sounds about right to me.
 

Lychnobius

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I once had an American Watch Company (Waltham) watch datable to 1865 which had an obviously original silver case of American make with exactly the same style of release-button. In British and European practice the button was much narrower than the pendant.

Oliver Mundy.
 

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