• The online Bulletins and Mart and Highlights are currently unavailable due to a failure of a network piece of equipment. We are working to replace it and have the Online publications available as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Looking for information on this beautiful watch

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
12,837
2,346
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi Pepper7899, and welcome to the forum,
Hi new to pocket watches and just inherited this beautiful watch. I have been trying to find some information about it but having a hard time. Thanks in advance I appreciate it!
Your watch is an English verge fusee pair case in the style often known as a 'farmers' verge' or a 'speed the plough', from the decoration on the dial. The hallmarks in the sterling silver inner case show that it was assayed in London in 1840/41 but the mark for the case maker/sponsor isn't visible in your pictures; it's normally two or three letters for the person's initials. The outer case should have hallmarks as well, but if they show a different maker, that isn't unusual and doesn't necessarily mean that the outer case is a replacement. There are also hallmarks on the pendant which may be different again because pendant making was a separate specialised trade. The case maker did not make the movement.

The signature on the movement is almost certainly for the retailer and the serial number is unlikely to represent that establishment's output, but more probably is the job number of the actual makers of it, which would have been in one of the major watchmaking centres in the UK at the time, the Liverpool area, Coventry or London.

Since the cases would have been made to fit this specific movement, it's reasonable to suppose that the latter was made shortly before 1840, which accords with the overall style of it. There is a George Atkinson listed as working in Louth, Lincolnshire, 1828-1835. These listings are often taken from entries in trades and postal directories or from watches with identifiable dates, so I think this is your retailer even though your watch is slightly later.

It looks to be in a good clean condition, but if you don't know when or if it was last serviced, it's better not to run it until that's been done. It will wind anti-clockwise by the way.

Regards,

Graham
 

Jerry Treiman

NAWCC Member
Golden Circle
Aug 25, 2000
6,901
3,378
113
Los Angeles, CA
Country
Region
If Atkinson is the retailer, is the name on the dial - Thomas Marwood - likely to be the original owner of the watch?
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
12,837
2,346
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi Jerry,
If Atkinson is the retailer, is the name on the dial - Thomas Marwood - likely to be the original owner of the watch?
Yes, it may well be, especially since Atkinson is listed in Loomes; dials signed for their first owners aren't common, but examples are certainly known. The quality of the painting on the dial is rather better than most, many are really quite crudely, or would it be kinder to say 'naively' done?

Regards,

Graham
 

Pepper7899

New User
Sep 16, 2021
2
5
3
44
Country
Hi Jerry,


Yes, it may well be, especially since Atkinson is listed in Loomes; dials signed for their first owners aren't common, but examples are certainly known. The quality of the painting on the dial is rather better than most, many are really quite crudely, or would it be kinder to say 'naively' done?

Regards,

Graham
Thanks so much for the information! If it works is this too valuable to use and keep in my pocket?
 

roughbarked

Registered User
Dec 2, 2016
6,441
940
113
Western NSW or just this side of the black stump.
Country
Region
It was originally made to be carried in a vest pocket. Usually attached to the pocket by a fob chain, to prevent the user from dropping it.
Notably though, in the day this was a prohibitively expensive watch mainly worn by the gentry, who didn't do much hard work.
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
12,837
2,346
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi roughbarked,
Notably though, in the day this was a prohibitively expensive watch mainly worn by the gentry, who didn't do much hard work.
With that dial, I doubt it, more likely to have belonged to a prosperous farmer, tradesman or estate manager; it isn't a gentleman's watch but would certainly have been beyond the means of the average working man.

Regards,

Graham
 
  • Like
Reactions: aucaj

Forum statistics

Threads
168,897
Messages
1,473,769
Members
48,643
Latest member
john33g
Encyclopedia Pages
1,060
Total wiki contributions
2,955
Last update
-