Manufacturer???

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Jeff Hess, Apr 7, 2019.

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  1. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    I know the whole "manufacturer" thing has been discussed before. But this is interesting. The markings say "manufactured by s w Benedict". And a very low serial number as well. And they advertise that they made American Gold cases out of American Gold. And this is apparently 19 karat gold or trying to be sold as 19 karat gold. Parenthetically it belonged to the mayor of New York. Stephen Allen. Note the double back American style case. Note the markings on the dial and the movement. Could have been manufactured by Benedict? Or is it just a glorified contract watch? Or perhaps it's an ebauche finished by him? I'm trying to buy this and I know we can't discuss valuation but could you give me a rarity level four postcolonial or pre Civil War watches? On a 1 to 10 gage

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  2. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    case and movement number match.
     
  3. Dano4734

    Dano4734 Registered User

    I don’t think he made it know he had a watch and jewelry establishment in 1880 in NY. I am far from any expert on these but I suspect it’s not American but English or swiss. I would ask in the European section. If I am right they can give you all kinds of information.
     
  4. Clint Geller

    Clint Geller Registered User
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    It definitely looks English to me, Jeff. Three successive generations of inscriptions is really cool, though. I sold a Waltham 16KW once with five inscriptions of successive generations within the same family on it.
     
  5. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    Definitely English looking at he was an importer of English watches. It's just interesting that the serial number is solo and has the word manufactured. Several other interesting threads about the early Benedict family on the nawcc boards. By the way the top prescription room was the mayor of New York the second inscription was a railroad conductor of some kind. According to small amounts internet research LOL
     
  6. Dano4734

    Dano4734 Registered User

    Looks very English to me but again I am not an expert
     
  7. Dano4734

    Dano4734 Registered User

    One beautiful watch however anyone would be proud to own
     
  8. Dano4734

    Dano4734 Registered User

    Ask graham at the European section he is amazing
     
  9. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #9 Keith R..., Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
    10............I've seen them marked 18 even though they test higher. Here is my MI Tobias
    in an American case that tested higher then 18 and I have a Johnson higher than 19 tested,
    but it just says 18, (also a gold American pair case).

    To have it marked 19 was to show he was one notch above. Jeff, those are not Helsby's
    real initials, lack the periods. American case maker trying to mimic the English.

    Keith R...

    MIT5 (600x558).jpg
     
  10. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #10 Keith R..., Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
    English 1850 Ralph Samuels English case. I think that watch is closer to 1850.
    Maine jeweler (shown).Third pic is ES Yates, hallmarked English case 1860 came
    from a US estate.

    No doubt English.

    Just see if it has a fusee chain. America post 1851 was Going Barrel.

    Keith R...

    OLLY2 (966x1024).jpg 100_0919 (800x600).jpg yates (800x769).jpg
     
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  11. Dano4734

    Dano4734 Registered User

    Incredible knowledge Keith you nailed it
     
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  12. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    help me here.

    What does helsby have to do with the watch I am trying to buy above?
     
  13. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Jeff, He's just talking about the markings in his own watch(as an example).


    Rob
     
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  14. rolandantrobus

    rolandantrobus Registered User

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    Nice watch. I would disregard the mayoral attribution when calculating value as IMHO the engraving was all done at the same time ie after 1929.
     
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  15. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    fun fact. (or coincidence) when you look up the mayor and his watch, the internet notes that his watchwas stop at 3:26 when they foundhim deceased.And this watchis at 3:26. Implausible I know.
     
  16. Dano4734

    Dano4734 Registered User

    A haunted watch wow even more special :)
     
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  17. Keith R...

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    #17 Keith R..., Apr 8, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
    That's always the problem. I have American cased fusee's with movement numbers in
    the case, just no hallmarks to date them in America. 1834 shown, dated by SN# of
    Taylor & Co.

    Good luck Jeff

    Manufacturing began in 1851 America, limited manufacturing in the UK. All English levers
    were swing out on a hinge, not cased like yours. If your example has a Going Barrel, it's
    off to the races.

    Keith R...

    100_4197 (1600x1200).jpg
     
  18. Clint Geller

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    Unless his fall stopped the watch. :) Now we have a whodunnit.
     
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  19. rolandantrobus

    rolandantrobus Registered User

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    According to Wikipedia he died in the Henry Clay steamboat disaster of July 28 1852. The dead were either drowned or burned to death. I know its morbid but any fire or water damage to the watch?
    Stephen_Allen.jpg
     
  20. Clint Geller

    Clint Geller Registered User
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    Funny. I actually thought of asking whether the original owner had drowned, but didn't want to go there.

    Pin on Crime Scene
     
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  21. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    If I owned the watch and was selling(and knew the history including stopping at 3:26)
    I would set the watch to that time when I sold it.;)


    Rob
     
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  22. rolandantrobus

    rolandantrobus Registered User

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    I doubt very, very, much that this watch actually belonged to Stephen Allen. Is the seller expecting a premium for that "provenance"? If so can he back it up with more than the engraving?
     
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  23. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    #23 Jeff Hess, Apr 8, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
    well here is the deal. owner is a midwestern pawn shop guy. wanted double gold. I offered 10 % over gold. He said he would let me know when he took it apart or cold figure out gold value. He said today he would sell at 10% over 40% of weight. So like 44% of gold weight if entire thing was gold based on 18k . so premium is very little. maybe 100 bucks. I am going to go for it. and no, he had no idea about the mayor thing. watch does not run. will take it apart and share pics. weird that it has a serial number of 64 or whatever. love this stuff.
     
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  24. kevin h

    kevin h Registered User

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    It looks like a keeper to me , assuming the price is right
     
  25. Keith R...

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    The good thing about never selling, there's no sweating returns. Going out of town in the morning
    and I'll take about 5 keys with me.

    Keith R...
     
  26. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I believe the watch movement is English made and finished there, possibly adjusted and certainly "examined" by Benedict and a top grade at the time as pre 1850 temperature compensated levers are rare.
    My sampling suggests American watch sellers dealing in English movements were either gold smiths who imported English watches signed by the makers or American retailers doing much the same work as English retailers, coordinating the movement and casemaking, and putting their own names on the movements. The goldsmiths handled watches to get the casemaking work and possibly sell more gold stuff to the watch owners when they brought watches in for service. The watch retailers were in it for the watches primarily.

    I love provenance and digging it is one of the joys of collecting, but, unless the person is very well known, or someone the buyer knows, the provenance it adds little if any value. If you have to explain who the person was, the provenance has no value.
     
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  27. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    agree 100 percent. "most". yep. without doubt. Seems cheeky though to say "manufactured by" and to have a low serial number not associated with an english firm. Got the watch and going to take it apart and post pics to see if anyone can pinpoint the manufacturer. thanks
     
  28. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    This is such a nice and interesting piece, Jeff. I look forward to learning more details.
     
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  29. Keith R...

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    Post 1870's, English for the American market (with a fusee). I agree with Jerry.

    "Key words on dial, Manufactured". SN# 1771.

    Keith R...

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  30. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    Definitely an English design. Fusee. So I wonder which English company made this? It's really kind of crude under the dial.

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  31. Nigel Harrison

    Nigel Harrison Registered User

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    #31 Nigel Harrison, Apr 12, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
    Great early high quality watch Jeff.

    My Thoughts:

    Very custom case, the case is the rarity more than the movement I say due to the 19 mark but great a full matching serial number and retailer name watch still after all this time adds a fair bit of value as we know how many watches get messed with or gold cases scrapped. The early No. 62 serial is very cool as well and I think adds a smidge of value if this was in fact his 62nd retailed watch!

    Movement of course in English but who finished the movement to the quality it is at....would be hard to determine. Most likely the movement was mostly finished in England as Jon said. Benedict may have only just adjusted the watch and added the two gold timing screws or the potentially the entire balance as the English did keep their balances very simple and just all one base metal with no timing screws a lot of the time though not exclusively . This balance is a compensated piece and cut on angle...still hard to know for sure. A great finished movement with the diamond end stone.

    I have seen a few obscure 1850ish Fusee's in the US ebay being clearly English with a US State and retailer engraved with low serial. So someone/people in England were set up to provide this service on scale.

    I agree with the comment that all the engraving on the dust cover was done all at the same time, as there is no nuances between the engravings as you should expect if from different time periods/hands. Someone in the family wanting to set out the provenance trail for the watch at some point as the script still looks old...but just how old...not many people can engrave like that in last 30 years tbh.

    Engraving on movement hard to say where is was done, the New York part does look a bit American engraved in those block letters imho.

    Most English fusee's are crude under the dial I have to say...from all the ones I have seen, quite surprising but they put all their efforts into seen side of the movement. Not like American watches. The watch looks normal under dial for a fusee.

    Definitely worth the buy at paying 44% of weight as you have a complete early numbers matching watch with unique case and just a solid bit of early American watch retailing. Usually you are only finding these movements loose for sale don't forget that! Also this is a high quality piece with diamond endstone, quality fleur de lis hands, some gold timing screws and screwed down settings, compensated balance...and heavy case by the looks. QUALITY! And and early serial number is cool.

    You got a bargain Jeff as pieces like this are just not found too often these days.
     
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  32. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    Thanks so much. These post-colonial pre-industrial "American" watches have always fascinated me and the more "American" the more fascination. Unusualfor sure and definite departure from the thousands of Liverpudlian contract watches we see every day. Thanks again.
     
  33. Clint Geller

    Clint Geller Registered User
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    That's a really good point about all the engraving having been done in the same exact style.
     
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  34. Keith R...

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    Don't overlook the English concept of using the date of manufacture, as the
    serial number. In this case last two digits of the year.

    I suggest that #62 might just be year ending 62. Perhaps 1862. Here is one of
    my verges out of London 1802. Just a thought.

    AD1802

    Keith R...

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  35. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    English, and for that matter, Swiss and French watchmaking was the work of dozens of specialists for each watch. There were pinion cutters gear cutters hand makers, frame lmakers pillar makers wheel planters, motion work specialists, jewelers ( who made and installed Jewels), balance makers. Typically, the manufacturer was the one who sent the assembly around to the various makers and then inspected the competed item for fit and function. Americans were able to make cases as a singe shop in contrast to the English and European methods of the time but this was something a highly skilled persons could do, as shown in the Martin Mathews video. recently tools eveolved to where an individual beginning with George Daniels could make and entire watch largely alone but over a hundred years after the 1850's.

    I suspect that the expense of shipping and lack of specialists making repairs more difficult etc led to the US getting the better stuff from the trade.
     
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  36. Jeff Hess

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