Please help identify this Australian heirloom.

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by cammers, Mar 25, 2014.

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  1. cammers

    cammers New Member

    Mar 25, 2014
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    Hi,
    This watch was given to my great grandfather by his grandmother in 1905, but it may not have been new at that time.
    I would be really interested to learn anything about it.
    DSCN3301.JPG

    DSCN3312.jpg

    DSCN3307.JPG

    Please let me know if you would like to see any additional picture.
    Cheers,
     
  2. MrRoundel

    MrRoundel Registered User
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    Dec 28, 2010
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    I'm no expert on English watches, but I'll give it a try.
    First off, the only Forester/Forrester that I see in Baillie's "Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World", was in business in London around 1805-1808. However, the watch is most probably later than that. The hallmarks on the case appear to show that it's an 18K gold case. The other marks denote the assay office location (Jaguar - London), the maker, and the year the case was made, which may be 1856 ("a" in shield). Hopefully, one of those more knowledgeable about English watches will be able to shed more light on your heirloom.
     
  3. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Jan 7, 2011
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    Hi cammers, and welcome to the Forum,

    I think MrRoundel's date of 1856 is the right one, considering the style of everything. The case maker is probably Robert Rowlands at 5 Meredith Street in London. (BTW, the London mark is a Leopard, not a Jaguar . . .). Mr Forrester was in all likelihood the retailer in Sydney, as it's clearly an English 3/4 plate movement of middling quality with a rather nice dial, typical for the period. Forrester would have bought this in from one of the English wholesale houses ready signed for his business, but without dismantling the movement it will not be easy to attribute it to any specific maker, and maybe not even then.

    If you want to run it for any length of time, it should be properly cleaned and lubricated, since dried up bearings can be damaged.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  4. eri231

    eri231 Registered User

    Jan 13, 2012
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    John Forrester watchmaker in 574 St George Street Sydney in 1847 and 1868 listed in the Sands Sydney Directory
    regards enrico
     
  5. MartyR

    MartyR Moderator
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    Dec 16, 2008
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    That is a high quality engine-turned dial in excellent condition! And unless my eyes are playing tricks on me I think the movement has a diamond endstone? That would be another sign of high quality.
     
  6. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Martin,

    Point taken about the endstone, that dial is very pretty, and the screws are nicely blued, but the balance is a plain one and it's only jewelled up to the fourth, so quite nice but not super.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  7. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

    Mar 21, 2005
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    I think that 1856 is very early for a 3/4 plate and for a hairspring stud fixing such as is used; I would be more comfortable with the later hallmarking possibility of 1916 but neither the punch shape nor any of the other evidence supports that view. So, cammers, I believe that you have a pioneering watch in perhaps more ways than one, and as the other guys have said, a decent quality example too.
     
  8. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Davey,

    I suppose it could be a re-case, but if so it would be rather unusual to put a newer movement in an older case like this.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  9. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    I don't think it is a re-case Graham, just a very early example of what it is, the earliest that I can recall seeing.
     
  10. cammers

    cammers New Member

    Mar 25, 2014
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    Thanks everyone for your help.
    Here's another picture. It should rule out 1916.
    DSCN3305.jpg
     
  11. cammers

    cammers New Member

    Mar 25, 2014
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  12. MartyR

    MartyR Moderator
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    Whoever engraved that inscription did a great job! The way the inscription has been designed around the holes in the cuvette displays a level of empathy with the object which is very rare :D
     

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