Amazing looking watch and an impressive repair.Last found in the mailbox:
Circa 1795 Thomas Parker, Watch & Clockmaker in Philadelphia, PA, a verge fusee, 3 jewel, presumably an English-made import, American signed movement. SN86 with matching dust-cap serial number. KWKS verge escapement, diamond endstone, gilt movement.
50mm silver OF pair cases, the inner bearing London hallmarks for 1763, the outer bearing London hallmarks for 1770 and containing a case paper for Caleb Baker of Bordentown, N.J.
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Thomas Parker (1761-1833) was a descendant of English Quakers who settled in Philadelphia in 1684. He was trained by David Rittenhouse and John Wood in clock and watch making. He began business around 1783 at 13 S. 3rd. St., just after the Revolution in the first days of the New Nation era. His clocks are better known and documented. He was master to Benjamin Ferris, Wilmington, DE, (1780-1867) who sold a clock to Thomas Jefferson in 1803.
From 1814-1830 Parker served as the President of the Mechanic's Bank. He also was responsible for the care and maintenance of the State House clock. He supplied the chronometer to the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804), which at $250 was the single most expensive item purchased for the expedition.
Although the watch was running and in relatively good shape after 225 years, it did have the expected well worn pivots and corresponding oval bushings, which were closed slightly to make them less so. The hairspring was not centered and that was fixed to have concentric, evenly spaced coils.
The biggest issue was a link was found to be cracked, likely due to the frozen cone pawl that was addressed. The repair was to tap out the pin, remove one link, clean up the mating links, fabricate a new pin and reassemble. I found this to be fascinating, as the width of the link at its largest point is only 0.65mm, or about 7 sheets of standard copy paper! I put those images below.
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Reassembled, timed, disassembled, adjusted, repeat as need. Finishing touches performed of fabricating a new bow pin, replacing a wrong hour hand with one that matched the others and bluing all the hardware.
When it arrived, I ran it face up and it gained about 2 minutes initially, returning to zero deviation at 12 hours, and loss of a minute at 16 hours. Wound, set and hung pendant up where is lost about 30 seconds in the first 8 hours and was minus 3 minutes at 12 hours. Repeated these runs and got similar results so there is high confidence this is the level it is at, which from what I read is excellent for a verge fusee.
I was, and am, only going to own one of these and having one with ties to Philadelphia, which is a short ride from me, and from the period of time of shortly after the Revolutionary War (I live a few miles from the Sept 11, 1777 Battle of Brandywine, the largest and longest battle of the war; more troops fought at Brandywine than any other battle of the American Revolution) this was going to be the one. I am more than ecstatic with how well it turned out and deeply appreciative of the time, effort and skill of Eric Unselt to make it look and work as good as it does, and provide this level of documentation. "It is pretty wild that a mechanical device built around Geo. Washington's unanimous vote for the presidency is still capable of coordinating a day in the life of corporate America in 2021."
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