Robert Roskell Pocket Watch Identification.

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by 28A, Dec 22, 2014.

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  1. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Hi fellas,

    Recently my old man decided to have a new glass put onto a pocket watch my mum inherited from her old man before he died about 30 years ago. We were under the assumption the watch was "somewhere around 200 years old" as such. We took it to a watch maker this morning who specializes in vintage and antique watches as well as modern high end stuff. They opened it up and we were able to see that it had "Robt Roskell", "Liverpool" and "55825" stamped on the movement? I think it is called.

    We are reasonably sure it is not a fake, however since reading up on pocketwatches i have discovered there are numerous fakes about.

    I'd really like to know if this is genuine, and a closer guess at a year as the fella at the watch shop told us it is definitely pre 1893.

    Anyhow have attached some pictures.

    Appreciate any information at all, the more info the better!

    Thanks guys,

    Nick.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

    Mar 21, 2005
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    Good Morning Nick and a warm welcome to the Message Board. Your watch certainly appears to be a genuine, Liverpool made pocket watch of around the mid 19thC period. The movement is what is known as a 3/4 plate, fusee driven watch of reasonable quality. It is difficult to assess the jewel count without removing the dial, but I would say that it was a 13 jewel watch. Some clear photographs of the hallmarks and other stampings in the back of the case should enable us to identify the case maker and the date and location of assay. The case looks to be 18ct gold. Robert Roskell exported watches across the world in the period whilst he was active and you are quite right to note that there were forgeries made, mostly on continental Europe that pop up everywhere.

    The Roskell family history is quite a complex one but, in essence, Robert Roskell Snr worked from c1798 until 1841 when he retired and the business was taken over by his son Robert Jnr. He then left Liverpool in c1843 and moved to London to take up a position as a partner in a long established jewellery business which became Hunt & Roskell. I did put more facts about the Roskell genealogy on this forum a couple of months ago so a search here should get you to that if you are interested. Robert Roskell Snr died in 1847

    It is not clear to me who produced the watches marked Robert Roskell after 1843 but there were other sons who were involved in the watch trade.
     
  3. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Thanks for the quick reply! I have been doing a bit of reading and have read quite a number of your posts in regards to the family history. I didn't think to get any photos of the inside of the case, we only saw it open for a few moments this morning and i was only able to get that picture. I will try and snap one of inside of the case for you. Its been in my mothers side of the family for years, but my old man has it tucked away after getting the glass redone as a christmas present of sorts.. however it isn't wrapped. I'll have to get it out without my mother seeing it haha.

    My mothers side of the family indeed came from England, sometime i'm guessing in the early 60's (Both parents are born 1960). My old man and I are guessing that it was Mums fathers watch.. probably passed down from her Grandfather. We also theorised that if her parents had been born in the 20's.. then the Grandfather could have been the original buyer.. perhaps..

    I will see what i can do about some more photographs for you, and i appreciate all the info so far! Has there ever been any documentation from the original Roskell shop as far as information on the watches, original prices or anything of that nature? And what would you think this watch might be worth currently?
     
  4. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Here are some more pictures. The inside of the case only has the serial number (55825) and 18c. There was small other stampings but i couldn't make out what it was. With an 18c case, how far up the quality ladder might this have been when it was new? Would it be a low, mid or high end watch of the time?

    Thanks again mate, and i hope the new pictures help!
     

    Attached Files:

  5. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

    Mar 21, 2005
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    #5 DaveyG, Dec 23, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
    Sadly Nick those pictures on the inside of the case don't help. There is an oval cartouche just below the serial number that should have letters in it and that will be the mark of the case maker. If it is stamped 18c then it is likely not to be an English made case, which would have been stamped just 18 with a crown. Again, if it is English, there should be a stamp of a single letter, which is the date letter, and separate stamp with the assay office mark, a leopard's head for London or the city crest of 3 wheat sheaves with a central sword for Chester.

    I have put a picture of English gold hallmarks to give you a clue and that has an anchor stamped to indicate assay in Birmingham.

    I would tentatively date the watch at c1850, plus or minus 10 years so I doubt that your Great Grandpa was the original owner ;)

    The quality of the case is not necessarily a reflection on the quality of the watch however, I would assess your watch as being at the upper end of the mid range as you have differentiated the 'grades'.
     

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  6. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    I'll have a better look tomorrow for you and try and get a close up. I'm fairly certain it was just an 18 now that you mention it. I had a feeling the pictures wouldn't of helped.. i'll have to have another look. My old man is rather protective of it but i'll see what i can do tomorrow. I know with absolute certainty there was other small stampings just it was rather hard to see them.

    I found on another thread a list of serial numbers for the Robert Roskell watches, and our serial number came in inbetween a 1860 and 1829.. so i too guessed somewhere in the region of 1845ish plus or minus 5 - 10 years.

    The original owner was merely a guess, i just can't ask my mother yet as its still under wraps so to speak :p Will have to ask her on Christmas day, however i don't think she knows really anything about it ownership wise.

    Good to know its up there in the higher range. We always had a feeling it was a quality piece. Will report back tomorrow (its 10.30pm here currently) with some more pictures for you of the inside of the case!
     
  7. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    Photo 2 shows some English hallmarks so the rest are probably there too. I suggest a date of about 1850. Most fakes had Swiss movements so I am confident this is what it purports to be, a nice Roskell fashion watch
     
  8. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Thanks for the information Jon!

    Is there any other information you guys can give me about the watch? I'm happy with knowing its about 1850. So its a Fusee watch, is that a specific type of movement?

    Throw me any info you guys have that hasn't been mentioned already.. i'm eager to learn about it!
     
  9. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    It is a 3/4 plate fusee movement. Possibly one of the photos has a date letter an upper case U which would date it to 1838 from the Chester office. These came in for smaller watches . The 3/4 plate as opposed to a full plate allowed the balance to be set inside the movement. This was an attempt to compete with much thinner watches the Swiss had introduced.

    1838 is a bit surprising but very possible. A better picture may show this to be a wrong date.

    The dial is probably low carat gold. It is a very fine example of dial work and a dial like that would cost a fortune to get made today. Despite its condition, I suggest you leave it alone. The numerals are also gold, probably soldered in place.
     
  10. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Fellas,

    Had a closer look inside the case with a magnifying glass and it has stamped "JR", "18", a Crown, and two other round circles.. one with nothing in it and the center one i don't think has anything either..

    The movement just has "Robt Roskell", "Liverpool" and "55825". In some of the pictures you can kind of see the center stamping but i'm not sure what it is or means.

    What is the S and F meter, is it slow / fast? What is that all about?

    This is all that i can see on it.
     
  11. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi 28A,

    The fast and slow markings are for the regulator; if the watch is running a little fast, the regulator is moved towards the slow marking, and vice versa. It works by altering the effective length of the hairspring, making it shorter speeds up the balance.

    The fusee is a mechanism which attempts to even out the power variations in the mainspring. The power isn't constant between fully wound and fully unwound, it's a curve, so the mainspring barrel is connected to the rest of the movement with a chain which runs in a groove in a roughly cone-shaped piece called the fusee. When the spring is fully wound it's acting on the smallest diameter with least leverage, and as it unwinds the diameter increases until at the unwound state it's acting at the largest diameter with most leverage.

    The "JR" case maker's mark may be for John Roskell at 13/14 Church Street in Liverpool, first registered in 1845, (there are other possible makers, but this one seems likely), but if you can get a clear picture of the hallmarks we might be better able to interpret them.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  12. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Graham,

    Thanks for that information! That is very helpful. So maybe the watch was infact manufactured sometime around the '45 - pre '60 as per the serial number chart that i've come across? Thats not a bad give or take for a year of manufacture i reckon!

    I can't get any clearer pictures of the hallmarks inside the case, its simply too small to see unfortunately. I couldn't even make it out without using a magnifying glass.

    What i do know though, is what i mentioned in my post above. That's as best i can identify them.

    I have another question.. were these watches back then ever made in production runs as such, like same models? Or did every single watch have its own unique face / dial?
     
  13. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi 28A,

    Can you tell whether the "JR" mark has a full stop between the letters, and if so is it on the bottom or in the middle? This could help narrow down the case maker. The marks in your pictures are inside the inner case, and it's common for a partial set of marks to be punched here and a full set in the outer case back. If you can take a clear and focussed picture "square on" to this part it would be useful.

    Generally speaking, yes, each watch was made as an individual item.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  14. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Graham,

    The JR definitely has no full stops between. If you have a look at the first photo, in the second block of photos i posted the JR is right above the 55825 stamped on the inside of the case. It is at the bottom of the case, but above the serial number.

    There was nothing punched on the outside of the case at all.

    Unfortunately my iPhone can't get any better pictures than what i've got so far..
     
  15. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

    Mar 21, 2005
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    Nick, Graham didn't mean the outside of the case. There are two covers over the movement, the inner cover is fixed (known as the dome) and is visible when you swing the movement out on its hinge. The outer cover is accessible from the back of the watch and opens to reveal the key winding and hand setting apertures; the case back will probably have a little lip at around about the one o'clock position. With movement locked into the case, the bezel closed and the watch face down, depress the little button in the pendant, and lift with your thumb nail under the lip and the back cover should open. It is inside this back cover where there should be a complete set of hallmarks, whereas inside the dome there is often only a partial set.

    If Dr Jon is right about the date latter and the watch does date to 1838 that is good. It places the watch near to the beginning of the 3/4 plate period but, more importantly perhaps, it suggests manufacture before the retirement of Robert Roskell Snr.
     
  16. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi 28A,

    If you do open the back as Davey has suggested, you should see the two marks which are missing or unclear on the dome. These are the assay office mark, (a leopard's head for London, an anchor for Birmingham, a shield with three sheaves of corn and a sword for Chester; these are the most likely ones), and a date letter. Note that each office had its own date letter sequence so it's important to determine the office first.

    I can't find a "JR" in an oval for any earlier dates than John Roskell in 1845 in any of the three offices.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  17. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Hi fellas,

    Have opened the back as Davey suggested and have found the same 18 stamping, as well as the same Crown, and a Shield with two "horns" on each top corner, possibly the corn sheaves? There was no sword though. It also had the serial number again, and an engraving of "7168 S", at least we think its an S. There was another number of ##/#.. was hard to read. Possibly 17 or 19/7..

    There was no letter stamping like the example posted further up in the thread.

    This is the best I can do guys. Hope this gives something to work with here.
     
  18. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Also, we have tried to wind the watch and as it wound it felt almost like a spring unwinding or springing unwound, and now have tried winding it counter clockwise and it feels like it just spins. Perhaps the main spring is in need of replacement. What do you fellas think?

    We are going to have it pulled apart and serviced in the new year. We were told the balance wheel is good and it likely just needs a new main spring and it doesn't sound like that's a big deal?
     
  19. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Hi 28A, fusee movements wind Counter Clockwise, to wind it Clockwise may have seriously damaged it. "Also, we have tried to wind the watch and as it wound it felt almost like a spring unwinding or springing unwound, and now have tried winding it counter clockwise and it feels like it just spins." I think that you are in serious trouble, I hope not and all the best for Xmas. Regards Ray
     
  20. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Hi mate,

    When we took it to the watch shop the other day, the bloke said it likely will need a new main spring and just a clean up. He said the inside from what he could see looked in excellent condition, the balance wheel was free and spinning, and not broken. I'm thinking if the main spring has snapped from whoever decided to wind it while the glass was being replaced.. then it makes sense that it would free spin as the "axle" that the spring is wound around, is no longer connected to the other side / other end of the main spring.

    My old man told me before he rung the shop yesterday and they told him its not uncommon for main springs to snap and need to be replaced and that it wasn't a big deal. Almost a part of servicing these old watches.
     
  21. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Hi, if this is a Fusee it is not that simple, the movement is wound anticlockwise and unwinds a very fine chain from the mainspring barrel. I shudder to imagine what damage has been caused. Trust me it is a big deal; has this person ever worked on a Fusee movement, if not get an expert. Image from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Fusee.png "As well they told him its not uncommon for main springs to snap and need to be replaced and that it wasn't a big deal. Almost a part of servicing these old watches." Mainsprings for Fusees are not a readily available as spares, are you sure that this bloke knows what he is talking about? Regards Ray
     
  22. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    I am very certain the shop here in Brisbane are very specialized in all types of vintage and antique watches. I guess we will find out in a few weeks if something has broken or not.. hopefully not a huge issue.

    Of course, i may be entirely wrong and nothing has broken at all. I really can't say to be honest. I tried to wind it counter clockwise and it seemed tight, went to go clockwise not a "wind" per say, just tried to see if there was movement, and nothing, so wound counter clockwise again and it made a noise. I've never wound a watch before but do have some degree of mechanical intuition as i spend my days working on vintage cars.. but as i wound it counter clockwise i could hear a ratcheting sort of noise, a clicking of sorts as it went along. I just don't know how many times you have to wind it until its completely wound. I didn't try going round and round and round for all that long.
     
  23. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Hi 28A, I live in Darwin and I do not know of anyone who can service a Verge Fusee, and I should imagine that there a few but not many in Brisbane. I wish you luck. Regards Ray
     
  24. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Thanks mate, will see how we go!
     
  25. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Guys just opened the watch up to have another look after having a look around the internet and i could see a very small chain on the outer edges of the inside of the movement, and its wound around a cylinder of sorts. Its not flopped on the bottom like a broken chain would be. Actually now that i look up, it looks just like that main spring / chain / pulley on the fusee diagram. So i'm thinking the chain, and main spring are intact and perhaps something else is causing it to not work. I have read that sometimes dirt, dried lubricant and the likes can be the issues.

    We are hopeful that it isn't a broken part.

    Looking again, it appeared in the "unwound" position. There was a few layers of chain wrapped around what i'm thinking is the main spring. Perhaps the issue is with the winding itself, as my old man gave it a go and said something doesn't feel right in winding the watch.

    Any thoughts?
     
  26. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi 28A,

    This link gives some good examples of the hallmarks from the main assay offices.

    There's a stop mechanism on fusees which prevents it from being turned past the fully wound position, (not shown in Ray's diagrams), but it sounds as though yours is unwound, since most of the chain is on the barrel. When it's wound, (anti-clockwise!), the chain is pulled from the barrel onto the fusee. These watches usually need six or seven turns to wind fully. The clicking noise you heard was the ratchet inside the fusee cone, which allows the watch to be wound without the rest of the train being forced to run backwards, and it is a promising sign, because that mechanism is often worn and faulty. That the chain appears to be intact and hooked on at each end is also encouraging.

    Fusees were designed to work with the blue steel mainsprings of the time, showing pronounced changes in their power curves which the fusee compensated for. Modern alloy steel springs have a much flatter curve and rather negate the compensation effects of the fusee, as well as being harder to find in the correct sizes, as Ray has pointed out. Although "new old stock" blue steel springs are sometimes available, their condition is usually questionable, having been stored fully wound for many years, and subject to corrosion and "setting".

    Best of luck with this!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  27. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Thanks for that information Graham! So with the watch being unwound, the chain still being attached (thank god for that!) and the ratchet working by the sounds of it.. what would be stopping the watch from winding? I asked my old man just before and he told me the jeweller he took the watch to to have the glass replaced was the one who wound it clockwise a turn or two and then it got tight, and he told my old man that he didn't want to go any further as it didn't feel right. I suggested to Dad that perhaps he's used to watches being turned clockwise (i've read that the swiss watches go that way?) and wasn't accustomed to old stuff like this.

    If everything sounds like its working, then what is stopping the watch from being wound? It seems to ratchet away and then "slips" or something.. before ratcheting again.

    I found a bloke locally that has a bunch of old movements for sale for very cheap, and have sent him a text message to find out if any of them are Roskell movements that we might be able to take with ours for spare parts.
     
  28. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Also just had a look at the hallmarks link you posted, and this is what looks the closest to ours.

    The "JR" is the same, however ours wasn't in a diamond shape like this one. What i perceived as a shield looks like what is noted here as being a "Leopards Head". Except ours wasn't in a shield shaped stamp, it was a circle. Ours has no letter hallmark, just the 18 and the "Crown" along with a serial number matching the movement's number.

    You'll have to click the picture twice to get it full size.

    IMG_0318-2.jpg
     
  29. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi 28A,

    Pretty well all watches apart from fusees will wind clockwise, so if your jeweller isn't familiar with fusees, I'm not that surprised that he got it wrong. However, if he tried to wind it clockwise, since it's the fusee that's being turned, that would force the whole train to try and run, which may have caused a problem with the escapement or more probably the fusee ratchet.

    Old oil and dirt may well have been the reason it didn't want to run before, but now it really needs to be seen by someone who understands these old movements properly.

    On the hallmarks, the shape of the shield or surround, (the "cartouche"), can vary on all the marks except the maker's mark which has to match in all respects; font, punctuation, and cartouche. This is to differentiate makers with the same initials who were registered at the same period at the same assay office. Since you have a leopard's head, we can be sure it was marked in London, which tends to confirm my original suggestion of John Roskell, whose mark was only registered at the London office, although he worked in Liverpool.

    Whilst there's a chance that your contact may have a movement by the same maker, it's a slim one, and the odds on anything fitting yours are far lower, since these watches were individually made and hand fitted.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  30. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Hi Graham,

    It will definitely be going straight to the vintage watch experts in the city. I wish i'd known about it going somewhere a month ago or whenever it was as i would of been strongly against it, in favour of an expert. I only found out over the weekend that it had been to someone less than competent and now didn't work. Prior to going however, it did work fine.

    I am looking forward to taking it in the week of the 5th of January when they open back up and get it checked out, so i can know for certain whether it'll be repairable or not. I am very hopeful it will be. What would you think?

    With that information now known in regards to hallmarks, what year would you guess it would have been manufactured?

    If i do hear back from this bloke with the movements and one was infact a Roskell, while unlikely.. hopefully it'll be very cheap so may be worth it even if its just a hopeful spare set of parts. I guess i'll play the waiting game on that one..
     
  31. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi 28A,

    These things are always repairable; what was made by hand can be repaired by hand, and many restorations are likely to involve making a new part. The unknown variable here is the cost I'm afraid, since this is a rather esoteric backwater of watch repair! However, please don't feel too discouraged, it may only need a new click, which is not a large job.

    If the case was indeed made by John Roskell, it should date sometime after his recorded registration, in 1845. I don't know whether John was related to Robert, but it seems quite possible, given that they were both in Liverpool and in related trades. Perhaps Davey can shed some light on this.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  32. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    John Roskell was probably Robert's brother with whom Robert was partnered for a while, equally it could be Robert's nephew (John's son). Neither of them are listed specifically as case makers and I note that the mark was registered in London and not Chester, so possibly a 'sponsor's' mark rather than the Roskell's manufacturing their own cases.
     
  33. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Hi, just to illustrate a point, where I live is one of the fastest growing Cities in Australia, Palmerston NT. The population has risen to over 40 thousand in a few years and new Suburbs are opening up every few months, and a 300 million Dollar Shopping Center being built at the moment. Darwin has become a Gas Hub for the Giant Oil and Gas Companies. Now to the point Palmerston has one Jeweler Watchmaker who do not do repairs but probably sends them away. There is a Kiosk which is operated by a person who has had two weeks training in Battery changing. In Darwin and Palmerston (approx. 120,000 people) there is not one company who can repair Verge Fusee Pocket Watches. One kiosk person told me that he can fix anything, full of confidence, need I say more. Please 28A be very careful who you give this really nice Pocket Watch to for repair. I can only hope for a good outcome but right from the start I did not think that the person you gave it to for repair, knew what they were doing. Regards Ray
     
  34. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Graham,

    I never thought of it like that and it makes perfect sense. If someone else made it, someone can fix it. Hopefully its not a big issue as the fusee seems to be intact and in good condition.

    Ray,

    I understand what you are saying mate, and i agree that there wouldn't be many around who know these old things. I also agree that the initial jeweller that my old man went to probably shouldn't have wound it. However, they have been using this same shop for about 30 odd years so he must be pretty good in regards to much newer watches as they do have a watchmaker on site. When the watch went to that shop, it was only to get the glass replaced. Nothing mechanical was supposed to be touched. However the jeweller wound it infront of my old man and thats where the problem began. Dad said it worked fine beforehand.

    Again, i completely agree with you mate.

    Here is the website for the shop in the Queen Street Mall in Brisbane, who we went to last week for an initial look over and advice. http://www.vintagewatchco.com.au/

    These guys have another shop, Watch Tech, which is their workshop store just around the corner from Vintage Watch Co which the watch will be going to for a service and to be gone through to get it functional again.
     
  35. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I have finally done a verge fusee. As noted it's all hand work so a decently competent person can usually fix it but it takes a lot of time. When these were made time was not valued as it is today. Inevitably the fusee chain breaks and each break takes about a half hour to fix if you know what you are doing. Then there is the issue of replacing the main spring and dealing with any other damage. I suspect a really experienced repairer can do one of these in about a day to a day and a half. The problem with all of this is that if that person is trying to make a living that is pretty serious money. A person with a Rolex account can do three of these in a day and charging for parts which just have to be inserted correctly . If any parts have ot be repaired they have to be hand filed to shape with many iterations of literally cut and try. The verge fusee repair is going to take the time of at least three Rolex routine services. Price that and you will see the issue.
     
  36. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Hi Dr. Jon, I agree with you about the time making parts, I recently spent about a week making a centre wheel shaft and some other parts for an early Verge movement. I could not afford to pay someone to do it, but because the movement dated from c1760 it was worth my effort. Regards Ray
     
  37. 28A

    28A Registered User

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    It sounds like its all fixable and the worst parts seem to be intact by the sounds of it.. so we'll take the watch in in the first week of January and i'll keep you guys posted on how it goes!
     
  38. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Dr. Jon,

    Exactly so! I have a verge on the bench at present which needs a new centre arbor, new pillar tops, corrections to the barrel arbor, and an almost complete worm and wheel mainspring setup making from scratch, (and that's only the most serious things); that's a great deal of painstaking turning, filing, polishing and fitting, and in the end it will have taken weeks rather than days. Serious money indeed if applying a commercial shop's rates! It's small wonder that those of us who undertake this are very thin on the ground.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  39. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    Just for the record the OP's watch is not a verge. It does, in my view, make a significant difference when it comes to the capabilities of a repairer.
     
  40. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Davey,

    Yes, granted, although all of the work in my example, with the obvious exception of the worm and wheel, could equally apply to a fusee lever movement.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  41. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi 28A,

    I hate to sound a discouraging note, but judging by the website you posted, this repair shop may not have the necessary skills to address your watch. Swiss trained staff will be very competent to work on modern and vintage pieces, but your watch comes from a different world where parts were never interchangeable, so please don't be surprised if they either politely decline it or just give you an astronomical estimate. On the plus side they may be able to refer you to a craftsman who is willing and competent do the job.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  42. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    A verge has its problems but so also does an ancient 3/4 plate lever. Pointed tooth escape wheels wear and English style pallets are very hard to adjust. The final adjustment is easier because you can take the balance out without having to re-install the fusee chain. A big part of teh design of watches after about 1860 was to make them easier to service.
     
  43. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    My primary concern was to avoid confusing the OP who it seems is not yet au fait with watch design and terminology and the discussion was taking a direction which was unrelated to the Nick's core concerns. I agree that it is vital to ensure that anyone entrusted with an antique watch is capable of doing the work required and the best way to ascertain that is to seek examples of previous work. It is equally important to ensure that the selected repairer has the necessary integrity to back away from work that they are not capable of doing, we have all experienced the 'have a go' merchants who willingly go where angels fear to tread. I also think that, having offered the advice that it requires individuals with a particular skill set to work successfully on antique, fusee watches we should perhaps accept that Nick has the common sense to make that judgement call about his watch.

    Personally, I would run, with the speed of a fleet footed native North American (phew, nearly a non PC descriptor there :)), away from a verge whilst I will happily tackle most things on a fusee lever.
     
  44. 28A

    28A Registered User

    Dec 22, 2014
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    Hi fellas,

    Hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year!

    On the watch front, hopefully will be taking it in this week, possibly friday, to the shop i've noticed in previous posts about having it serviced and checked over.

    If it is indeed a fusee, as opposed to a verge, then perhaps one of the blokes will have some knowledge of them. I know there wouldn't be many around, but given that i'm sure there are still plenty of oldies with these watches around the place and granted they are one of the most reputable watch repairers in Brisbane, perhaps one of them has a clue. However, i will remember that when we go i will ask if they are not capable of repairing it / servicing it to suggest someone who can.

    Unfortunately the watch being my parents, and not mine, the necessary research was not conducted prior to having it looked at previously. I guess my parents aren't as knowledgeable when it comes to researching in depth of vintage and antique items.

    I spend hours researching early Fords from the late 20's through 40's, so looking into something such as this watch wasn't out of my depth by any means, however forums and research don't seem to be my parents forte.

    Davey,

    I by no means are any form of expert, or even competent in the identification of old watches which is exactly why i signed up here, and i'm more than appreciative of what you guys have given me, and more than happy to learn as much as i can. I have quite a love for old mechanical items, so this just broadens my horizons so to speak.

    With the watch being a fusee type, would you say that these blokes might have a chance at repairing it?
     
  45. 28A

    28A Registered User

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    Also a little off the topic, but i've never been one to care for wearing wristwatches. However, while working as a tradesman i was never in need but once i finish university and become a Design and Technology secondary school teacher, i probably wouldn't be the most popular if i'm checking the time on my iPhone.

    I quite like the idea of having a small pocketwatch, however i doubt for daily duties one as old as my parents one would be a good idea.. but with my love of things being the real deal, old items.. what types / manufacturers would be recommended for a daily watch that would be easy to service?

    I've had a quick gander on eBay to see what's about, and there tends to be a couple of Elgin's from the turn of the century (1900 onwards). I'm a big fan of stuff from the 20's and 30's.. Any quick recommendations?
     
  46. gwynplaine19

    gwynplaine19 Registered User

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    Have been reading this thread with intense interest and all the knowledge points contained in are just amazing. I'm wondering if there is any update on the latest status. It would certainly be great to have this beautiful piece back to running state.

    One thing that I noticed from the original set of pictures was that the end stone on the balance cock--which goes on top of the balance wheel seems to be missing. You can clearly see the top pivot of the balance wheel and a ruby like jewel, but no endstone, which would cover the pivot. When the pivot jewel is present, but endstone missing, you will still have the balance wheel spinning freely when you hold the watch with the balance cock up, but when the balance cock is down, and dial up, it will not spin any more, as the balance wheel pivot drops a bit without the endstone there catching it.

    With my limited experience, what I have seen for these high end (and even many mid-grade) fusee watches, the endstone would be a naturally cut diamond and instead of a ruby, and these maybe also hard to come by, except from other older watches.

    I hope I'm not presumptuous in advising on this point--hopefully you could inquire whether the shop could find an old natural cut diamond--these needn't be large, so not costly per se to use if the endstone is indeed missing. This would probably help preserve the resell value, if not the correct historical appearance of the watch.
     
  47. 28A

    28A Registered User

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    Hi Mate,

    At this stage nothing has been done with the pocket watch. My folks have some other stuff that needs money spent on around the house before having a pocket watch restored / serviced. I do really want to see it going again, so it is still on the agenda and hasn't been forgotten about.

    I had a quick look on my phone at the pictures i posted originally, and the balance has the cap plate thingy (with the two screws) and you can see the pivot as you say, but i don't think the cap jewel is missing, probably just able to see through it perhaps.

    I'd have to dig the watch out to have a look, but i'll keep it in mind when we come to servicing it. I have found a very good local watchmaker and he will be doing it at some stage, so no doubt he'll know how to fix it if anything is infact missing. However, prior to it being wound the wrong way the watch worked fine.

    I have been meaning to take it up to him for an initial look though.. perhaps next time i head up there if i remember.

    I'll keep the thread updated whenever i find anything new, or something gets done about it.

    The watch won't be getting sold though, i've already put my foot down about it.. and considering i've got two trench watches now myself because of this pocket watch getting me interested.. it's going to end up being left to me one day. So it will most definitely be well looked after, and something that i'd like to pass on to my kids one day. I'm only 25, so thankfully that probably won't be for a long time haha.
     
  48. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    I am about to try posting a document I am working on. Its really just a numbers file. If you can help please post what you have on this booard. My notes at the end are only observations at this time more will be added
    when I need them-there is bound to be lots more. Those on the lists are in the main thought to be genuine-there are no Swiss movements on the lists. But lets see how it goes?

    It did not work-any ideas??
     
  49. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Allan,

    What type of document are you trying to post? When you open the Reply panel, click the Go Advanced button, then scroll down to Manage Attachments. This will allow you to attach a variety of file types which are listed next to the button.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  50. Allan C. Purcell

    Allan C. Purcell Registered User
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    Thanks Graham,
    I will now try it.

    Robert Roskell number file. 350KB. to big I think I must post it to the editor??

    If you need a copy just send e-mail address.

    Regards,

    Allan.

    Without activity there is no time.
     

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