Thomas Russel and son watch

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Gary Roberts, May 9, 2020.

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  1. Gary Roberts

    Gary Roberts New Member

    May 9, 2020
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    I have a watch and not sure how to date it. Could anybody help. I think it’s 21 carrot gold bits that’s about all I know

    5FBD02EC-F814-488E-995F-8C041D13A675.jpeg 9BD3CC65-86F1-4EAA-9359-C1714145A969.jpeg A475B999-4415-4E11-86D1-5954F65E02CB.jpeg 347E6C59-C653-4C8F-A146-7D34EC768461.jpeg
     
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  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Jan 7, 2011
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    Hi Gary, and welcome to the forum,

    The hallmarks in your watch case show that it's 9 carat gold, assayed in the Chester office, (Liverpool has never had its own assay office), in 1920/21, (the date letter is a 'u'), and that the case was probably also made by the Thomas Russell company. Although based in Liverpool and having a long history of watchmaking in that area, I suspect that at this late date they were selling Swiss movements at the lower end of their quality range, of which this could be an example.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  3. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

    Dec 12, 2010
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    Looks like a Lancashire movement to me...
    By the overall features and finish details...
     
  4. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Sep 22, 2015
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    I suspect Graham is correct as I don't believe it is a Lancashire movement. I may be mistaken and if others can identify the movement that would resolve it.

    However, in 1915, Joseph Wright was invited to became a director of Thomas Russell & Son. The invitation was because Joseph had travelled extensively and had business contacts in Switzerland and working experience with the American Illinois Watch Case Company. I believe it was subsequent to this appointment that Swiss movements become more commonly used in Russell watches and certainly some of their more expensive watches are to be found in Illinois cases.

    John
     
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  5. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

    Mar 21, 2005
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    I think that you will find that this is a Coventry movement by H Williamson.
     
  6. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Sep 22, 2015
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    Dave - good thought ...

    I did wonder about Williamson, particularly given the their Swiss connections, but did they produce a split 3/4 plate movement? The movement is similar to the 'Coventry Astral', in production at that time. They produced a 7 jewel model, but with a standard 3/4 plate. Here's a comparison ...

    upload_2020-5-10_14-36-2.png

    Are you thinking of a different model that has a split 3/4 plate?

    John
     
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  7. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Dave,
    That's a very good thought, and of course Henry Williamson was no stranger to Swiss watchmaking, via his involvement with the Buren company.
    Regards,
    Graham
     
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  8. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

    Mar 21, 2005
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    I am John yes ;). I recognised it immediately and they are often seen marked 'Warranted English' along the curves of the barrel bridge. Have a look at 'this'.

    dave
     
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  9. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Sep 22, 2015
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    Thanks Dave

    I can certainly see the resemblance and that certainly shows that some of the Astrals had a split 3/4 plate. I have sent you a message.

    John
     
  10. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    I take absolutely no credit for this posting - it is entirely down to Dave's knowledge and his 'flash of inspiration' ....

    This page taken from Alan Shenton Pocket Watches of the C19th & C20th ...

    upload_2020-5-11_12-47-47.png

    and a comparison ...

    Comparison with Military Williamson.JPG

    While there may be a historical Swiss influence on Williams output, by 1921 it is believed that the mass produced three-quarter plate movements were being made in Coventry.

    Identification resolved thanks to Dave.

    John
     
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