Hello Jskirk, Nice buy, a quality looking watch, that was probably in a gold case at one time. Watches of this standard by M.I.Tobias of London were considered the Rolls Royce of watches in the early 1800s. Though in my opinion, I think this one was made in Coventry. Putting the Tobias name on it was to make a bigger profit. Still worth far more than ten Dollars.
I agree with Allan that this watch was not finished in London nor Liverpool by members of the Tobias family. I have never seen a Tobias movement signed TOBIAS, LONDON, but I am not an expert and others may have seen similar examples. To me it does appear that the signature is an attempt to deceive.
I would suggest you might like to search the European forum for ''Tobias' as there are quite a number of threads where Tobias watches that have been finished both in Liverpool and London are discussed. I think you will find helpful to compare your movement with the ones in those threads.
Unfortunately access to the online versions of the Bulletins is not working at the moment. As you are a member, when access is restored you will be able to access a series of articles by Michael Edidin, which will provide you with a very comprehensive background of the Tobias families and their output. You will find Part I in October 1992 (p.515, continuing from p.531) and Part II December 1992 (p. 659, continuing from p. 677).
Thank you both for your information. These type of watches are a whole new avenue that I have never even approached. I will definitely keep searching for information. Can you tell me an approximate age on this movement?
Well, I hope that John and I have not disappointed you about the movement if it had been signed by Vale and Rotherham Coventry. for example, I think the high-class jewellers in New York would have ordered more of their watches, the standard is of the best type at that time. A lot of these watches arrived in New York without cases and were cased by case makers in America, on your search for more information on the Tobias Company you will see why. Does your watch have a dial, many of these watches have "Railway Timekeepers" written in red? On the cock it as Patent Lever, this would be a type of Massey escapement in your case, you can find information yet again in the"Forums" just put In Edward Massey. Good luck with your search, and don´t forget to thank Jr., he did well.
Yes, it is an industrial diamond, attractive but of little value. Your dial is quite early, and I am beginning to think your watch is in the first quarter of the 19th. Century. All you need now is a case?