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Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Jeff Hess, May 1, 2019.
English.. French.... Swiss?
Loomes Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World lists:-
Savory AB & sons London 1839-63
Escape wheel looks English...............not saying it's London though (AB & Sons
are the retailers, but probably within 100 miles).
Early center seconds watch. One barrel powers the main drive chain. The other powers the seconds hand. I've wanted one for a while, but they tend to go for much higher prices than the simple levers I generally purchase.
yes I am aware of the name on the watch... simply retailers.. I am aware of the dead seconds two-barrel configuration. All of that is obvious. But is this English or french or Swiss?
There are several Savorys listed as Les points out, but this looks very Swiss. However, it shouldn't be thought that Lepine calibres like this were never made in the UK because there are a few examples known to have been made in Prescot; McCabe used them occasionally.
Centre seconds weren't anything new in watches when this was made, there are examples from the 18th century, but this appears to have an independent seconds train, which was a predecessor of the true chronograph patented by Adolphe Nicole in 1844.
There are Swiss 'fakes' of Liverpool movements which are quite convincing until you look really closely, such as this one posted by John Matthews, complete with ratchet tooth escape, but also with a similar balance spring stud to yours.
If this was signed by a real Savory in London, I'm inclined to the view that it was made wholly or in great part in Switzerland and retailed in the UK. Swiss components and assemblies such as repeating and other complications were being increasingly incorporated by UK makers as the home-grown products became less commercially viable.
As an example of what Graham has said, the following is a Lepine-style movement signed James McCabe; the dealr who sold it to me said that he (and his watchmaker) were entirely satisfied that the whole movement was made by McCabe. It's not a twin barrel, but it may be relevant to your watch. The watch dates to 1829.
It may be English and Swiss. Very English not to jewel the other train bi=ut I have seen the balance spring stud style on Swiss watches. The balance may be the essential factor. It looks like it is a fake cut. If so, I go for Swiss.
would the hallmarks help?
Oh and thanks so much for the in depth answer.
I would say that is probably a mixture of both Swiss and English. Its certainly had some past repairs and the regulator is obviously not original since it has an engraved scale on the balance cock and the current scale goes right through the signature. The 'new' scale seems quite carefully divided however.
Would be interesting to see under the dial. There's a series of close spaced pivots between the barrels which I don't think tally with the normal independent seconds work.
Mr. Kennedy, thanks.COuld it be just some L'epine import with crude retailer finishing (fast and slow for the uk market) on the cock?
Could you tell us whether the pallets are jewelled, and if so how, please?
It certainly has been modified from its original state as regards the regulator, and the third and fourth wheel cocks have been re-bushed, none too elegantly.
Not high grade escapement. Some pics
London, 1838/9, case maker John Jackson in Clerkenwell; the case hallmarks are quite self-consistent.
The pallets do appear to be jewelled in the English manner, but I'm not sure about the shape and finish of the visible steel part. The third and fourth pivot holes in the pillar plate cock have been re-bushed, like their mates on the top. The balance wheel is definitely cut right through.
I think I agree with Seth that it's a combination of Swiss and English work.
Thanks for the extra photos. An interesting layout, looks like 4 quite small wheels/pinions from the independent barrel before reaching the centre seconds wheel. The last of those must be rotating about four times a minute since it is a good deal smaller than the centre seconds wheel.
Its obviously not easy to tell from a photo but this looks a bit more like reasonable English gilding on the plates which often looks a bit 'richer' than Swiss gilding and that's partly why I think it may well have been 'finished' in England. A bit of a mystery why that regulator has been changed though. I am sure it would have originally had one on the cock and what it has now is a later 'repair'. That hanging gallows type of balance spring stud is sometimes seen on English half plate watches of similar date.
The inscription on the centre-wheel bridge looks English enough to me. There are differences between British and European styles of lettering, the latter being generally more angular and less comfortably rounded; the name ROBT. ROSKELL in John Matthews's example, previously cited by Graham, is typical of European practice in this respect.
I too feel that the movement began as a Swiss ébauche but was largely worked on in England.
Could it be that the original pointer on the cock-table was replaced by a longer arm in order to make small adjustments easier? As I grow more fumble-fingered I often find myself wishing that I could temporarily double the length of the regulator pointer.
I think this watch may have begun life as a duplex and was then converted to lever. The lever is definitely English, far too clumsy for Swiss and very much in Early English style, and it is set in a cut out with abandoned screw holes nearby. The lower side has added plates so these could have been part of the conversion, which was usually done with more panache. In both Switzerland and England the trade was made up various specialists who could have done such a conversion, but this was likely done in England
I suspect the new regulator and scale was a customer requested change enabling easier movement and a wider range of adjustment.