Watch Number 5: John Barron of Aberdeen - Verge Fusee 1801

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by John in Sweden, Feb 22, 2017.

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  1. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

    Jan 12, 2017
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    Hi all,

    Couldn't wait to post my initial pictures of watch number 5 :)

    Yet another silver pair double case verge fusee - John Barron of Aberdeen - 1801.

    I hope everyone enjoys :)

    John.

    Cases 1.jpg Dial 1.jpg Dial 2.jpg Dial and Crystal 1.jpg Hallmarks 1.jpg Movement Side 1.jpg Movement Side 2.jpg Movement Side 3.jpg Movement top 1.jpg Movement Top 2.jpg
     
  2. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Hi John, I like it. We need better photos? Regards Ray
     
  3. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    I'm on it Ray :) I was probably too excited on the first pass so this time will have another crack at the movement at least...:)
     
  4. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    Here we go Ray,

    Have a look and see what you think of these...

    John :)

    PS Have found a bit of interesting research on this John Barron of Aberdeen also - this would definitely be one of his earlier watches...

    More detail 6.jpg More detail 5.jpg More detail 4.jpg More detail 3.jpg More detail 2.jpg More detail 1.jpg
     
  5. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    PS Definitely my largest pocket watch now and one of the things the pictures does not convey sadly is the wonderful sound of its ticking - loud and strong. A very substantial watch and quite amazing in the hand. I am in love yet again lol
     
  6. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    Update: Still love the watch but hoping I can regulate a bit better than this... The Tompion type regulator has a scale of ''5'' to ''30'' - it was already pretty close to 30 and over the first 4 hours of running (before I went to sleep last night) I noticed the watch had lost a minute. Being ''smart'' I thought I would regulate it to ''30'' overnight to see if that sorted it but instead the watch is now running (from overnight) about 8 or 9 minutes slow... So, bottom line I must have got it wrong and this regulator works in ''reverse'' or just a very slow watch ? Going to try and set to the middle of the scale now to see how she goes throughout the day... John.
     
  7. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    Okay - trying to apply some logic here :) Have set to the highest setting on the regulator dial and will leave it there... Will see how the watch performs over each 24 hour period over the week or so ahead I guess - setting the hands and doing the morning wind at roughly the same time each day...

    Regulation 12-30pm 23-02-17-1.jpg
     
  8. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    FINALLY - huge amount of regulating involved but now the watch is keeping almost PERFECT time... Will be checking it out over the days ahead but so far it looks like this watch can perform well too - not just look good :)
     
  9. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    So - latest update chaps - regulated to the max. possible amount on the regulator the watch still ended up losing 8 minutes overnight (over a 12 hour period) so obviously there is something wrong with it and as of Monday it will be heading back to the dealer for him to have a look at and hopefully get the problem sorted out... Will keep everyone posted but I am sure it will get sorted out and that in a few weeks from now I'll have the watch back and working perfectly :)
     
  10. RON in PA

    RON in PA Registered User
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    Just remember it's a verge fusee over 2 centuries old. Don't expect great timekeeping. When new it might have kept time to one minute/day. Most threads about verge fusee timekeeping posted here stated that the watches ran fast, 30 min to an hour/day fast. So your watch is a bit unusual in running slow. Does your dealer know how to work on verge fusees, not many folks do nowadays.
     
  11. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    Hi Ron - yes, he's an expert and is sure its something minor and possibly something that has been ''shaken up'' in the journey from there (UK) to here (Sweden). Royal mail is usually pretty good I think but Postnord (the Swedish equivalent) is horrendous - if they don't actually lose your package I'm sure they use it to play football. I had a good shot at regulating it myself but yes, strange - the closest I could get over time was about minus 8 minutes in 12 hours which of course is way off the mark. I'll be sending it back to him first thing Monday morning and hopefully I'll know more by the end of the week and once fixed have it back (hopefully) the week after. Lets see how we go I suppose. Its a lovely watch and quite disappointing for something like this to happen but what to do...
     
  12. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Ron,

    Worn out verges will indeed behave fairly randomly, as would any watch that had been poorly maintained for the last hundred years or more! Verges were the only game in town until the cylinder was developed in the 1720s, and were being made right up until the end of the 19th century. They keep going even in a dilapidated state which few other escapements would tolerate. If properly maintained, (and restored where necessary), they're capable of a minute a day or better, it's just that these conditions aren't often met, and expectations tend to be lower.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  13. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    Morning guys,

    I think the one thing I am learning about this hobby as a newbie is that you *really* need to know someone who knows how to repair and maintain these old treasures properly. I don't know what the ''batting average'' has been like for everyone else but out of 5 watches I have bought so far I have:

    1. One watch going back for repair on Monday.
    2. The other two older verge fusees I have - one of them is stopping quite often now and the other one even though its going turns out to have a ''repair'' that is so bad it could eventually destroy the watch with time if it wasn't fixed.
    3. The other two watches are more or less going but its obvious that with time they will need a service at the very least lol.

    So - five out of five really - at this point in time not one of them is 100% okay.

    I'm hopeful the Barron will be sorted out soon though and I intend to have the Barwise and Whitehurst watches worked on as soon as possible.

    To be honest the main priority for me is the three old verge fusees that I have - I think they are worth the effort and worth doing it right - so I guess the moral of the story here for a newbie coming into this hobby is that you need to not only be prepared to pay the purchase price of the watches you want to have - you also need to be prepared to spend the money to have them professionally repaired/serviced - and to look after them after that...

    Just my 2 cents/pence worth on a Sunday morning :)

    John.
     
  14. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    I have a small collection, but for me the interest is their history and development, and where possible finding a locally signed watch. I don't usually bother having them repaired because I'm never going to wear them. I do have two out for repair at the moment but both are levers, I have not had any of the verges worked on.

    I keep the clocks going as a rule but I can only wear one watch at a time!
     
  15. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    Hi Nick - I suppose every collector will have their own ''thing''... My obsession at this point I guess is to have all my watches working. It may never be a big or impressive collection but I really *do* want to have them all working properly. Ideally I would like to be able to wear any of them and to know they are up for it... John.
     
  16. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    Latest update: Looks like the watch DID get messed up in transit - not sure if I should blame the Royal Mail or PostNord - but either way its being sorted out now - and THIS TIME I think I will try to avoid any repetition and go for DHL courier service to get the watch back to me here in Sweden this time without damage...
     
  17. Accutronica

    Accutronica Registered User

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    I hope this story has a happy ending. I agree with you, I like my watches working and ready to go if I feel like wearing them.

    Robert
     
  18. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    #18 Omexa, Mar 4, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
    Hi, I have had two out of about 500-600 packages damaged over the years; the first one was a rare movement and when I went to the Post Office to pick it up it had a Lift Truck Track across the package. I opened it at the Post Office counter and it was in a movement Tin that was crushed on one side. I opened the tin and lo and behold the movement was not damaged. The second one was not a good story, the c1790's David Rittenhouse Small Carriage? Clock in the Package from the UK had been dropped and the box had split. I took the package home and when I opened it
    the Dial had sheared off the Dial feet and broken the Center Arbor and one of the the under Dial Wheels had dropped out of the Package. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Rittenhouse http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?103958-David-Rittenhouse-Philadelphia-Sedan-Clock-Watch&highlight=rittenhouse Regards Ray
     
  19. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    Thanks Robert :) it may just be me and I *have* seen people in youtube videos who seem to have hundreds of watches but almost none of them working... Well - different strokes for different folks I suppose but even if I only have 5 or 6 watches at the very least I want to know they are working and that I *can* go out with any one of them if I want to :)
     
  20. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    Hi Ray - I think for me its now confirmed that out of 5 watch packages only at least ONE of them has resulted DEFINITELY (thanks to the Swedish mail service) in a damaged watch and in reality I now suspect my Whitehurst pocket watch may have suffered the same fate... So, for me that is a 40% failure/damage rate when it comes to watches I have had sent to me here in Sweden...:(
     
  21. John Pavlik

    John Pavlik Registered User
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    John, maybe I missed it but how were the packaged.. That has a huge bearing on how they arrive... if not I at least a 6 inch square box, wrapped in bubble wrap and then suspended in foam peanuts.. I have not had an issue.... Unless the box itself has been flattened by some means..
     
  22. Accutronica

    Accutronica Registered User

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    If I had a real valuable watch that I would never carry, I would have it cleaned and serviced or do it myself if I was confident I wouldn't break anything so I wouldn't be afraid to wind it up once in a while.

    Robert
     
  23. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    Hi Robert... I think if I had something ''super rare'' or expensive I would be the same too... But that is the question - what point you start thinking of it as something to keep locked up in a safe rather than being able to wear it and use it and enjoy it... I'm not sure - I'm not rich so I guess for me I don't mind wearing a watch that perhaps cost 1000 pounds or so - BUT if the watch was from 1700 and cost 10,000 pounds THAT is the point where I would probably start to have a heart attack and NOT want to even think about wearing it... I guess for each person the answer to this one would be different of course...

    John.

    PS I'm NOT saying 1000 pounds is ''nothing'' to me btw - its a substantial amount of money - I was more trying to work out a ''level'' in my own head at which I would still feel reasonably comfortable wearing/using something... In my case if the watch was worth/had cost me much more than THAT I know I would start to think twice about wearing it every day lol
     
  24. Accutronica

    Accutronica Registered User

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    I might not wear it but I would still like to wind it up once in a while and look & listen to it. If it hasn't been serviced, I would be afraid to wind it up and let it run because in the back of my mind I would imagine the pivots wearing out.
     
  25. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    I find I am quite addicted to the sound to be honest - can't really explain it but reminds me of something from when I was much much younger lol. But its amazing how I always end up in hobbies that have similar problems - with my other (highly addictive lol) hobby of Japanese swords its similar - you have to maintain them but in the process of maintaining them even you are actually taking away a tiny bit of the steel over time - in other words wearing them out - but if you DON'T then the dreaded rust will come - which is the number one enemy of anything made out of steel lol. With these watches I guess its similar - we want to wear them and enjoy them and hear them ticking away but the other side of the coin is probably quite identical to the sword thing - its the knowledge that they are also (slowly but surely) wearing away - although if they are being properly maintained I have a feeling they will still end up lasting longer than if they were simply left in a desk drawer for 70 years... Then again, maybe thats just my way of rationalizing things - I'm saying this while my 1790/91 Barwise pocket watch is ticking away in my top pocket lol...

    In reality of course I only have the three old verge fusees - the Whitehurst I cannot use until its repaired/serviced - the Barwise is running but its amazing that it is considering how shoddy and barbaric the ''repair'' job done to it was (soldered fusee cone etc.) and of course the Barron (the watch this thread is about) is still in England - but at least when I get the Barron back in my hands I will have the one old verge fusee that I know is 100% - an up to date service and ''good to go'' - my plan is to wear THAT watch from the moment I can and to try and stop wearing the others until they have ALL been repaired/serviced and are also 100%...

    That is the plan anyway :)
     
  26. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    Hi John - the dealer did it all just right - the bubble wrap and the foam peanuts and the box - I am assuming worse than usual abuse from the Swedish postal service is the cause of the problem here. And to be honest, out of 5 watches sent to me considering that the Whitehurst suddenly stopped working properly as well (it now only runs sitting flat and stops when I try to wear it - pendant up it just stops - I have a feeling it probably had problems in transit as well... The dealer i bought that one from specifically recommended it saying it was running perfectly and had been for days - and YET within weeks of it getting here it developed problems too...:(
     
  27. Accutronica

    Accutronica Registered User

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    Hi John. I enjoy putting fresh oil on my Damascus hunting knives every couple of months and to admire their beauty. I'm not wealthy enough to buy those expensive watches anyway. But when someone has a watch and doesn't get it serviced, whatever rust that's in it just gets worse and worse. I believe that even if a rare or expensive watch is destined for the safe, it should be serviced before it goes into the safe. IMHO

    Robert
     
  28. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    I think we're on the same page Robert :) Hoping to hear back shortly about the Barron - I've definitely decided that is the watch I will be wearing :) (Although in the future once the Barwise has been looked after I have a feeling I'll be wearing that one quite often too :) )
     
  29. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Hi John, I take mine for a walk if they are nice to me; I look at their pleading little Faces in the drawers and think which one will I take? But usually I take them in order just to give them a workout in different positions; and of course to show them off to my friends at the local Club. Regards Ray
     
  30. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    You gave me a definite smile there Ray lol - but there is no doubt about it, these old watches DO have a personality of their own...:) I only had the Barron here for a few days before having to send it back but I am definitely missing it...
     
  31. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    Latest update guys - I'm not sure if we are allowed (?) to plug a particular dealer or seller - so I will refrain... All I will say is that so far the ''after sales service'' from this dealer is EXCEPTIONAL... The watch has been fixed - hundreds of pounds of work has been done - I will not have to pay one penny of that myself - the watch is on test now - and will remain on test - both being worn and on the bench - and then, if all is perfect, I'll have my Barron on the way back to me by the end of the week i think... :) So far it definitely looks like there is going to be a happy ending here :)
     
  32. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    That's excellent news. Did he tell you the details of what was wrong?

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  33. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    Hi Graham - according to the dealer and his watchmaker this is the story:

    The watch is now repaired, with a new pivot, and is presently on test for timing, etc.

    The watchmaker believes that the pivot has been bent before. Apparently, once straightened, there is a strong chance they may partially fracture. This cannot be seen (which is why it was not spotted before), but it does mean that, in this condition, they are susceptible to a far ‘softer' jolt than would be normally be necessary to do damage. This is why damage occurred in transit.

    The watch will be on test for the rest of the week and then hopefully, if everything is looking AOK the watch will be on its way back to me...

    I didn't get a chance to get back into this thread until now to reply - the website and its database where having pretty hardcore problems apparently but it looks like everything is working now - and I'm happy to say it is looking like my watch is getting well and truly sorted out as well :)

    John.

    - - - Updated - - -

    PS It was the bottom pivot of the balance that was the issue...
     
  34. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    I'm impressed, this is what a verge bottom pivot looks like, and as you can see, there isn't a lot of metal to play with if it needs re-pivoting!

    Regards,

    Graham
     

    Attached Files:

  35. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    I see what you mean Graham - impressive indeed. I have a feeling this is going to be the one watch in my collection that will be just about perfect :) I think its going to be worth the wait - hopefully by the end of the week I will know if its ready to be sent back :)
     
  36. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    Update time again chaps - the Barron is now running about minus 2 minutes a day and all fixed and sorted and hopefully on its way back to me soon... Can't wait :)
     
  37. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    Guys - the watch is now on its way back to me here in Sweden - update coming soon :)
     
  38. John in Sweden

    John in Sweden Registered User

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    Well - I did promise an update chaps :) Slight change of plan re: the Barron - I sent it back for repairs and it came back looking like this :)

    View attachment 339193 View attachment 339194 View attachment 339195 View attachment 339196 View attachment 339197 View attachment 339198 View attachment 339199 View attachment 339200 View attachment 339201 View attachment 339202

    - - - Updated - - -

    I had to throw a wee bit more money at it - but the end result is a watch I can say I feel absolutely happy with so far - lovely :)
     
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