What escapement is this?

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by rstl99, Apr 6, 2017.

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  1. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User

    Oct 31, 2015
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    Hi again,
    I managed to find a third Banister watch movement and it arrived yesterday.
    This is a later watch from him (he announced his retirement in 1853, so this watch would predate that, but I don't know by how much).

    After a bit of gentle coaxing, minute drop of oil here and there, and wounding up the fusée slightly, the watch started ticking merrily away and very gently. I find it impressive that it runs so well, with the balance wheel hovering very close to the top plate. Banister's handiwork is excellent.

    The watch is missing a few parts on the dial side, and has no hands nor dial obviously. The general lack of wear on screws, and very shiny gilding, makes me wonder if this movement was ever put inside a case and sold. On the back there are a couple of numbers stamped.

    Any ideas on approximate year to ascribe to this watch, based on photos attached?
    Also, any ideas on type of escapement it has, based on the photos I tried to take of the escape wheel and pallet?

    Thank you for your insights, as always.
     
  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Jan 7, 2011
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    Hi Robert,

    This looks to be from around the 1850s or 60s. From the pictures of the escapement, all I can say is that it's an English lever, because the roller, which is the main difference between several of the Masseys and other variants, isn't visible.

    The only markings on the pillar plate are the Lancashire Gauge plate size (the '6' meaning 1" plus 5/30" plus 6/30") and pillar height (the '0' over '3' meaning 1/8" minus 3/144").

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  3. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User

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    Hi Graham,
    Thank you for that useful information. Likely is an english lever as you suggest. Thanks for explaining the numbers on the plate.

    So it looks like this watch was one of the later ones that Mr. Banister produced, since he retired and sold all his stock at auction in 1853, when he was 75 years old.

    Given his age when this watch was made, I wonder just how much of a hand he would have had in it (i.e. what components did he produce or work on it after receiving the ébauche from Lancashire).

    In his younger days, he may have had more of a hand in the making of the watch, but at that late stage of life, he may no longer have been able to. But I would assume that he would have "'scaped" it, and carried out the usual finishing tasks.

    I'm glad that I now own three of his watch movements, one from early in his career (when he was a partner to Nathaniel Hedge 1807-1813), one from the peak of his career some years later, and this later one. In a way, Banister lived out his working life during what much of the English watch trade had to endure in the first half of the 19th century, especially in the provinces. There can't have been too many actual "watch makers" left in Colchester after he finally hung up his apron and sold off his tools.

    Cheers.
    --Robert

    p.s. I did subscribe to AHS as you suggested, and am educating myself reading some of the many fine articles in the journal archives. Thanks again for that suggestion.
     
  4. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I too believe it to be a variant of the English lever. The pallets appera to be curved which I have not seen on an English lever.

    If they are curved, and not an illusion, the curvature is similar to that used by Adolph Lange of Saxony. If so, that could date the watch to the early 1850's based on the theory that Lange exhibited at the 1851 London exposition and that could be where the escapement maker got the idea.
     
  5. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User

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    Kind of hard to show with my microscope/camera setup but there _is_ a curvature to the pallet. Interesting your suggestion about Lange. Banister retired in 1853 so that makes it possible that he could have been influenced by Lange, assuming that the former attended the London exposition. If so, the old watchmaker (or the escapement maker, if they are not one and the same) was open to new ideas to the very end.
     
  6. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Robert,

    The curvature across the pallet stones is not uncommon in English watches, but it isn't clear whether there's any curve along their length.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  7. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    #7 roughbarked, Apr 7, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
    Rotherhams have curved pallet faces.

    I currently have a fusee that looks exactly like this on my bench at work. Think it is signed John Steed though.
     
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