antique watch (authenticity check)

Thread: antique watch (authenticity check)

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  1. #1
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    antique watch (authenticity check)

    Hello all,

    I am relatively new to this forum and have been exploring the russian watches section so far (since I just bought a rocket N1!). But i have developed an interest in vintage watches. Here is one I am contemplating buying. However, I cannot make up my mind if it is an authentic piece and worth the money. My suspicion is that it is an old movement in a later case. Also, i have not managed to find out how old the movement/ case are. Could any of you knowledgeble people clear these doubts. Thanks in advance.
    Cheers
    Aditya
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  2. #2
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: antique watch (authenticity check)

    Well, it's obviously an English movement (might be a cylinder escapement, hard to tell.) The case is from the same maker (see JH&S on it which corresponds to James Harris and Sons). The hallmarks on the case say it's silver and date it to 1887. So I'd say the watch and case are authentic and a match.
    It's not a Russian watch though. Russia did not have a watch industry of any consequence prior to 1930.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  3. #3
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    Re: antique watch (authenticity check)

    Thanks for your reply Ray. I appreciate it
    Im sorry if i conveyed the impression that i thought this was russian. Its english and has a fusee and verge escapement. Im smitten since i havent got any fusee's yet. and this one is 'financially accessible'! I just would not want to be stuck with a fake or one with a non original case. once again, thanks for your reply
    Aditya

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  5. #4
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: antique watch (authenticity check)

    The movement could have a fusee drive but I doubt it's a verge escapement as these went out of use by the 1840s. It's more likely some sort of English lever escapement or possibly cylinder. Doesn't look like a verge as they had very elaborate circular cock bridges.
    Additional info: According to Max Cutmore, virtually everything made in the UK after 1850 was an English lever escapement, so I'm certain that's what you have there.
    Last edited by Ray MacDonald; December 22nd, 2006 at 17:05.

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    Re: antique watch (authenticity check)

    Thank you for taking so much interest
    must confess i know what a fusee is but not a verge :oops:
    i was just quoting what the seller said.
    anyways here's some more pictures.
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  7. #6
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: antique watch (authenticity check)

    :-S The third picture doesn't fit in with the others as it looks like a Swiss lever regulator from another watch entirely. The other two look like they're from your original watch.
    A "verge" is a staff which serves as the escape mechanism and works with the balance wheel to keep the watch ticking and releasing energy from the mainspring. The verge was the oldest escapement used from the early 1600s until approximately 1840. It's not a "detached" escapement like English or Swiss lever so kept relatively poor time and was superseded by the cylinder and lever escapements.

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    Re: antique watch (authenticity check)

    Thanks for pointing out the error Ray. Im feeling a bit silly for not noticing! Im in two minds now. auction end in a couple of hours and what was 'financially accessible' has turned into 'stretching it' in a matter of minutes. Although it could be a perfectly understandable error on part of the seller, I guess it's not worth the risk. All the same, I appreciate your help :thanks

  9. #8
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: antique watch (authenticity check)

    Well it's been an interesting discussion. We don't usually see many messages on English Victorian watches here so thanks for posting. I'm more of an expert on American pocket watches but I'm glad I was able to help out.
    Let us know if you do get one of these watches someday.

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    Re: antique watch (authenticity check)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray MacDonald View Post
    Well it's been an interesting discussion. We don't usually see many messages on English Victorian watches here so thanks for posting. I'm more of an expert on American pocket watches but I'm glad I was able to help out.
    Let us know if you do get one of these watches someday.
    Thanks for your help all the same. By the way, I stayed up till 2 in the morning and gave in! the watch is on the way. will post pictures when it arrives.

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