Help ID this very old watch?

Thread: Help ID this very old watch?

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  1. #1
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    Help ID this very old watch?

    I recently acquired this watch. I'd like to know more about it. It seems to be very old. I think that it has a Fusse movement with a crown escapement wheel. It's solid gold and is nested in three cases. Any ideas how I can learn more about it?

    Thank,

    Teakdust
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  2. #2
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    Re: Help ID this very old watch?

    Here are some more photos of the above watch.

    Thanks,

    Teakdust
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  3. #3
    Member huck's Avatar
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    Re: Help ID this very old watch?

    a very beautiful and i am sure important watch, and i am sure the guys here will tell you some more about it, if it was mine i would take it too a major auctioneers such as Bonhams or Christies for professional evaluation
    A man with a watch always knows what the time is. A man with two watches is never sure.

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  5. #4
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Help ID this very old watch?

    *Whistles!*

    That's amaaaaazing!! Tell me, your Royal Highness, how long did it take the palace watchmaker to craft this exquisite timepiece for you, by hand?

    Okay seriously...where'd you GET this amazing piece of...wowza!
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  6. #5
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    Re: Help ID this very old watch?

    I've read that the Fusee drive fell out of use around 1850. However, from what I've been able to determine, the crown wheel escapement was used during a much earlier period. I haven't found a date that it ceased use. The hand work in the movement is just amazing!

  7. #6
    Member Erik_H's Avatar
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    Re: Help ID this very old watch?

    Beautiful watch. Are there any hallmarks in the case? The movement looks a bit continental Europe with its swiss/french style balance bridge.
    From Loomes: "Tarts, J. London second half 18c. signature on many watches for Dutch market, probably a fictitous name. May be J. Stratton."
    Erik_H
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  8. #7
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    Re: Help ID this very old watch?

    The various different influences, plus the outer case and the French influenced balance cock make me think the watch is Dutch. The outer case uses typically English Shagreen (tanned and processed sting ray) although this technique was also known in France, it is typical of English cases. However, the dial is a typically Dutch design and the movement looks Swiss or French. G.H. Baille in his book "Watches, Their History, Design and Mechanism" illustrates a very similar (indeed, almost identical) watch on p216 in the South Kingston Museum which is a Dutch watch circa 1730 by Gerret Bramer, Amsterdam.

    From what I've seen of Dutch watches, this mixture of English and French influences plus the highly distinctive Dutch style dial makes me think the watch is Dutch, and given an English signature.

    The Netherlands was a watchmaking center well into the 19th Century, and excellent quality mechanical clocks are made in Holland to this day.Huygens, the great Dutch scientist, is the inventor of the pendulum clock, and disputes with Dr. Hooke the invention of the balance spring for the watch.

    You should be able to tell conclusively whether the watch is Dutch or not by the shape and designs of the plate pillars, which differ from country to country .

  9. #8
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    Re: Help ID this very old watch?

    Fusees were used in English watches very late, up until 1900 in some cases. There are many lever escapement watches with fusees, the English didn't want to abandon the technology even though it was no longer necessary. Fusees continued to be used in marine chronometers through WW2, Hamilton made thousands.

    Most folks would refer to the watch as a verge fusee, the verge interacting with the crown or escape wheel. Verges were made up until the 1850s and perhaps later in some of the remote English villages.

    The inner gold case with the raised figures is known as reposse.

    I have to agree with the previous posters about the origin of the watch, definitely Continental as it has a balance bridge and not a balance cock. Also the shape of the feet on the bridge look very Dutch to me.

    Really beautiful watch, thanks very much for sharing.

  10. #9
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    Re: Help ID this very old watch?

    Thank you all for the detailed information you've provided! I took a few more photos of the plate pillars. It's interesting to know that they are a hallmark of the country of origin. Getting good photos is tricky because of the limited depth of field of my macro lens. I was able to get some images of the marks inside of the inner case. I bumped up the legibility in post process as far as I could. Perhaps someone will be able to tell me what they mean?

    Thanks again,

    Teakdust
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  11. #10
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Help ID this very old watch?

    They are London hallmarks on your case, the date letter is indistinct
    but I think it is the remains of the gothic capital O for 1770.
    I think these 'Tarts' watches were made in London for the Dutch market as
    Eric mentioned. The same info is given in Baillies, Watchmakers of the world.

    The balance bridge, although paying lip service to continental style still looks
    English to me, especialy the wide bridge feet.

    Searching the internet I've seen these with Egyptian pillars...typical of English work.
    The fancy pillars on this watch could be pampering to a continental taste. Some
    sellers are selling these as Dutch and some as English, but to me it looks like a
    London watch with a Continental style bridge.

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