Help reqd identifying gold fusee mvmnt pocket watch

Thread: Help reqd identifying gold fusee mvmnt pocket watch

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  1. #1
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    Help reqd identifying gold fusee mvmnt pocket watch

    Hi, This is my first specific watch related post after joining "watchuseek" yesterday. I acquired this 18K gold pocket watch 3 years ago and am trying to establish exactly when it was made and the actual maker's name. Can anyone help me please?


    The Albert chain is not contemporary with the watch and was acquired recently


    Dial has a few chips but they are on the circumference and do not show when the bezel is closed.


    Does anyone recognize this watchmaker's name/initials ? When I looked here http://www.clockswatches.com/showindex.php?em=S&page=7 there are seven pages of British watchmakers with surname initial "S" - I assume the maker has an "S" initial



    Last edited by Harold Steptoe; October 6th, 2009 at 12:06.

  2. #2
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    Re: Help reqd identifying gold fusee mvmnt pocket watch







    Hallmarks on Cuvette show no assay office stamp



    Unfortunately the Assay Office mark on the inside of the case back is very indistinct in fact it's illegible - maybe it was originally made with a worn punch. After consulting "Hallmarks and Date Letters" published by NAG Press London and this BHI website http://www.bhi.co.uk/aHints/hmarks.html I have narrowed down the possibilities to the following Assay offices and dates:

    Birmingham: 1859,
    Chester: 1710, 1828, and 1893

    London upper-case 'K' dates are 1725, 1805 and 1885 but the shield shapes do not agree with the octagonal shield behind the 'K' on this watch.

    I think 1710 is a bit early and 1893 maybe a bit late - thus my best estimate is Birmingham 1859 or Chester 1828. If Birmingham Assay Office the Assay mark would be an 'Anchor' and if Chester it would be 'Three Wheatsheaves and a Sword'. I have tried enlarging the worn assay mark but it does not help - and it might have been made with a worn punch originally.


    The 51785 number appears both on the movement and inside the case back - and on the Cuvette.
    Last edited by Harold Steptoe; October 6th, 2009 at 12:41.

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    Re: Help reqd identifying gold fusee mvmnt pocket watch





    Last edited by Harold Steptoe; October 6th, 2009 at 12:12.

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    Re: Help reqd identifying gold fusee mvmnt pocket watch





    Are there any hallmark experts on the forum who might be able to date the watch exactly? And does anyone recognize the maker's initials and thus know where the watch was made?

    Thanks for looking and hope the mysteries might might be solved with your help.

    Cheers

    dunk

    PS All photos were taken with an Olympus E-1 and 50mm f2 Zuiko Macro lens ... plus extension tube for the close-ups of the regulator.
    Last edited by Harold Steptoe; October 6th, 2009 at 12:10.

  6. #5
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    Re: Help reqd identifying gold fusee mvmnt pocket watch

    Well, its - I believe - clearly a leopard's head. Therefore London. This:

    http://www.britishhallmarkingcouncil...hallmarks2.pdf

    gives a K for 1825. Not too dissimilar.
    Last edited by Marrick; October 6th, 2009 at 12:10. Reason: wrong link
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    Re: Help reqd identifying gold fusee mvmnt pocket watch

    Thanks Marrick. However, according to sources I've consulted the shield shape behind the date letter K is the incorrect shape for London? And the k for 1825 is lower case and not upper case as stamped on the watch case

    The assay mark could have been a leopard but it's very indistinct and far from clear. This is a "blow up" of the previous marks photo posted so is not that sharp


    ... I'll try and post a better close-up of the assay mark later.

    Cheers

    dunk
    Last edited by Harold Steptoe; October 6th, 2009 at 13:35.

  8. #7
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    Re: Help reqd identifying gold fusee mvmnt pocket watch

    Harold, that is an amazing, gold pocket watch. The chain won't matter much. So long as it does the function of holding the watch and key, you'll be fine.

    I am compelled to ask where you found such a masterpiece? I'm not one for key-wind watches, but I think I'd make an exception on this one...
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  9. #8
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    Re: Help reqd identifying gold fusee mvmnt pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Shangas View Post
    Harold, that is an amazing, gold pocket watch. The chain won't matter much. So long as it does the function of holding the watch and key, you'll be fine.

    I am compelled to ask where you found such a masterpiece? I'm not one for key-wind watches, but I think I'd make an exception on this one...
    The watch is in working order - you can see the "blurr" of the second hand ticking in the several seconds exposure for the first two photographs. The 15K gold chain is not contemporary with the watch but was the best my watchmaker could find in his stock to match the watch for colour - my watchmaker is also an antique jewellery dealer. The watch was in a pawnbroker's sale and was not working when I bought it as the hands were bent and fouling the dial - and the pawnbroker did not know how to open up the case or adjust the hands. The hands are adjusted from the dial centre using the winding key. My watchmaker restored the hands and serviced the watch and in his opinion the watch is Georgian. It keeps good time. I would like to know the actual maker's name and date of manufacture.

    I think the axe head Celtic Cross used for the maker's initials is probably quite distinctive and maybe unique amongst 19th C watchmaker's marks so holds the key to identifying the actual British maker. The hallmark is for British manufactured gold - if the maker was non-British a different "imported gold article" British hallmark would have been used.

    Cheers

    dunk
    Last edited by Harold Steptoe; October 6th, 2009 at 16:08.

  10. #9
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Help reqd identifying gold fusee mvmnt pocket watch

    Beautiful example! Thanks for all the good pics.

    I think you will soon find the nineteenth century was full of English watch makers whose output if very difficult to identify unless they used actual name or address on the movement.

    The only thing worse is Swiss, where there are only rarely any useful markings if the movement was made in the same period as this piece.

    But, if there is anywhere it can be identified, it will probably be here!
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  11. #10
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Help reqd identifying gold fusee mvmnt pocket watch

    Hi,
    I would say this is a London hallmark for 1886 which would
    tie in with the date of this movement nicely.

    The movement is of nice quality and these weren't always signed by the
    watchmaker, when they were it was always on the plate.
    I've never saw an English Lever watch signed by a watchmaker
    on the balance cock....but I have saw them decorated with
    all sorts from owners monograms to greyhounds and masonic symbols.

    I think that symbol is a society, award or something another which would be
    engraved for the owner of the watch. English watchmakers signed their names
    in scrolling script and I can't recall seeing one ever use a logo and certainly not
    on the balance cock.

    Regards

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