John Forrest Fusee
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  1. #1
    Member perby's Avatar
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    John Forrest Fusee

    I just ran into this watch this weekend, and am kind of enamored with it, although I must admit it is out of my realm of collecting.
    After doing considerable research on tis watch it is confirmed that it is an original John Forrest watch, as much as John Forrest watches were made following his death in 1871, they were definitely not of the same quality, but were still made by the company that bought his rights. It seems that they are not considered true John Forrests if madde after that date.
    Anyways this watch was made in 1856 the silver marks confirm that, and are the same serial number on the case as the movement. The case makers were Richard Oliver and John Edwards that worked in the same area as John Forrest. The watch is running but needs a cleaning, hopefully that will not be to great a problem, but few watchmakers want to work on them on this side of the pond. Comments as always are appreciated, good or bad.

    Here are some pictures.
    Bill
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  2. #2
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    Re: John Forrest Fusee

    Very nice watch. Is it possible that the case is from 1856 but the watch is from the 1870s? I have a few fusee's and and normal pocket watches and have seen that metal part that holds the banking pins for the hairspring on models in the early 1870s. I don't recall seeing it on a pocket watch from the 1850s. Ron

  3. #3
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    Re: John Forrest Fusee

    Hi Ron,
    I would normally say that could be, but in the early days, it is my understanding that cases were made for the movements, and carried the same serial numbers as the movements as this one does. I say this only from talking to people that know these watches, as I said these are a little out of my area of collecting, so I try to research as best I can. John Forrest ran a business in Clerkenwell , London from 1850 until he died in 1871, the case makers for this particular watch were apparently located there also. In an article in the British Horological Times, written by Mr. Ken johnston about John Forrest watches, he talks about John Forrest watches and how few he had actually seen that were made in the time frame of 1850-71. He could not offer anything as to the numbers made as there are no records. Ken observed from my pics that he felt that this was legitimate watch.
    Hopefully it is, it feels kind of good to know that I might have a scarce one.

    Thanks for your interest in this watch,
    Bill

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  5. #4
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    Re: John Forrest Fusee

    It is true that English watches matched the serial number on the movement and the case, this was
    a good thing for us as it allows accurate dating of an English watch when it is still in its original case.

    Your watch and case looks to be in excellent condition, often cases such as this are well worn and the engine
    turning is all but gone but on your example it is still intact which indicates that the watch was well cared for and
    comparitively little used.

    Back in the mid 19thC when this watch was made, a compensated balance such as your watch has, was a very
    expensive and difficult part to make. Most watches from this time had solid balances, and watches such as yours
    with elements of the detent chronometers of the time such as a compensated balance were called 'semi' or demi
    chronometers....an archaic term which has fell out of use.

    You have a very high grade pocket watch for its time and the finish and quality of these are superb. The minute
    hand has been replaced at some time which is no big thing...a very fine watch indeed.
    Eeeb likes this.

  6. #5
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    Re: John Forrest Fusee

    Thank you for your kind comments, I also was under the impression that it was an extremely well made watch. It should also be noted that it does have a diamond end stone, which also denotes quality. Seeing as I have no way to ascertain which hands should be there, I have no idea where to look for an original, but had not really noticed it was an odd hand. I shall leave well enough alone.
    Bill

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