Late English made British Watch Co Ltd of London pocket watch
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Thread: Late English made British Watch Co Ltd of London pocket watch

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  1. #1
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    Late English made British Watch Co Ltd of London pocket watch

    I bought this one on my trip to Cracov today at noon. I don't know much abot English watch makers, but as the presentation states, it was made in 1925.
    In fact I was pretty sure to find a Swiss movement in there, as I believed English did not make pocket watch movements in 1925 any onger, but I found an English 7j full plate inside.

    It is a low grade, 7 jewel movement with expansion balance, no decorations whatsoever.
    It is a well known movement very often seen in English watches from late 19th Century.

    The model used to be fitted with fusee chain, but this late version - as far as I can see - has just a transmission gear instead. So it's wound in the opposite direction... I wonder why couldn't they simply engage the barrel with the center wheel, like in American watches, but maybe this extra gear still has some additional funcion in the movement - I just don't know...
    I'm not willing to take that apart at this moment...

    Anyway - the watch is worn, it clearly has fallen badly to the ground, taken by the damage seen, but all in all it's a nice, handsome and interesting antique as a whole, even more with this nice presentation note under the caseback.

    Interestingly, the movement s/n is 748266, while the case s/n is 748166. I wonder if it's by mistake or was it supposed to be that way?

    Also, the movement is marked Warranted English Lever, but as far as I can teel looking from the side, it has Swiss lever escapement ('English' style angle type so called)

    Not very much of a timekeeper, but runs well enough, it sems...
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  2. #2
    Mod. Russian, China Mech. Chascomm's Avatar
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    Re: Late English made British Watch Co Ltd of London pocket watch

    "Not much of a timekeeper" but one heck of a time capsule!
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    Re: Late English made British Watch Co Ltd of London pocket watch

    British Watch Co. was registered. in 1920 by William Erhardt see the site of David Boettcher.
    Examples of British hallmarks in watch cases


    British Watch Co LTD
    of Time Works, 214 Barr Street, Birmingham

    in association with William Ehrhardt with Office at 17 Hatton Garden, London.
    • c1840 The company was established to manufacture watches by mass-production methods using machine tools designed by the Swiss craftsman P. F. Ingold.
    • 1922 Listed Exhibitor _ British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of English Lever Watches, Watch Cases and Gramophone Motors. (Stand No. E.44) [1]
    • The company failed owing to total opposition from the trade

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    regards enrico
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  5. #4
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    Re: Late English made British Watch Co Ltd of London pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Chascomm View Post
    "Not much of a timekeeper" but one heck of a time capsule!
    Watches like this one remind me how much I like obviously all-original, historic pieces. I never get this much attached to recases, even if it's a re-cased Riverside Maximus or Veritas.
    Cool, top grade movements, but not much of it's own 'spirit' so to say. There is something special about those watches with their own life story...
    Time capsule is a very good way to express this feeling :)

    BTW - I got to know (on NAWCC) that the GMC mentioned was Genreral Motor Carrying Company of Kirkcaldy, a bus company operating between 1913 and 1926. Is that a GMC bus on your photo :) ?
    Last edited by pmwas; August 23rd, 2015 at 17:26.
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    Re: Late English made British Watch Co Ltd of London pocket watch

    for the photo yes it is a bus of the GMCCo.
    regards enrico

  7. #6
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    Re: Late English made British Watch Co Ltd of London pocket watch

    Looks as modern as the watch of mine ;)
    World surely was very different 100 years ago ;)
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  8. #7
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    Re: Late English made British Watch Co Ltd of London pocket watch

    I could not help it - I had to see what's inside :)

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    To find out - one has to remove the pin holding the movement in it's case. Frankly - I prefer the American way with swing out ring holding the movement rather than that, but so be it...

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    Under the dial there is the click wheel, very nicely finished BTW, and the cannon pinion, hour and minute wheel.

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    Balance off, barrel off, time to remove the top plate...

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    barrel back on for just a short moment...

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    The 'dummy barrel' is a simple transmission gear used to ensure the mainspring is wound in the 'proper' direction. Just a brass gear on a steel arbor, all joined together for good. Nothing special about it, except the fact, that it's there, of course...


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    This watch has an expansion balance with flat hairspring and old-fashioned stud. I doubt anyone but the English still made such studs in 20th century ;)
    The escape wheel is typical for Swiss lever escapement. I was told (and I don't know if it's true or not) that the pallet fork's end is what makes it English lever...

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    Yes, compared to American angle escapements, this lever is shorter, the safety pin right next to the exit pallet, and it's visibly asymetrical.
    It's partly steel, partly brass. Held together by two tiny screws. Single roller, of course, as you can see.


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    On re-assembling, I replaced the non original screws with more proper, blued ones.

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    Assembling - easy. Like in my beloved American full plates. Once again - those are considered difficult to assemble...
    Like every time - I beg to differ ;)

    That's it. All in al - low grade, but good quality movement.
    Last edited by pmwas; August 25th, 2015 at 20:19.
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  9. #8
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    Re: Late English made British Watch Co Ltd of London pocket watch

    According to Mikrolisk, the logo under the dial (arrow with wings) also matches up with William Erhardt.

    Hartmut Richter
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