An Oldie but a goodie- Guess who made it?

Thread: An Oldie but a goodie- Guess who made it?

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  1. #1
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    An Oldie but a goodie- Guess who made it?

    I have had this watch for a very long time, it was one of the first I ever collected, it had been a family heirloom from the seller and no one had ever seen it going, I think I paid too much for it especially since at the time of buying it I didn't know if it would work, I bought a key from a watchmaker who screwed his face up at it and had said don't take it to him if something went wrong.
    I very gently wound it and to my utter surprise it went like clockwork, keeps good time.
    It is a English Lever Escapement, Fusee movement and as the photo's show the case was made in England in 1802 all sterling silver, the hour markers are gold, I thought it was a George Jensen, but without any markings bar the numbers it is very hard to say.
    Any Suggestions?
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  2. #2
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    Re: An Oldie but a goodie- Guess who made it?

    Hello,

    You have got a very nice 7 jewel english fusee-lever. The movement could have been made by any of a number of ebauche manufacturers. Sometimes, there is a movement makers mark on the dial side of the pillar plate.

    The case is hallmarked sterling silver for chester, 1890. It was made by 'WCB' as the case hallmark says. No idea who that is.

    The movement, however appears a little older. Is the movement number (40275) repeated anywhere on the case? If not, there is a chance that when the original case wore down (sterling silver cases are quite soft), the movement was cased up in this one.

    Hope this helps

    Kind regards

    Aditya

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    Re: An Oldie but a goodie- Guess who made it?

    PS. please do not run this watch before you get it serviced. I doubt it has been cleaned in decades.

    Aditya

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    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: An Oldie but a goodie- Guess who made it?

    Aditya's right.

    The watch is...what? 200 years old? It runs, it keeps time? Great. Leave it alone. Send it to a watchmaker and have him clean it, service it, oil it and time it. Then, you may start using it regularly. Not having it serviced is running a big risk. If something breaks inside that watch due to all the friction caused by an absence of lubrication-oils...well, you'll be having a hard time finding spare parts for a watch 200 years old.
    "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: An Oldie but a goodie- Guess who made it?

    I agree it is a Chester hallmark... but the capital "G" was used 1803, 1825, 1890 and 1957 (from this page). We all will agree it is not 1957. The movement is too advanced for 1803. 1890 is possible... This movement would never be found in the US that late but the English watch industry hung on to old ways for a long time. And the case and watch are in too good a condition to be 1825. So I think the 1890 date most likely.

    Unless there are hidden clues in the movement that are exposed when it is cleaned, I doubt any definitive statement can be made about the maker beyond what has already been discussed.
    "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!

  7. #6
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    Re: An Oldie but a goodie- Guess who made it?

    I think the watch case was made in 1825 based on the shape of the G used in the Chester hallmark and I also think that the style of the dial is more appropriate to that time frame.

    Beautiful watch and follow the good advice given about not running until serviced.

  8. #7
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: An Oldie but a goodie- Guess who made it?

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

    Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)


    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

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    Re: An Oldie but a goodie- Guess who made it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeeb View Post
    I agree it is a Chester hallmark... but the capital "G" was used 1803, 1825, 1890 and 1957 (from this page). We all will agree it is not 1957. The movement is too advanced for 1803. 1890 is possible... This movement would never be found in the US that late but the English watch industry hung on to old ways for a long time. And the case and watch are in too good a condition to be 1825. So I think the 1890 date most likely.
    I agree, 1957 (in my considered opinion) can be safely ruled out

    Here's the site I refer to http://www.925-1000.com/dlChester.html

    for 1803 the 'G' has a square surround without the chamfered corners, so this is out. Between 1825 & 1890 the hallmarks are very similar. We must use indirect methods.
    As per the link posted by Marrick, William Cotton Bird was active c.1890. So, that is the date I would go with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeeb View Post
    Unless there are hidden clues in the movement that are exposed when it is cleaned, I doubt any definitive statement can be made about the maker beyond what has already been discussed.
    The underslung balance spring & bosley regulator make me think the movement is older than 1890.

    Aditya

  10. #9
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    Re: An Oldie but a goodie- Guess who made it?

    Had a look at chester hall marks on a brilliant site "Encyclopedia of hallmarks" and yep I stand corrected it's a 1825 model watch, ripped off it's only 183 years old!
    Now I need to find out about Willie cotton Bird.
    It's quite a bit of fun this, like solving a murder mystery only I have wondered about some of my watches for 20 years.
    Still no go on the movement anyone?
    Thanks heaps for all the info so far REALY EXCELLENT:thanks

  11. #10
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: An Oldie but a goodie- Guess who made it?

    Quote Originally Posted by can't find the time View Post
    Now I need to find out about Willie cotton Bird.
    This

    http://www.thecoventrypages.net/sect...=list&catid=87

    has a bit about watchmaking in Coventry. It doesn't mention Bird - but does mention a danish watchmaker in the same street - Norfolk Street.

    Also

    http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/vid...name_page.html

    And

    http://www.coventrywatchmuseum.co.uk/history1.html
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

    Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)


    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

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