Friday, 15 March 2019

Waltham 1899-Cronometro Victoria

R.R. Fogel of New York had an agreement to sell Waltham watches into South American markets, the special order movements were styled  "Cronometro" and came from various Waltham product lines and grades.  The 1899 model "Victoria" is a 15 jewel movement similar to the -620. The movements were often recorded in production records simply as "Export" and could be in mixed runs so it is not known how many were made. But they are rare in UK.
Waltham 1899-Cronometro Victoria, hunter movement, 1905

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Waltham 1899-618

Waltham 1899-618, 15J, 1904

I have only seen a couple -618's, the open faced version above and the Hunter below. It is essentially a 15 jewelled version of the Traveler. The 1908 equivalent appears to be the "Marquis" which is more common.

Waltham 1899-618, 15J Half Hunter, 1907

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Quirky sized LWC sized watches

The watch movement sizing used in the UK & US was devised in Lancashire - the Swiss used "Ligne" but by the 1930s made most of them to fit "Lancashire" sized cases. Most US makers stuck to the even numbered sizes 12, 14, 16 etc.
The Lancashire Watch Company however made watches in several quirky sizes,this one is a size 14 ¾ but with the heavy case it ends up with the same externam diameter as most size 16s.
LWC 15 jewelled pin set watch, 1895

 LWC 15 jewelled pin set watch, 1895
Whilst this one for Kendal & Dent is a size 16 ¾
LWC 11 jewelled pin set watch 1900.

LWC 11 jewelled pin set watch 1900.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

An unusual jewel configuration on a 17J Recta.

This 17 jewel Recta for J.W. Benson  has an interesting configuration in that the centre wheel does not have a jewel on the face side and the jewel count is made up to 17 with a single cap jewel on the escape.

English makers, particularly Rotherham, Errington and Coventry makers using CWM Co ebauchés did something similar either making 16 jewel movements or adding one centre wheel jewel to their 19J movements probably under presure from Marketing department to have a jewel visible on the centre wheel.

20 Jewel Rotherham, 1903.

The designers did not want a jewel at the face plate as with the centre wheel only turning once per hour the benefit is small and with the power from the barrel being applied close to the face plate there is a percieved risk of damage.

A 16 Jewel Errington 1906

Monday, 3 December 2018

A 16J Errington for Yeomans for Perry.

It would appear that Samuel Yeomans could sell more watches than he could make. A quality mid sized Coventry maker Yeomans was also the first Chairman of the Coventry Watch Movement Company. This is the second watch I have had that he bought in and sold on. The first was an 1896 watch by the Lancashire Watch Company and sold on to Tustain of Leamington as explained in my post Lancashire Watch Co for Yeomans for Tustain.

This watch has a 16 jewel movement by C.H. Errington of Coventry but the case has London hallmarks for Sterling Silver, 1894 and the mark of Samuel Yeomans. The case has the same serial number as the movement so the two belong together and is not a marriage. The movement is signed by John Perry of Nottingham, the dial would also have been signed but that transfer print has long since gone.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

A rare and interesting Stauffer

Size 14 Stauffer Pin Set watch, 15J c1900 or a bit earlier.

Apart from being pin set, at first glance this could mistaken for an Omega - I wonder who copied who? But it has a trade mark on it that shows it is by Stauffer of Switzerland.

and when the dial is off it is quite different.

The trade mark was registered in 1880 but had been in use from about 1835, it consists of two "S"'s and a very small "c" in a shield, not the later and far more common 3 triangles etc.

A feature I have not seen before is the way the Banking is adjusted, by far the most sensitive and precise I have seen but you do need to take the balance off to make an adjustment to the one on the inside:

It gets really interesting when you look at the dust cover where is says "Kew Certificated"

A Long case clock by W Harrison of
Hexham c 1825 and insert the dial from
a Coventry made chronograph 1882 by
W.E. Harrison Stockton-On-Tees. 
and "Harrison and Son, Darlington.

Kew (Later the National Physical Laboratory) was the standards agency for watches and clocks, was responsible for certifying chronometers and ran what was effectively a competition for top quality watches. Although certainly not a chronometer this is a good quality watch from around 1900.

Harrison was one of a widespread watch and clock making family in the North East of England, they are most probably descendants of the Harrison of the Longitude prize who came from the area. It is very difficult to work out family relationships from the clockmaking records as there were a lot of them about in the 19th century and they kept moving about.

The last record I can find of Harrison in Darlington is 1905 but they might have continued for sometime after and not been recorded in Loomes or elsewhere.

English Fusee leaver watch signed Harrison & Son Darlington 1877.

Monday, 15 October 2018

A very unusual Benson "Keyless Ludgate" 1889.

J.W. Benson "Keyless Ludgate", 11J 1889.
This is a very unusual watch! It is London finished almost certainly from a Prescott ebauché, a Coventry Watch Movement Co ebauché is a slight possibility as they opened in 1889 using a Prescott ebauché as a starting point, but those that I have seen have been rather different. I suspect but can't prove it was finished by quality maker Nicole, Nielson & Co who are known to have supplied Benson.

J.W. Benson "Keyless Ludgate", 11J 1889.

The face 2 piece plate is typical of Prescott ebauché of the period.
The unusual thing is that the Keyless Ludgate of the period, and I have had examples from the previous year and several from later years, are completely different being made in-house and incorporating Benson's patented dust ring construction also used on "The Field" watch and others. Further the engraving on this watch is identical to the "normal" version including having the Patent number believed to be for the dust ring that continued to be used for some years after this watch was made.

J.W. Benson "Keyless Ludgate" 13J 1893
Made in-house with the patented thick dust ring.
J.W. Benson "Keyless Ludgate" 13J half hunter, 1888
Made in-house with the patented thick dust ring.
It can only be assumed that Benson were short of Keyless Ludgate watches and so bought some in but it must have been confusing for customers to see such different watches being sold under the same model name.

More information on the Ludgate can be found in my post Benson "Field", "Ludgate" and "Bank of England" watches. or by selecting "Benson" from the list of tags below right.