J JOEL, Preston. No 7115


A most interesting Lancashire Massey-type 1 lever watch.

More details

Silver barrel-edge case of unusual hunter construction, with engraved crest of a howling dog on the rear, hallmarked Chester 1824, casemaker I.W (possibly John Walker, Chester) and T&Co. Capped fullplate fusee movement, the typically engraved cock with PATENT on the foot. Massey-type 1 detached lever escapement, with all steel impulse roller. 'Fancy' brass & steel balance, spiral balance-spring. One-piece cream enamel dial, gold hands. 54 mm diameter.

Edward Massey, escapement maker, originally from Newcastle-under-Lyme, later Coventry, then Liverpool and London. Inventor and patentee, in 1814, of a detached lever escapement. The escapement is known in five forms, with four different rollers. These were first catalogued by Alan Treherne, the earliest being types 1 and 5, followed by types 2 and 3. Type 4 is a seconds beating watch and is usually fitted with types 1, 2 or 3 rollers. Good complete examples of the type-1 roller have long been difficult to find - see my drawing of the roller.

Isaac Joel, Church Street, Preston, retailer.

The case on this watch is of typical openface construction but instead of a glass has been fitted with a silver cover to match the case back. This could be a later conversion but, given the construction, colour and wear, suspect it was made like this at the request of its first owner. Whichever is correct, I have not seen another example. Please also note that the bimetallic balance in this watch, of a type sometimes used in Liverpool work at this period, is for looks only, it is not acting as a compensated balance.

Central chip and some hair cracks in dial, otherwise an unusual watch with a rare escapement in fine original condition, with the possibility of researching the crest. Serviced and guaranteed.