Very rare series III watch with Cole's 'resilient' escapement in lovely condition, circa 1870.
Beautifully hand engraved heavy gold (18K) American made hunter case, casemaker L.B (cameo stamp). 18 (N)-size 15-jewel movement with screw-held settings, in the Howard company's best nickel damascened finish. Detached lever escapement of unusual form in which banking is achieved by the shaped tips of the escape wheel locking on the jewelled pallets. Compensation balance, spiral balance-spring. Signed enamel dial in perfect condition, Blued steel hands with polished centre. 56 mm diameter and weighing just over 183 grams in total.
E Howard & Co, famous manufacturer of European-style hand-finished watches in America. Howard was the only American company to fit J-F Coles resilient lever escapement (see Chamberlain), and both English and American made watches with this escapement are rare indeed. In as wonderful original condition as this, they are almost non-existent.
NB: Series III watches with this rare escapement and in this early nickel finish rate four stars in my old copy of the Cooksey Shugart Price Guide, and this must be one the finest American E Howard & Co watches in existence. Clint Geller, author of many of articles about the Howard firm, told me that this example was in fact "the best known"
In wonderful, almost mint condition, showing few signs of use or age, the damascening having just one small blemish. Working well, but this watch will be freshly serviced for the buyer at no extra cost, it wanted.
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