John RICHARDS, London. No 3579


Good Liverpool supplied Massey-type 2 lever watch.

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Silver barrel-edge case hallmarked Chester 1824, casemaker NL (Nathaniel Lee, Liverpool). Capped fullplate fusee movement, the cock engraved PATENT and the cap with 'W" stamp. Massey-type 2 detached lever escapement, the impulse jewel supported at both ends. Steel balance, spiral balance-spring. One-piece cream enamel dial in perfect condition, 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-2 roller are becoming increasingly scarce and, in this condition, can rightly be regarded as rare - see my drawing of the roller.

Britten records a watchmaker named John Richards working in Chiswick in 1805, otherwise he would be one of the many still to be identified and recorded.

Hour and seconds hands most likely replaced, otherwise case, dial and movement in very good original condition - much better than most that survive. Serviced and guaranteed.