Thos YATES ‘PATENTEE’ Preston. No 1171


Best quality slow-beat lever watch, the only known example to be free-sprung.

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Large silver barrel-edge case hallmarked Chester 1887, casemaker W.H (probably William Hickman, Chapel Fields, Coventry). Fullplate fusee movement, the cap engraved YATES PATENTEE and stamped 'T' inside. Single-roller detached lever escapement beating half-seconds (7200 train). Large compensation balance, free-sprung balance-spring with overcoil. Enamel dial, gold hands. 55.5 mm diameter.

Thomas Yates, 159 Friargate, Preston, Lancashire, Patent No 11443, November 1846 – see the articles by the late Roger Carrington in Antiquarian Horology June 1975 and December 1984 for more information about this most interesting maker of slow-beating lever watches. Few with Yates best quality "chronometer balance" and "jewelled in seven actions" are known, this being the only recorded example that is free-sprung, as well as being the largest of all the Yates I have handled.

NB: The present case is out of date sequence. Yates' serial number indicates a date of around 1850 for the movement but the present case was certainly made for the movement and is of the usual good English quality. It presumably replaces an earlier case, possibly, given the unusual quality of the movement, being originally cased in gold. If so, it shows in how much regard these movements were held, even nearly forty years later.

The usual hair crack to the dial and the case showing just a few signs of wear, otherwise the finest example of it type known to me. Serviced and guaranteed to be as described but, please note, no guarantee regarding timekeeping is ever provided by me on pre-worn watches - I sell history, not brand new watches.