Jno CROSS, Charterhouse Sq, London. No 9212


Good lever movement with rare compensation balance, circa 1820-5.

More details

Nicely finished fullplate fusee movement jewelled to the 3rd with cap jewels on balance (diamond) and lever, the cock foot engraved PATENT and the cap stamped RE, as often found in the best London work of the period. Single-roller detached lever escapement, the lever with small rack-type / early Savage shaped counterpoise. Compensation balance of early Pennington 'double T' pattern, blued-steel spiral balance spring with polished steel gallows stud. Distinctive one-piece enamel dial. 46.5 mm diameter, 13.5 mm deep, not including centre arbor.

John Cross, 15 Charterhouse Square, London, noted as a 'watch and clock wholesaler' in a trade directory of the period. This points to him being a real manufacturer and, judging by the fact that he was among the first to fit Pennington's screw balances in pocket watches, is likely to have had a close working relationship with this important firm of watch and chronometer manufacturers.

NB: This balance was not intended to provide middle temperature compensation. The screw at the free end of the bimetallic rim was used to lock it in place while any of the meantime or compensation crews were moved in or out or along the rims. This stopped the relatively soft rims from being permanently distorted when adjustments were being made.

Also note the fact that one of Cross's finishers has had some fun with the blued-steel case bolt spring which is mounted on the dial side of the pillar-plate - watchmaking was never boring for those with ambition and/or skill.

Hands incomplete, the dial with faint hair cracks, as usual, and rather dirty with the bloom of dried up oil. otherwise in good original original condition. Not cleaned by me but will tick if wound.