Edward PARKES, Liverpool. No 3583


Top quality free sprung movement with up/down, circa 1875.

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Capped fullplate fusee movement, jewelled to the fusee with cap jewels on balance (diamond), and escape, the 16-size pillar plate stamped J.W (Wycherley), the cap stamped J.F (probably James Finney or James Furlong, Liverpool) and engraved: ADJUSTED FOR CHANGES OF TEMPERATURE. Single-roller detached lever escapement. Good quality compensation balance, free sprung balance-spring with Arnold/Breguet overcoil. Enamel dial with up/down indication at 12, blued-steel hands. 44.5 mm diameter, 11 mm deep, not including centre arbor.

Edward Burdon Parkes (1840-1931), working as a "watch examiner" in Liverpool. Previously unrecorded, like very many people involved in English watchmaking (thank you Keith for this information), Parkes was obviously keen to let his customers know it was not fitted with the usual un-adjusted balance. I have not tried to check its rate in various temperatures - it would need proper servicing first.

NB: There is much misunderstanding about bimetallic compensation balances. Most of those fitted to 19th century lever watches will have only ever been adjusted to keep to mean time. Few, other than in Deck Watches, explorers cased watches and the like, will have been properly adjusted for changes in temperature, and, if they have been, there is no visual sign of such work being done. This led to the use of the term 'half chronometer' by some English firms who were selling well made and properly adjusted watches, but the term was soon taken up as a marketing ploy and thus fell into some disrepute, and which still causes confusion today.  Some Swiss and American makers later began to engrave the adjustments undertaken on the movement itself.

John Wycherly, one of the best and most famous Liverpool watch rough movement manufacturers, supplier to most of the best English finishers and retailers of his day.

Dial with small edge hair crack at 6, and possibly replaced hands. Otherwise a very nicely finished Lancashire movement in good original condition, and unusual for being so highly jewelled as well. Not cleaned by me but will tick happily when wound.