ELLICOTT, London. No 5917


Rare 3rd-wheel centre-seconds movement by this famous London firm, circa 1770.

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Capped and jewelled fullplate fusee movement with typically engraved and pierced cock and slide-plate, both movement and cap signed and numbered, the 3rd wheel planted under the dial and driving the c-seconds hand as wheel as the escape wheel. Graham cylinder (deadbeat) escapement but with Ellicott's method of banking via an upright pin in the balance acting on the neck of the cock, original 15-tooth brass escape. Steel balance, spiral balance-spring. 38 mm diameter, 16 mm deep, not including dial or centre arbor.

John and Edward Ellicott, then running what was the largest and most successful business in London, selling top quality clocks and watches. See the two-part article on the Ellicott firm by David Thompson in Antiquarian Horology, Summer and Autumn issues 1997 - note how rare are their watches with centre-seconds.

NB: Watches with centre-seconds work first appear around the time of Graham’s abandonment of the verge for his cylinder escapement in 1725. Graham uses the 4th (escape) wheel to drive the seconds hand which, as with Ellicott’s, is driven by motion work between the hour and minute hands. Elliott uses the 3rd wheel. This has advantages over Graham’s work, but it is Graham’s design which is far more common in English work - see Hatton’s Treatise…

Lacking dial, replaced endstone, the brass-edge rather badly filed and bent (due to later fitting into a sedan case) and balance-pivot broken. Thankfully the c-seconds work has survived intact - most have not. Otherwise in good, original but rather scruffy condition.  Not working.