Jno CROSS, Charterhouse Sq, London. No 32130


Good lever movement with rare compensation balance, circa 1825.

More details

Nicely finished 15-size fullplate fusee movement jewelled to the 3rd with cap jewels on balance (diamond) and lever, the cock foot engraved PATENT and the cap numbered 130 and stamped RE, as often found in the best London work of the period. Single-roller detached lever escapement, the lever with small rack-type counterpoise. Compensation balance of early Pennington 'double T' pattern, blued-steel spiral balance spring with polished steel gallows stud. Lovely 4-colour (yellow, pink, white and green) gold dial, the rear numbered 130, stamped 18 and with the makers mark FH (almost certainly Frederick Humbert, Bloomsbury). 45 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.

This movement was first sold by me in 1998, being Lot 41 in my 1st Postal Auction catalogue, and in which the balance was incorrectly identified - mea culpa.

A lovely dial being 18ct (most are no more than 14) and unusual bearing a maker's mark. It weighs 7.2 grams which is around £150 at today's scrap gold price. Lacking hands, the cap bolt broken as is a balance pivot. Otherwise in good original condition but rather dirty. Not working.