James BERRY - M*M


Rare partly finished rough fusee movement complete with box, circa 1890.

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Three-quarter plate movement, complete with grooved fusee and train, the pivots already fitted, as is the escapement and its jeweling, the hollow-back (no brass-edge needed) pillar-plate stamped with its Liverpool size: 14  0/2. Single roller detached lever escapement. Compensation balance fitted but not cut, and not yet fitted with a balance-spring. 43.5 mm, 8 mm deep, not including barrel arbor. Together with its original wood veneer pill box, the top marked in ink: 14 3/4 6580

James Berry, Prescot, Lancashire, manufacturer of rough movements and known to have used the M*M stamp, standing for 'machine-made.' An interesting and rare document regarding the English practice of making fusee watches. No watch collection complete without such an unfinished example - see also the YOUR TIME 2008 exhibition catalogue, pages 61 and 62.

NB: English watch manufacturing was split into at least forty separate specialist trades at this time, around 50% who were involved in the manufacture of rough movements, which the Swiss/French call an ebauche. It is from Lancashire items like this, rather than the complete, frosted and gilded watches, that one can fully appreciate how wonderfully good and crisp was the work of these Prescot specialists, in particular the steel parts and pinions.

Complete with unfitted motion work and surviving in fine original condition, still showing its original water-of-ayr stone finish - altogether cleaner and more complete than the few that are known to have survived.