Fine centre-seconds Massey lever watch, in a wonderful original condition.
Slim engine-turned silver case with gold joints hallmarked Chester 1848, casemaker HF (Henry Fishwick, Liverpool), the rear cover with discreet family crest of a Lion Rampant. Typical Lancashire half-plate fusee movement with sprung cap and balance-brake acting on the 3rd wheel. Massey type-3 detached lever escapement. Gold balance, spiral balance-spring. Enamel dial in perfect condition, original gold hands and a blued-steel centre-seconds hand of the sort that almost never survives. 54 mm diameter. Together with contemporary velvet lined box.
Peter Litherland, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool. The most famous of Liverpool watchmakers, known for his invention of the rack-lever escapement, but he was also one of the first watch manufacturers to fit and market the new detached lever escapements designed and patented by Edward J Massey.
Edward Massey, Newcastle, Coventry and Liverpool, escapement manufacturer and Patentee of the first extensively used detached lever escapements. Catalogued in recent times by Alan Treherne, the various types have come to be called from 1 to 5. Types I and 5 are the earliest and least common, followed by type-2 and then type-3. Type-4 is a seconds beating-variant, usually fitted with a type-3 roller, and is very rare.
A watch I sold via my First Postal Auction to the late John Moon, in 1998, and which I was pleased to buy back at the recent sale of his collection. A lovely example of the Lancashire style of lever watch that swept away the outdated 18th century London fashions, and this is certainly the best of its type I have handled - the c-seconds hand is a wonderful example of the watch hand makers best work. A few signs of use but generally in lovely original condition indeed, and with the possibility of establishing provenance. Cleaned for its previous owner and working well, but can be freshly serviced if wanted.
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