Rare free-sprung lever movement with helical spring and up/down, circa 1870.
Half-plate fusee movement jewelled to the 3rd with cap jewels on lever (diamond), lever and escape, the 16-size hollow-back Lancashire frame stamped J.W (Wycherley). Single-roller detached lever escapement. Compensation balance, helical balance-spring. Enamel dial in perfect condition, with state-of-wind indication at 12, signed CHRONOMETER and numbered 1707, blued-steel hands. 45 mm diameter, 8.5 mm deep.
George Morton, then working in Islington North London, probably the Keighley based watchmaker who took out a Patent for a Robin-type escapement in 1856 - see my recent Horological Profile on these watches.
NB: The reason I believe this is because of the change in name from Morton’s Patent to London Patent that occurred in this series of watches around 1860. This ties in well with this small but separate series of free-sprung detached lever escapement watches bearing the Islington address, of which this is good and rare example. I have no proof, however, which is why I was keen in my booklet not to make unfounded statements of fact, and I made, and still make, no claim that there is just one watchmaker named George Morton. As for Loome’s record of a George Morton in Birkenhead in 1878, I again have no proof that this is the same man, although living so closely to where William Holland produced the Patent Union variants makes me think it is at least likely.
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.
Lacking up/down hand, some scratches to the plates and all rather dirty, otherwise complete and nothing broken. Not cleaned by me but will tick sluggishly if wound. Sold needing at least a clean and fresh oil to work properly.
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