One of only two Verge Fusee movements currently in our collection, this antique timepiece was crafted in 1814 in London, England.
At the time this piece was created, watch movements and cases were sold separately. A watchmaker would craft each timepiece by hand, and then wholesale his movements to jewelers, who might either fit the piece in a particular case, or, allow the customer to choose a case and watch separately. This custom has resulted in many watches which bear the name of one person or maker on the movement and a different one on the case or face of the watch.
The movement of this watch is a verge fusee, a type of movement that runs not just on coiled springs, but also employs a grooved cone wound with a tiny chain, which coils around another post in a pulley system. Inspired by the winches and counter balances of the rigging of sailing ships, this method was used to refine the timekeeping of the movement by regulating the speed at which the mainspring unwinds.
This movement is inscribed with the watchmakers name, L Hancock, and home city: London. Research shows that this was made by Luke Hancock, who was registered with the London clock and watchmakers guild at that time as having a work shop at 63 City Road in London.
While we know who made the movement, the maker of the case has proved more elusive. Stamped inside the inner case are various marks. The center is the case-maker s stamp: WL topped by a full bodied stag. A smaller W stamp indicates that perhaps this piece was made by the "W" of "WL".
To one side, a crowned leopard indicates a London origin and Sterling assay for the case, while the "T" stamp gives us the year of manufacuter: 1814.
This is a double cased watch, with a glassless cover and hinged movement.
While we typically provide a guarantee with our watches, this watch is being sold solely as a show piece. It will run for a short time if wound very gently, however it is very easy to overwind, and the watch should be displayed only for show.
To Wind This Watch: Insert the key provided in to the keyhole on the front of the case. Turn the key gently, approximately 10 half turns. Be extremely careful not to overwind.
To Set the Time: Gently use a figertip to move the hour hand in a clockwise direction until the time is set.
To Open the Case: The button at the crown of the case which releases the front cover is a little tricky. Push firmly with a fingernail and the front will open.
Stamps and Marks:
Case is stamped: Hallmarks: Crowned Leopard, T. Maker s Mark: WL, Stags Head
Movement is marked: L Hancock, London 9699
Fusee Movement Measures 39.1mm round.
Case is 50 mm round.
Condition: some cosmetic damage to porcelain face, hands appear original, case is aged, especially the base metal bezels. Sterling case is in good condition.
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