John TAYLOR 'Sole Maker' Rochdale. Nos 2176 and 24860


Rare Williams Patent fast beating 'timer' in lovely condition.

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Large and heavy silver 'crystal' case hallmarked Chester 1902 with prominent stop lever in the band, casemaker CH (a known incuse stamp from the period not noted by Priestley but probably Charles Hill, Coventry). Three-quarter plate keyless going-barrel movement but with hand setting via a key through the dome, and unusually bearing two serial numbers, the lower almost certainly being Taylor's. Single-roller detached lever escapement, gold balance with spiral balance-spring. Lovely signed cream enamel dial with both offset and centre-seconds hands, the latter calibrated for two seconds in a complete revolution and divided into 1/16ths, original matching blued-steel hands. 58 mm diameter.

Williams Williams Patent No 4762, March 1890: Improvements in Stop Watches. For a similar examples see Alan Shenton Pocket Watches 19th & 20th Century, page 334, and the Archive section of my website. Often described as timers for whippet racing, the patent itself makes no specific mention for their use. Rochdale was, however, at the centre of the cotton mill industry at this time, which is likely to be of more significance regarding their intended use.

NB: Though usually called chronographs, these watches are not true chronographs and stop entirely when operated, thus will need to be reset to the correct time after use. 

The gilding a bit scruffy, as usual, the glass with a few scratches and the dial has a small edge chip at 1 which is only visible when the bezel is removed. Otherwise in lovely original condition, especially the dial and hands, plus I have not polished the case as this should be done, if wanted, by the buyer. Serviced, guaranteed and quite mesmerising when running.