Liverpool work, for Jno WATKINS, Plymouth, No 1823


£ 545.00

Good large rack-lever watch, interestingly finished to look like a Massey lever.

More details

Silver pair case hallmarked Chester 1821-2, casemaker NL (Nathaniel Lee, Liverpool), the outer with contemporary watchpaper. Capped fullplate fusee movement the the cock engraved PATENT LEVER, the barrel-bar probably engraved for its first owner, Jno Watkins, the No 1823 almost certainly being the date. Rack-lever (deadbeat) escapement, the lever arbour running between the plates (no slides). Steel balance, spiral balance-spring. One-piece cream enamel dial in almost perfect condition, gilt hands. 57 mm diameter.

Peter Litherland, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool. PATENT No 1889, June 1792. A form of non-detached lever escapement that was successful not only for him and his partners but also gave rise to what soon became a burgeoning Liverpool watchmaking industry with large exports to America.

NB: Rack-lever watch were selling well in the early 1800's but the new detached lever watches by Massey and others were certainly starting to affect their sales by 1820. This rack-lever watch, looking far more like one of the new detached escapement watches, even down to the engraving on the cock, is probably a consequence.

The balance-brake incomplete, a few minor scratches on the dial and with general signs of use throughout. Otherwise a fine complete example of a relatively late rack-lever watch in good original condition. Serviced for its previous owner and running well.