John TAYLOR 'Sole Maker' Rochdale. No 2129


£ 145.00

Rare Williams Patent fast beating movement in good condition.

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Large 20-size three-quarter plate keyless going-barrel movement, but with hand setting from the rear by key, and a balance-brake operating on the roller at 5. Single-roller detached lever escapement, plain balance with spiral balance-spring. Lovely cream signed enamel dial in almost perfect condition, with both offset and centre-seconds hands, the latter calibrated for two seconds in a complete revolution and divided into 1/16ths. 50.5 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 my past Postal Auction catalogues. Often now 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. True chronographs have an indicating hand/s that can start and stop independently of the watch train, as invented by Daniel Delander around 1725, with Nicole & Capt adding a true return-to-zero mechanism around 1862, though the heart shaped cam it uses had been part of their 1844 Patent. Sadly, most of the modern writers on this subject seem to be propagating the usual Swiss propaganda, much to the detriment of correct history - Guinness Book of Records please note.

Minor (3 mm) hair crack at dial centre, lacking all hands and the hand set square, otherwise complete but the mainspring barrel seized. Not cleaned by me and rather dirty, but will tick happily if power is applied to the train. Sold as not working, but worth the price for the dial alone.