Incomplete barrel-edge silver case with gold joints hallmarked Birmingham 1818, casemaker SP (Samuel Packwood, Coventry). Capped fullplate fusee movement with slim polished steel balance-bridge and a profusely engraved top-plate, the barrel-bar left plain ready to be named for its retailer, the cap stamped inside ‘D’ and engraved IMPROV’D PATENT. Massey type-1 detached lever escapement, with typically early short lever and pallets without draw. Steel balance with balance-brake, spiral balance-spring. One-piece cream enamel dial signed PATENT. Case 55 mm diameter, movement 48 mm diameter.
After its invention by Thomas Mudge around 1750, Edward Massey was the first watch escapement manufacturer to Patent various forms of the detached lever escapement, in 1814 and later. Massey devised four different form of rollers. Of the different forms, as first designated by Alan Treherne, types-1 and -5 are the earliest and most rare, types-2 and particularly -3 being the most common. Type-4 refers to a very rare seconds-beating escapement rather than the roller.
NB: This is only the second example of this particular movement layout I have seen in over fifty years, the other example being just a movement numbered 9096 and named for a London retailer. The survival of this example’s case gives us a definite hallmark date and the watch is from the period when Vale & Co in Coventry were heavily involved with Massey and his new watches, the caps often bearing a ‘D’ makers stamp, as here.
Rear cover of case lacking and the movement needing a fair amount of tlc in order to bring it back into complete and working condition, but a worthwhile project for anyone with an interest in the early years of these new, and hugely influential Massey detached lever watches. Not cleaned by me and although the balance is swinging freely, it is unwilling to tick – priced accordingly.