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Bridges London Fusee that spent most of it's life in the USA "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Life Member
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Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Picked up this verge fusee pair case watch on Ebay recently. I was interested in it because it contained quite a few watch papers in it.

The watch didn't run when I got it but it cleaned up real well after three ultrasonic washes.

The mainspring was broken but I used a Waltham 18s mainspring that was a little smaller but so far it is keeping decent time, the watch is more for display than carry.

01
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
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Picture of Tom Brown
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From the photo above you can see the dial had some rough times in it's life, but I kind of like it, it adds character to the watch.

02
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
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Picture of Tom Brown
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The movement is marked Bridges London, looking through Loomes there are several Bridges as watchmakers at the time so I am not sure which one made this.

The case hallmarks show the case to be British Sterling & made in 1813, thanks to IHC185 members in another post. Can't ever get the hang of telling one letter from another.

03
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
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Picture of Tom Brown
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As I mentioned the watch had quite a few papers in the back, I am still researching the names but the earliest one was for a Watchmaker/Silversmith in New York New York that according to the paper was an importer of watches from London. He was in business in NYC from 1789 to about 1830.

I think perhaps the watch was imported to his shop & sold from there, of course I will never know for sure but it is an idea anyway.

On the back of this paper was written the name Rogers Clark.

The rest of the watch papers were all from New London Connecticut, some of the papers had dates on the back including October 28, 1838, March 1862, Sept. 1867, and the last on of Feb. 1898.

So it would appear for almost 100 years the watch stayed in the New London area.

I did find where in the early 1800's there was a Ships Captain named Rogers Clark living in New London, but as I said placing the watch with him would be hard.

Well thanks for looking.

Tom

04
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
Picture of Mary Ann Scott
posted
Well done, Tom! Even with the dial damage, you have a very nice fusee. The watch paper you showed is interesting in another manner, too. Hxxxxxxx &
Anderson seem to have been Freemasons. Several
symbols are on the paper.
 
Posts: 1047 | Location: The Colony, Texas in the USA | Registered: December 20, 2008
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Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Thanks Mary Ann, this was the 3 or 4 one of these I had done & this one went back together in a snap, I usually put off doing these for a while, all the pins that hold it together & then getting the chain back on again. I like doing them but have to decide that it is going to take some time to do.

It amazes me that there are only 5 screws in the entire watch.

I had noticed that about the watch paper too, the xed out name was Hustace, he & Anderson were in business together in 1888 but must have split up at sometime. The other watch papers for New London also had Masonic symbols on them too.

Tom

05
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
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Picture of Tom Brown
posted
The rest of the watch was in nice shape for being almost 200 years old

06
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
IHC Life Member
posted
Very nice Tom!! Enjoy your great find.

Roger
 
Posts: 1078 | Location: Ticonderoga, New York USA | Registered: March 01, 2008
posted
what a watch, Tom ! beautiful. Unfortunately I can't read the silversmith mark, too rubbed out. Is there one more somewhere ? it could be interesting finding out who was the case maker . Not the one on the stem, normally stem-makers were not case-makers, funny enough
My compliments & regards
Mario
 
Posts: 277 | Location: Cardano al Campo in Italy | Registered: March 29, 2008
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Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Thanks Roger & Mario. The case makers mark is WR.

Tom
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
posted
Why not William Ryley of Coventry ? dates match, at least.
have a nice we, Tom

Regards
Mario
 
Posts: 277 | Location: Cardano al Campo in Italy | Registered: March 29, 2008
IHC President
Life Member
Picture of Lindell V. Riddle
posted

What a find!

Truly a great piece of horological history, thanks Tom for sharing it Cool with us and the world.

Lindell

Wink
 
Posts: 10552 | Location: Northeastern Ohio in the USA | Registered: November 19, 2002
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Picture of Tom Brown
posted
I thought I would post the watch papers that were found in the case, starting with what I believe is the oldest to the newest.

The 1st is for James Mott, son of Jordon Mott of New York New York. Jordon Mott was born Feb. 6, 1768 in Hempstead NY & died Jan. 8, 1840 in Bloomingdale NY. He started his watch business in NYNY in 1789. His son was James Striker (Stryker)Mott born Aug 29,1804 & died Dec. 20, 1867.

This is the paper that had the name Rogers Clark written on the back

mott
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
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Picture of Tom Brown
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The next paper was for John P. Trott of New London Ct., John was born about 1770 & in 1850 at the age of 80 he is listed as a jeweler in New London.

The date on the back of the watch paper is October 29, 1838

trott
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
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Picture of Tom Brown
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The nest was dated March 1862 & was for the watchmaker Daniel B. Hempstead of New London Ct., he was born about 1825.

hempstead01
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
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Picture of Tom Brown
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The next was also Daniel Hempstead & was dated Sept 1867

hempstead02
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
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Picture of Tom Brown
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Another Hempstead, it looks to have a number on the back ending in 67 but the first two digits look like 12.

hempstead03
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
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Picture of Tom Brown
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And last was the paper for Axel F. Anderson of New London Ct. the paper is dated Feb 1896

anderson
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
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Picture of Tom Brown
posted
One reason I posted all the information on the watch is a article is going to be printed & released in December of this year in a national newsletter about the watch, I was able to get them to mention IHC185 & the web address so if anyone reading the article wanted to see more images of the watch.

Lindell gave me permission to mention IHC185.

Tom
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
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Picture of Jerry King
posted
Tom, you have done a super job on the restoration of this historic piece and we all owe you a debt of gratitude for showing the watch and your work so far on this example of horological history....

Thanks for your efforts, we all appreciate you....


Regards,
Jerry
 
Posts: 2828 | Location: California in the USA | Registered: June 23, 2008
Picture of Mary Ann Scott
posted
Excellent! You restored this historically important watch and get published to boot! Way to go!
 
Posts: 1047 | Location: The Colony, Texas in the USA | Registered: December 20, 2008
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Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Spoke with John Woolsey about the case marks & he believes the date letter "P" is 1787 & not 1813.

marks
 
Posts: 5107 | Location: New Mexico in the USA | Registered: January 27, 2007
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