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Hi all, Just wondering if we have any information on the Thomas Russell? This one was cheap, and I have seen it on ebay more than once, so is this one of those "Knock Offs"? Curious about ANY more information on these watches, I have seen very little about the T Russell, anyone have a site or a link I can read about them?
Thomas Russell & Son Liverppol, are well known as makers of good quality Pocket Watches.
Recorded in Brian Loomes book 'Watchmakers & Clockmakers of the World Vol.2' - working from 1848-1902,
Also Thomas Russell & Son, London (UK) 1869-75, Toronto, 1874-77.
I have a number of Russell PW movements plus a few complete watches, all very nice quality.
Hope this helps.
Sorry, I missed your answer until now.
I thought that they were all fine watches too, but since the only reference I have is what's in the watch guide, and this one doesn't match the 2 that are there, I didn't know what to think.
I only remembered that a lot of fine watches were coppied and that there are a lot of fakes out there.
Have you ever seen this one before? I'm curious about this one. I always wanted to find one, and since this one was so cheap, I grabbed it.
Thank you for the information, and let me know if you have seen this one ok?
Hello Again, I had a Solid Silver cased Russel watch hall marked for London and like yours, It had a Swiss Movement. I think Russel imported a lot of movements and put his name on them. I was real disappointed with this situation and i sold it on. To change subject, i have a bracket clock a 3 train fusee, and it to all intents and purposes its made by J W Benson London , but has made in Germany on the movement. regards, Ged.
I just knew that I had seen the dial before, and THERE IT WAS right there in my Roy Ehrhardt's Trade Marks book all along pg. 19 !!!!
Tom, that watch is really nice, and I love that dial.
Many apologies for the late response to your posting, I've been in France since April, so only just got back and picked it up.
I've just got my watches out of secure storage and not had chance to go through the Russell stuff yet, but will let you know of any similar watches I have.
Ged, please don't be too downcast about the Russell's having 'Swiss Made' stamped on the movement, or even the Benson fusee being 'Made in Germany' it's not as big a deal as you fear.
In truth, if those timepieces were truly "fully" manufactured by those companies, there'd be so few examples around, you'd be looking at the equivalent of funding a purchase approaching the value of a 'Tompion', 'Knibb' or McCabe, probably none of whom ever "fully" manufactured a timepiece anyway!
They all bought in components for movements from individual specialists which they then finished and assembled ...... just as Russell and Benson would have done with their Ebauches!
Most manufacturers of that era, Swiss, British and probably even some American, bought in all their raw movements and refinished them in their own style and standard. (Rolex actually used Cortebert ebauches for their mil PW's, but do buyers devalue them because of this??? Not a bit!)!
Few companies had the financial or engineering capacity, or sufficient product turnover to warrant setting up a mass production factory with machinery to make every single component of a watch, so they simply bought the raw ebauches from the big boys who did nothing but and put their own mark and finish on them.
As the plates had to be engraved with the 'retailer's' name, and the enamel dial to be fired with their brand also, it probably meant a large chunk of hand finishing had to be done in their shops to achieve this, the end result being a far better product.
Russell (and Benson) as individual 'manufacturers' had (and still have) a good reputation for their products which in their day would have protected jealously, so standards would have been set high.
In reality, it was just an earlier form of 'Badge Engineering' which still goes on today, even in other industries besides horology! (AMG for Mercedes, Alpina for BMW etc just to quote the auto industry as an example. Those companies don't make the cars but they do make them one heck of a lot better!).
Personally, I like Russell watches and their ilk, they're nicely finished, and if they turn up at affordable prices, I grab them.
I do hope you didn't 'catch a cold' dumping your Russell though Ged!
That watch looks like it just came out of the factory! Beautiful!
I was confused about this one too, but decided to hang on to it until I knew what it was, or got more information on it. So many fakes out there!
Since I found almost nothing about the watch I decided to hang on to it. I'm glad I did, even if it turned out to be a fake, I could add it to my known fakes, but the trademarks on the dial and the movement led me to believe it was the real thing.
Your information is the first I have seen, with any real information. That's the drawback of trying to use the "Guide" not enough information about watches we know little about.
Even serious searches did almost nothing for me on this one.
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