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E. Howard Experimental Series, Major Find. "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Vice President
Pitfalls Moderator
IHC Life Member
Picture of Edward L. Parsons, Jr.
posted
This watch is a home run out of the park on so many different levels it makes a truly memorable posting, and then it is made even better by Chris's fantastic photos and Dr. Geller's insightful comments.


Best Regards,

Ed
 
posted
Chris,
I've been looking forward all day to seeing what new comments have been posted. Thank you for providing the extra photos and your theory on the "N.N." . The latter seems a bit far fetched but, who's to say? Was Howard using any size
letters at this early date? I think the "K" may
have been but were there "N"s that early? No need to respond, I'll crack open a book. Roll Eyes

I have all the usual prying questions too like, where did you find it and was there any provenance associated with it? I will be content to wait on this if you intend to give the story in an article at at some point. I'm envisioning the Bulletin's first centerfold!

Clint, Thanks for getting the info on the screw.
It would be my bet that Gold's #5 is another one of these experimental designs. It is a vastly more beautifully designed watch than #3,126 but it's condition is a bag of bones compared to Chris' watch though.

I am looking forward to all details. Is the barrel made of two or three pieces? Oh yeah, does it run?

Enjoy the ride learning about this Chris. One of the gifts of owning a major watch is the opportunity to learn.
-Cort
 
IHC Life Member
Certified Watchmaker
Picture of Chris Abell
posted
Hi Cort

Yes indeed, who is to say about the N.N. no doubt one of our experts will one day find a document explaining the marking but until then, I like to enjoy the Latin theory after all it was a live language and commonly taught in the 1800s in fact I still remember Mass being said in Latin. Smile

Does the watch run?,

quote:
When I received the watch, unfortunately it was not in running condition . After consulting with a expert on cleaning methods, I carried out a careful and respectful restoration


The only thing I would say is the amplitude is a little lower than ideal due to a tired mainspring, being what could well be the original I reused it not wishing to detract in anyway from it current historical condition, however should it, or have been found broken I would replace with similar type of course. The beat is still perfect and remains set as found.

You asked about the pallet, here is another photo that may interest you.
Also you can make out on the plate the No 8, which was found on all plates.
Not a bad watch to start my E Howard collection Big Grin Smile
Until now I only had a few Howard Keystones, Wink

 
E. Howard Expert
Picture of Dr. Clint Geller
posted
Is the "N.N." marking known elsewhere in horology? If the same marking is known to appear on some other, unrelated watch of another manufacturer, I might be much more persuaded by Chris' suggestion. At very least, this would rule out any connection to the plate diameter, or to a specific person's initials. Thus, we might eventually settle on Chris' thesis by a process of elimination of plausible alternatives. It seems to me that if this Latin phrase were in widespread use, we would see other instances of it on watches.

The only Latin phrase I know definitely to have been engraved on another watch is "Invenit et Fecit," on early pocket chronometers by John Arnold (and possibly also Thomas Earnshaw, who disputed Arnold's claim of invention to the detent escapement). Was this latter phrase ever known to have been abbreviated?
 
IHC Life Member
Certified Watchmaker
Picture of Chris Abell
posted
Please don’t carried away with my interpretation of this, just my bit of fun on the N.N. theme in the absence of any hard facts.

Veritas !

PS (post scriptum ) N.N. is/was a used abreviation, just as much as, VS versus, e.g. ejusdem generis;
exempli gratia of a like kind
for example; dto, dito same as; qed, to name but a few Etc!.
 
posted
great find Chris. and in wonderful condition.

Is there a story to be told on how you found/identified it?

thanks for posting.
 
IHC Life Member
Certified Watchmaker
Picture of Chris Abell
posted
Hi Charles,

The Story of identifying the item all came from available information on the net. Time and time again all the information lead to Dr Gellers web writings, and research from his many articles.

Once I was sure about the find I contacted him directly who assured me of his confidentiality until ready to post the find on CH185 and also his CH174 site

As to how and where……………. Big Grin Wink Big Grin
 
E. Howard Expert
Picture of Dr. Clint Geller
posted
Chris,

Thank you for your kind words. I checked with a friend, Craig Risch (FNAWCC) who is an expert on high end English watches and technical watches and he is not familiar with "N.N." ever appearing on another watch.

Clint
 
posted
Thanks Chris

Big Grin Wink Big Grin Smile
 
Picture of Joel W. Sarich
posted
WOW! not much more I can say right now. Congratulations on a wonderful find, Chris! I'm glad to know that there are still some rare finds out there!
Cheers!
Joel Sarich
 
IHC Member 376
Watchmaker
Picture of Samie L. Smith
posted
Chris what a great watch all i can say is (WOW)

ALWAYS GREAT TO HAVE BOTH A RARE WATCH AND ONE IN TOP CONDITION AT THE SAME TIME THIS ONE LOOKS TO BE IN BEAUTIFUL CONDITION. Smile
 
E. Howard Expert
Picture of Dr. Clint Geller
posted
Here is an updated link to the article (with figures, now) on the Chapter 174 website:

http://www.pockethorology.org/howard-research/experimental/experimental.html
 
IHC Life Member
Certified Watchmaker
Picture of Chris Abell
posted
Have been trying to follow up on Hobart Williams
this so far one that seems to drop in correct era,

"The Hobart W. Williams Professorship was created in 1945 and funded through
a gift of the net income from the trust estate given by Williams in 1916.
Born in Chicago in 1837, Williams built a very successful career in real
estate, business and public service.

See: http://chronicle.uchicago.edu/960118/faculty.shtml

Any suggestion on how to follow this up?,
 
E. Howard Expert
Picture of Dr. Clint Geller
posted
Certainly the owner of this watch was an affluent person, or at least came from an affluent family. If Chris has indeed found THE Hobart Williams, Chris' information would have made him 25 years old in 1862. (Hey, I can count!) I found a different GOOGLE hit for a Hobart Williams who was age 21 around 1862 and served as a junior officer in the civil war - more romantic, if relevant. The trouble is, while Hobart Williams isn't quite John Smith, it's not quite Englebert Humperdinck either, so how to be sure you've got the right one? Is anything about the provenance of the watch known that could narrow things down?
 
IHC Life Member
Certified Watchmaker
Picture of Chris Abell
posted
Its a long shot for sure, Hobart is a strange name, he would have to come from/or moved in the right circles to have been given the watch. Possibly a link to Howard. With it being a experimental watch I doubt this would have been sold??? Would not these have been research watches only?. How would a person get hold of one of these? I am thinking the only way to get one by special award gift from the factory.
I was wondering if the Hobart I found, was important enough maybe to have a documented evidence than most!.
 
E. Howard Expert
Picture of Dr. Clint Geller
posted
Chris,

You raise interesting questions about how these special Howard watches may have gotten out of the factory. Alas the relevant factory records appear to be lost to posterity. Helical hairspring movement S# 3,120 , which I believe, but cannot prove absolutely, is still in its original case, bears the inscription, "Rev. G. H. Minor," followed by a date in 1870. Some interesting early Howards, and related watches by G. P. Reed [who probably made both your watch and S# 3,120] have turned up in odd places. For instance, S# 132, the first watch of Howard's divided plate keywinid ("Series I") design to leave the factory, is in an original case, with an S# matching the movement, bearing both the Samuel Baldwin reversible case patent and a retailer's mark "Ben. F. Crane, St. Louis"! Similarly, G. P. Reed S# 4 is in an original silver case (the case "S#," 1862, matches the patent date engraved on the movement and inscribed on the dial) bearing the rare maker's mark of P. A. Giannini of San Francisco! (This movement, named "Chronomentor," which started out to be a conscious immitation of the Waltham chronodrometer, has a Reed's patent duplex escapement [one of 2 examples known].
Go figure the unlikely provenances!
 
IHC Life Member
Certified Watchmaker
Picture of Chris Abell
posted
Interesting point that Reed himself may have made this watch.
Here is another photograph I would like to add, showing the balance wheel with Howard style countersunk balance screws clearly shown (no slots), the overcoil and the deeply blued arms.

 
E. Howard Expert
Picture of Dr. Clint Geller
posted
Great picture.
 
IHC Life Member
Certified Watchmaker
Picture of Chris Abell
posted
Here is a picture of the Reeds assy.

 
IHC Life Member
Certified Watchmaker
Picture of Chris Abell
posted
Note the lower barrel is fixed into the plate and held in place by two screws on the underside

 
IHC Life Member
South-Bend
Picture of Frank Kusumoto
posted
The quality of these pictures is really terrible. I can't even tell what kind of watch this is. I think for sure Chris got a chinese knockoff! I'll giv'em ten bucks for it so at least he's not totally out of luck. I must see twenty of these watches every time I go down to Paris, Texas.

Frank
 
Picture of Frank Juchniewicz
posted
Hi Chris
I don't know what it looked like before restoration, but the after pictures are what some might call "eye candy",for lack of a better word.Great find congratulations.

Frank
 
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