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Squiffything

Unknown pocket watch

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I have today picked up a pocket watch to play with and try and get working. I have no knowledge at all what it is so am asking the collective for any information and help. 

The movement is loose and has two steel bands inside one of which has rusted. The hands are not there but will be arriving at the weekend. There is no glass so will need to be sourced. I’m not sure if the case is gold, plated or whatever but it will need a polish, any suggestions.

 

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Thank you Nickelsilver. Ok it’s a fusee movement in reasonable condition and one I don’t think I should mess about with. On the movement is 3839 and in a different place Patent so not sure if that is the patent number or movement type. 

It has a gold stamp (crown) with 18 underneath and there is on EBay at the moment a very similar watch with the same case (slightly different) which is listed as three colour gold which this appears to be. 

There is a stamp mark which appears to be JLS & Co but I cannot find them listed. Ok I got a little fed up with hundreds of sites for some kids boy band and gave up :(

 

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Looks like an English fuse pocket watch. They are entirely different to what I would call an average pocket watch movement. If you have never repaired, a fusee you need to read up and understand how the fusee works. You must be extremely careful with the chain. If the case is gold it will be hallmarked and you will be able to date it. I would say its around 1840. 

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The stamps are faint the crown with 18 under I believe is the mark for gold the others not sure about possibly an S date stamp. 

Could be JLS&C.

as mentioned I do not intend to mess with this one other than test it once I find a key.

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It’s hard to show on a phone camera but the face, after a quick clean has come up lovely. You can see three colours of the gold which I think is white, rose and yellow. 

Now just have to order a new glass and await the hands. Any advice on what glass I should look for?

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I would wait until you have it assembled then measure the height of the centre wheel and see what clearance you will have between the tip of the minute hand to the bezel. It should be glass and not that plastic stuff. Depending on the inside, lip of the bezel should give you a good idea on the thickness.   

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If the S is the hallmark it looks like Oldhippy was pretty on the money as its 1833.

http://www.thebigworld.co.uk/dating_english_hallmarks_silver_and_gold.htm

As oldhippy says you need to do some research before touching this watch it is completely different to modern watches.

The best book I've seen on how to strip down and service these watches is by Archie B Perkins 'Antique Watch Restoration Volume 1', but its expensive at £75.

A much cheap but not as good book is 'The Pocket watch' Restoration, Maintenance and Repair by Christopher Barrow, although his book does cop some criticism, but does have good colour photos in it.

There looks to be something wrong with the hinge plate that the dial is pinned to. It should have pillars coming down to pin it to the movement, but I can't see any and it looks like the pillars may still be in the movement, so they may of been pulled out of the hinge plate and will need to be rivetted back in or replaced.

If you can give a good photo of the hinge plate I'm sure OH will be able to say for sure.

What a great find, I'm very jealous.

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Another issue is that the back plate of the case is stuck firm I can see that there is a hinge for it and I thing that it should be opened by a button on the top. This should press down onto the rusted steel plate inside the rim of the case. Does anyone know if these can be bought as spare parts? How are they removed?

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The case springs do turn up on ebay from time to time, there are several lots on ebay now, but not sure if they are correct for your watch.

Do an ebay search for 'pocket watch case spring'

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As a side note normally you would remove the pin on the hinge to remove the whole movement from the case and after removing the hands then remove the dial and hinge plate from the movement.

If you don't have the taper pins to reattach use brass, not steel taper pins to attach the hinge plate to the movement

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My Brother in law clears garages and lockup’s and found it years ago. Never did anything with it but thought it was too nice to throw away. Bought it up at the weekend and is coming up on Sat again and will bring the hands which he has. As you said lucky it wasn’t scrapped.

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I have not explained myself clearly. The pillars that should be attached to the dial are in the movement, the pillars that are attached to the bracket fit into the holes that the broken pillars are in.

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