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I purchased 3 broken watch's last week as scrap but one looks like it might be worth repairing . Its a Hunter pocket watch and it has a number on the face 14342 along with some silver marks and IMC . The cover is missing but the face is in good condition apart from a hair line crack .I have opened it up and it is looks like the signature says Jac McCabe ,Royal exchange . Any information about the date ,information on the maker and is it worth repairing ? The watch owes me nothing as the other watch's i bought with it will cover the cost if I resell them .If worth repairing does anyone know where this can be done ?

Thanks Steve 

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Edited by stevenwood3
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OMG! That is so SWEET!  Where did you find it?  At a guess, I might say early 1800s.  Key wind in back, key set on center wheel arbor.  Verge and fusee.  Old.  Real old.  I will have to research the maker.  There were so many coming and going back then. 

I hope it won't need any parts; some of those will be hard to come by.  Time to hit the web.

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10 minutes ago, KarlvonKoln said:

OMG! That is so SWEET!  Where did you find it?  At a guess, I might say early 1800s.  Key wind in back, key set on center wheel arbor.  Verge and fusee.  Old.  Real old.  I will have to research the maker.  There were so many coming and going back then. 

I hope it won't need any parts; some of those will be hard to come by.  Time to hit the web.

Thanks for the information KarlvonKoln . Has anyone got anything more precise information about date and repair etc .Thank you  

Edited by stevenwood3
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For getting a new cover, I can say a prayer, cross my fingers, and direct you to auction sites like Ebay.

For the movement, I have not repaired a watch that old yet, and it would be hard to diagnose accurately through forum posts.  If you have the key, you could give it just a couple gentle winds and describe what it does. 

Lastly, would you suppose the inscription might actually read "Jas. McCabe" ("Jas." being short for James). Because he was pretty well known apparently.   Here's a link to another of his watches: 

https://antiquewatchstore.com/archive/1113-jas-mccabe-royal-exchange-london-no-04779.html

Edited by KarlvonKoln
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8 hours ago, stevenwood3 said:

Any information about the date ,information on the maker and is it worth repairing ?

The biggest problem with helping you with your question is your pictures are too fuzzy.

On the back of the watch case most your questions can be answered. There's a makers Mark unless the maker is really popular probably nothing will be found for that. But as required by the government there should be a mark indicating sterling silver. There'll be an assay mark of where it was assayed like London or some other city. Then there is the date code it's a letter in a symbol. Just having the case narrows down a whole bunch of information but you do have to build the see the symbols clearly. So Google English hallmarks on watch cases and there's all kinds of websites that should have the hallmark information.

8 hours ago, stevenwood3 said:

and is it worth repairing ? The watch owes me nothing as the other watch's i bought with it will cover the cost if I resell them .If worth repairing does anyone know where this can be done ?

There's a lot of problems with your question. First off you have zero sentimental value to it that's bad. In other words if this was your great-grandfather's watch that would be better. The problem with watches like this is the English made a lot of them and unless there's something that we don't know which is always possible the only value it has is the silver case. This is why you see the movements come up on eBay because they been stripped of their cases and more value.

I'm not trying to say you can't find a hidden gem the other day someone came in with an Omega chronograph. He paid nine dollars for it in the local thrift store. It's probably worth easily several thousand dollars. Although it did suffer a decrease in value when he attempted to refinish the case himself. But still the movement is easily worth over $1000 somewhere out there.

The easiest way to answer the question is how much do you want to spend? Unless you can find a hobbyist who likes working on vintage watches if you take this anywhere for repair its vintage. The problem with the vintage is there are no parts for this watch anything that's missing or broken will have to be fabricated. Unfortunately silly watchmakers think they're entitled to making a living and that means it's not going to be cheap to get this watch fixed. It would help if you are located in the United Kingdom as there would be more likely to find the watchmaker who knows what to do with it versus other parts of the world were conceivably they've never seen a watch like this.

Then we really do need better pictures it looks like may be perhaps the fusee chain is still on the fusee which is good as opposed to someone liberated that before they sold it to you. It's probably a verge escapement but the pictures are not good enough to tell.

 

 

 

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I'm going to echo some of what JohnR725 said: if your phone or camera has the capability, posting the clearest and most detailed photos you can would help us help you best.  One photo should include the entire backplate (fill the whole frame with it edge to edge).  Same way with the dial.  A few pics of the internals of the movement from all around, as close and clear as possible, can help too.  A detailed pic of any case marks you find will be very helpful.  There seems to be a mark on the pendant too, but I think I know what that is.
Doing case restoration, something I've recently entered into, can be an entirely different sort of watch repair.  It's more akin to some varieties of auto body repair.  I could make a new cover for that case - PROVIDED that I could satisfy a few requirements:
~ I'd need access to a lathe, and an attachment to do metal spinning, and I do not yet have these things.
~ I'd definitely request an advance, so as to purchase a thick sheet of the correct grade of silver.
~ Many measurements would be taken of the case - diameter = ID of needed lip, OD of case where cover edge would meet it, internal height needed, height of the catch and how far out it projects, and likely more.  
~ I could hammer it over a buck (form) and I *would* need to create the buck anyway, but I'm more familiar with getting good results from spinning.  Then I would need to measure as I go, spin a bit and compress a bit, measure again, repeat, repeat, repeat, until internal measurements are met. Then you form and adjust the lip.  Buff and polish out the spinning marks. Then you grind the site for the case hinge.  The hinge tubes can be formed on a mandrel.  Those tubes just get brazed in place. Then I'd use a very-slightly-smaller steel rod as a temporary hinge pin while I test the overall fit of the cover.  If it works well, it goes on with a permanent pin.  If not, more fiddly adjusting.
~ What can be done if the back displays an engraved design that was once mirrored on the front cover?  Or that would look odd if the front cover lacked a similar design?  Well, I don't do engraving yet, but I imagine that some jeweler or artist who could replicate *that* could then probably charge whatever he wanted.  With enough resources, I could make you a plain cover, and that alone would be expensive.  Beyond that, it would rapidly grow cost-prohibitive unless that watch was of extraordinary value.

Getting it running is a different ball game, but there are similarities.  Some parts may need to be repaired/restored rather than replaced (due to lack of replacements available) but some may need to be completely fabricated, entirely remade.  That's possible.  That's also expensive too.  But judging that, long distance, may be hard even with good pics.  We don't mind trying though.  We like to look at watches as much as we like to fiddle with them.  So let's tackle this together and see just how much of this could be done.  Who knows, someone here may know someone, and they have the parts and/or know how, and you have a fine running antique in the end.  At least now you know that you face a bit of an investment here.

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Possibly James McCabe, in which case somewhere between 1778 and 1883. See attached extract from Baillie's "Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World".

The hall marks on the case will give you the date of the case which may help or may confuse as the movement may well have been recased.

Some clearer pics of the movement details, particularly side on showing the pillars may help.

 

McCabe.pdf

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24 minutes ago, Marc said:

Possibly James McCabe, in which case somewhere between 1778 and 1883. See attached extract from Baillie's "Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World".

The hall marks on the case will give you the date of the case which may help or may confuse as the movement may well have been recased.

Some clearer pics of the movement details, particularly side on showing the pillars may help.

 

McCabe.pdf 957.63 kB · 2 downloads

Thanks Just posting new photos 

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I have had a look at the case marks and think it dates from 1890 but is too late for the maker .It is an original case as the number on the dial is stamped on the case .Posted some more photos and hopefully will be a bit clearer .Thanks 

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Your pictures are definitely better than last time and I see something puzzling. I need a slightly different picture to confirm something it looks like it may have an English lever escapement versus the verge. It's just not quite sharp enough and?

Going back through your pictures you have one but it's definitely too fuzzy you can see the escapement a little bit on one side of the post it be nice to get that sharp from each side of the post. There is something that just isn't quite right about this it's definitely not a verge escapement but it may not be in English lever either it probably is but it may not be we need a better picture. Things become much more interesting if it's not in English lever. But even in English lever is interesting because, we need more pictures.

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I have uploaded some more photos but if these don't tell you what you need to know then i will get a friend who has a better camera to upload some for me but i think these will be ok . The case maker stamp is JD . Thanks  

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@JohnR725 - Are we looking at some form of pin-pallet English lever?  I'm guessing you may have seen older pieces than I.  For this one, I agree with you: looking at the angle the escapement sits, I can only guess English lever too, and it looks like it has pins.  And @stevenwood3 those newer pics are a great help, BTW.  It's hard to tell too much by the pics alone, but the movement looks clean and well-kept so far.  The staffs and arbors *seem* pretty straight and unbroken from what I can see. If the mainspring is not broken and the motion works are good, this watch might run.  In which instance, it's possible that the primary repair here could be the case itself.  But, as JohnR725 hinted at, that's a somewhat unusual watch.

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2 hours ago, KarlvonKoln said:

@JohnR725 - Are we looking at some form of pin-pallet English lever?  I'm guessing you may have seen older pieces than I.  For this one, I agree with you: looking at the angle the escapement sits, I can only guess English lever too, and it looks like it has pins.  And @stevenwood3 those newer pics are a great help, BTW.  It's hard to tell too much by the pics alone, but the movement looks clean and well-kept so far.  The staffs and arbors *seem* pretty straight and unbroken from what I can see. If the mainspring is not broken and the motion works are good, this watch might run.  In which instance, it's possible that the primary repair here could be the case itself.  But, as JohnR725 hinted at, that's a somewhat unusual watch.

Thanks for the reply , i don't know much about the workings of watch's but it seems like the spring is broken because when you wind it up it clicks like it is winding for two turns then sounds like it releases the tension off the spring and seems to whiz.

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5 hours ago, KarlvonKoln said:

If the mainspring is not broken and the motion works are good, this watch might run. 

 

Then thanks for reminding me I was going to send pictures of the movement to a friend who understands the various forms of lever escapement's to see if he can see anything different than what I've seen.

Also I emailed the engraving to a friend who does engraving and yes she would like to have better pictures isn't that surprising. Interestingly she comes up with a slightly different translation than we did but once again she thought lighting was Critical and would be helpful to have better lighting. "Ian McCane"   maybe "Ian McLane". Yes she was very insistent that the first name does not start with the letter J.

To help out for the discussion I found a helpful link.

Understand my texture going to have to multitask between the text the images I snipped out and the link below. Then ideally should probably read all the text of the link below anyway there might be something helpful I just like the pictures there.

First off it occurred to me that it be really helpful if you would separate the movement from the case I think that would help considerably. In one of the images I drew a green line through a picture I swiped off the website. The silver case is hinged together but the movement is also hinged to the silver case. Normally will see a brass pin usually it's tapered. So you look at each end one will be smaller than the other hopefully sometimes it could be straight. You need to push that out then you'll separate the movement from the case. But it doesn't seem to push or you have a confusion don't do anything and break something.

In the first image on the website you get a better idea of the layout of the watch and the fusee.

The fusee is there to equalize the force of poorly made mainspring. When the Watch is unwound the chain should be wrapped around the mainspring barrel. In the image the chain is wrapped around the fusee barrel which it normally would be only if the watch is wound up. For the picture purpose they wrapped it around the fusee because otherwise it will fall off the  barrel as there's nothing to hold it in place if there is no main spring force. In other words if you look at the barrel the  side is smooth.

As your fusee chain is entirely wrapped around the fusee barrel it is wound up. I'm not going go into the details but in the second picture there is a lever with the spring the purpose of that is to keep you from winding past fully wound up. But if the end of the chain is no longer attached to the barrel  it doesn't matter whether the spring is broken or not if the chain is no longer attached either because it broke that would be bad or it came un looked that would be better. If you can wind the watch and you see the fusee rotating but you feel no force the chain is not functioning correctly. You may actually see the end of the chain if you're lucky I thought it was in one of the pictures?

Then while looking for a better picture of I thought I saw the end of the fusee chain in the middle watch I did notice better image of the lever. So I snipped out one of your images the banking pins I marked in pink. The end of the lever I put a little box around it. I snipped out an image off the website showing the lever and escape wheel up close.

So it appears to be a lever but there are lots and lots of variations of levers especially in the early days and something still doesn't look quite right but it may just because the pictures don't have enough depth of field. Separating the movement from the case would really help for photo purposes. Then of course better photography preferably with better depth of field.

http://oxfordpocketwatches.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-fusee-watch.html

 

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As I indicated above I did email the best pictures that I could see of all the pictures and I'm pasting the answer below. To really go beyond we need better pictures.

Then the definition a better pictures is the impossible picture? There's a reference to the roller table which is totally invisible at all these pictures. In the early days of lever escapement's there are lots of variations of things. So the roller table located underneath everything engaging with the lever might have something clever. If your watchmaker with a loop it's easy enough to look in. Photographing that would be quite a challenge unless you knew exactly what you're doing. Then attempting to remove the balance wheel would not recommend unless you have experience with watches of this type. As because removing the balance bridge does not allow you to remove the balance wheel without underpinning the hairspring. Typically the hairsprings are pinned to the main plate.

You will notice the reference to conversion to lever escapement. As technology changed the early movements would transition into newer movements. So basically they will take their older movements and start to add bits and pieces of newer technology on to them rather than making an entirely new watches.

 

 

As for the fusee, I really can't make out any details about the escapement from those poor photos. It looks like a standard lever escapement but it has a verge style balance cock. The case marks look like London, 1830. This would be way too early for a standard lever escapement. Perhaps it started out its life as a verge and was converted to a lever at a later date. I'm pretty sure that the signature is James McCabe - a well known and collectible watchmaker. It would be interesting to see more details of the roller table. This could, for example, be a Massey lever. Better pictures would help.

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