A very rare solid silver English, chain fusee Massey 1 crank-lever pocket watch made in Liverpool in the early-19th century. The movement ticking away very strongly and keeps good time, and just cleaned and overhauled by my watch-maker. The watch with a rare Gothic dial and Massey 1 variant lever, so a rare pocket watch, capable of keeping very good time. This is a beautifully made English keyless-wound man's pocket watch, dating from ca. 1832, from the Regency period. The watch is clearly marked sterling silver and with English hall-marks. The watch is in full working order and comes complete with a presentation box.
THE DIAL: 90% mint, with the ivory dial with Gothic numerals anda white large subsidary seconds dial in bright condition, with hairlines to dial as shown and a mark to seconds dial. The dial with black minute markers to the outside edge. Dial with blue steel spade hands. Diameter is 47 mm. The original glass is also in excellent condition.
THE MOVEMENT: 100% mint, with finely mercurial gilded full plate and engraved balance cock foot. The balance cock nicely engraved and with a substantial end-stone. A shiny blued steel Bosley regulator, and endstone setting, blue steel screws. A rare uncut early three arm steel balance, with flat hairspring and jewelled to the balance staff. The watch a rare Massey 1 crank lever in very good condition. The movement with lots of nice features such as an extended fusee ratchet spring, and Harrison's maintaining power and finely engraved balance cock.
On the movement top plate it is numbered, 6179 and made by P. Ward of Liverpool. The watch is key-wound, and set through the back and comes with a key. The movement overhaul in superb order showing very little wear and excellent gilding to the plates.
Edward Massey (born in 1772) and settled in London at 28 King Street, Clerkenwell. He invented the Massey lever escapement and this was patented on November 6th 1814. He went on to develop and improve his escapement with the Massey No 1, 2, 3, and 5. The Massey lever was preferred to the Rack lever at this time and used extensively by the better quality Liverpool watch-makers. There are also subtle variations, some with limited draw and also those with different profiles to the pallet shape. (See Britten, Bailey, Loomes etc and most importantly the key document by Alan Treherne who classified these escapements into the series 1-5).
In terms of rarity, the Massey 3 is the most common of these escapements; next up in the uncommon category is the Massey 2; then the Massey 3B, followed by the rare Massey 1, and then the very rare Massey 5 escapement. The Massey 4 is an exceptionally rare watch and it is unlikely you will ever see one.
THE CASE: 90% mint, the very substantial and original solid silver case measures an impressive 51 mm outside diameter. The hinges are excellent with the case covers all closing tightly, and the bow is original to the case. The watch case with London hall marks and sterling stamps. This is a very good quality case, with a shield and garter to rear cover and with an engraved case band. The case with the silver sponsor mark of "W.H.". The top pendant and bow also in fine condition and pretty engraving to inner dust cover winding hole. The case band with strongly engraved ribbed decoration and shield and garter to centre of rear cover. The rear cover with a number of small dings, easily removable by a silver/gold smith. The watch case has not been buffed up or over-polished as seems to be the case so often with early watches offered on eBay.