A very rare early 19th century solid silver English chain fusee pocket watch with a rare slow beat (half-seconds) lever escapement by Thomas Yates of Preston. The movement ticking away very strongly and keeps good time, and just cleaned and overhauled by my watch-maker. The watch made by the important watch maker, Thomas Yates of Friargate, Preston and a 1/2 seconds (10,000 bph) beating fusee lever with additional stamps from Samuel Quilliam of Liverpool to both the case and movement top plate (instead of the more usual 14,400 bph, 4 x 60 x60). See "The Fusee Lever Watch" by Dr. Robert Kemp, pages 63 - 69, for further information and also Antiquarian Horlogy, 1984, Dec. 1984 and references therein.
There is an English Patent No of 11443 for this slow beat lever by Thomas Yates of Preston. This type of escapement was devised by Thomas Yates and patented in November 1846; patent no. 11443. Yates idea at the time was that by increasing the nominal weight of the balance wheel, and at the same changing the train wheel count, it would work in a more efficent manner. However, much has been said of the ability of this escapement to over-bank, suffer adversely from knocks or shocks and come to an abrupt stop. This is no doubt a factor of the delicate nature of the set-up and the finisher of the movement. Many are inferior, but those that came through the Quilliam works-shop, show great attention to detail in terms of finish and polish to pinions, pivots, wheels and jewels. This watch is a rare example of a fuly signed Quilliam finished watch as shown in detail in this listing, stamped to dial, movement and the case, with a unique Quilliam number and Yates numbering. Yates slow beat watches in full working order are now becoming increasingly rare and this escapement when correctly set up is a joy to watch and use in the pocket.This is a beautifully made English key-wound man's pocket watch, dating from ca. 1872, from the Victorian period.
THE DIAL: 95% mint, the the ivory colored dial with fine black Arabic numerals, with a few very faint hairlines as shown. The dial with blued steel spade hands and large subsidary seconds dial. Diameter is 47 mm. The dial with the inscription, "Thomas Yates, Friargate, Preston". The watch with a clean original glass.
THE MOVEMENT: 100% mint, with superb gilding and a full plate and key set. A silvered steel regulator, and ruby endstone setting, and blued steel screws. The movement jewelled to the balance staff and escape wheel, with a gold jewel setting, held in place by two small screws. The watch with a shiny steel escape wheel and finely engraved balance cock, stamped "Patent". The watch is key-wind and comes with a key, winding through the back and sually hand-set through the front. The movement size is 37 mm diameter. The movement clearly signed, Thomas Yates of Preston, No 5849 and the balance marked "patent", and with the characterstic slow grand-father clock tick typical of his work. The top plate stamped "Q" and 19100, no doubt for Samuel Qulliam of Preston who made a number of these movements for Yates. For further information, see "The Fusee Lever Watch" by Dr. Robert Kemp, pages 63 - 69.
English fusee watches of this period with genuine slow beat escapements are very rare and those by Thomas Yates of Preston, highly sought after and rarely seen today. The watch runs the full length of the fusee chain and comes with a winding key, with the movement wound anti-clock-wise through the back cover and the hands set via the centre square when the front bezel is open.
THE CASE: 100%, the solid silver case measures 53 mm outside diameter. The solid 9k gold hinges are excellent with the case closing tightly, and the bow is original to the case. This is a double-bottomed case and the movement swings out from the front. The watch with Chester hall marks and sterling silver stamps and case number of 19100. The top pendant and bow also in fine condition, and with an engraved cartouche to the case back. The case inside cover stamped by the case maker or sponsor "CJ". This is a high quality and rare English slow beat pocket watch, a work of art in its own right and of jewel like quality.