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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
50 years of accumulating all kinds of watches without regard to a specific model except lately Gruens. My first oldest was 1872 German Grossmann bought from father, who inherited from original Uncle owner, at junk gold price. It sold before I started accumulating mainly gold watches for investment reasons and before developing a technical and historical proper collector interest, for ten times its cost that was a jeweler appraisal not watchmaker's. Like many I tended toward acquiring the finer late 19th century American. Generally ignored the real antiques as too expensive. However, have a few back to early 1700 English and Swiss p.w. and to me interesting w.w. from near 1900. Am starting this thread to hopefully see some real antiques from anywhere that do not often appear as well as anyones' they choose to show. Looking for oldest, not necessarily a best oldest. My oldest is 1723 George Grahm ruby cylinder recased with fresh dial about 1812 so a relatively affordable one from a fine English maker.
 

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Hi Art,

the watch below is neither the oldest I've ever touched nor one with exciting features for its time, but with over 240 years it is the oldest n.o.s. watch I've ever had on my table. This watch got a service before auctioning it, just to make sure that decomposed lubricants didn't harm the bearings within such a long time. And for me as engineer the most exciting about the watch was, that such primitive verge movement could have maximum deviations between any two positions reasonably lower than one minute daily. Moreover isochronism errors between fully wound and after 24 hours could not be noticed without second hand (well lower than 10s/d though) - so the fusee actually did what it was made for. Finally it was the first verge movement my timing machine regarded as ticking object - it could even identify the strange beat rate of 17280 bph.

Never used (or at least scarcely) was on first glance of course only a suspicion, caused by missing signs of use on the rather soft 22K case. But later the watchmaker confirmed that also signs are missing which are visible in a verge movement already after short use, e.g. marks on the polished verge pallets, and prints the chain leaves on the barrel or the blued trigger of the stopwork.

Here further informations about the movement:
bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements : Meyer Paris 15'''

Regards, Roland Ranfft









 

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Well, this one is not mine. It is in the Tompion Exhibit at the NAWCC... but it is an alarm watch circa 1681



tomption pw 1681.jpg

(I wish my pic was better but autofocus does not work well through glass...)
 
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Well, this one is not mine. It is in the Tompion Exhibit at the NAWCC... but it is an alarm watch circa 1681



View attachment 1307847

(I wish my pic was better but autofocus does not work well through glass...)
That watch 1681 uses one of the first spring balance wheels developed by Robert Hooke and Tompion.
Robert Hooke patented the balance spring in 1660, but it is generally accepted that Hook and Huegenes invented it in 1675.
It is a FANTASTIC piece

@Ben
I bow to anyone that ownes a George Graham timepiece - that IS fantastic!
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
All very interesting and informative. And all not known to me. Roland is doing very well to help us better appreciate the old verge movements. But old recased 1812 Grahm movement is from 1723 not 1823. art b.
 

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My oldest is this orphaned V&C movement rescued from fleabay, dates to 1831, likely from a lady's pendant watch. Note the lovely chased cock that spells out "VACHERON&C".
 

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FANTASTIC
 

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I've not ever gotten too heavily into collecting the pre-1850 stuff, but I can really appreciate an excellent piece. Art, I love your ruby cylinder.

Here's my oldest. The case hallmarks date it to 1781. I primarily bought it for the serial number(which fits nicely into another of my collections) but I like the watch for what it is also. This one is a verge fusee.(I think I'll get this one the next time I go to the bank and retake the photos). I don't have a photo of the outer case of the pair case.



 

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Great watches.

Ben is that serial No1? amazing, diamond endstone and all, great old verge.

Tick Talk, that is the oldest V&C I've ever seen, from a time before V&C produced the very first
machine made watches with interchangeable parts, great to see.

Art, I've saw your Graham before but liked very much seeing it again, a very important watch indeed.

Baillies 'Watch and Clockmakers' has a section on George Graham with some known dates of several serial numbers.
The book states that Graham was making Verge watches until 1726 and then mainly Cylinders after that date.

The dateable serial numbers which are closest to that of your watch (5571) are....No 5260 which dates to 1735 and
No 5610 which dates to 1745.
If this info is correct then your watch will date probably 1744 as the serial number is only 39 watches away from the 'known'
1745 watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Seems to me these small verge movements were European made over a long time period thus I guess hard to date without known records? art b.
 

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I found this Tompion pocket watch on the .net.... not the same watch but it gives a much better idea on the technology in use in the late 1600s. The brass pillars were in use for another two centuries in English pocket watches...

PW X  from the net.jpg

And parts are pinned instead of screwed because it was so hard to make screws.
 
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