- Museum number
MOVEMENT & DIAL OF A RATCHET-TOOTH LEVER WATCH WITH QUARTER-REPEAT.
Pendant operated quarter-repeat sounding on two gongs.
Full-plate; fusee, Harrison's maintaining-power.
Ratchet-tooth lever-escapement, Earnshaw compensation balance.
Hands; blued steel, not matching.
Winds through dial.
- Production date
Diameter: 42.40 millimetres (back-plate)
Diameter: 51 millimetres (dial)
Thickness: 16 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Comment from Richard Good, Catalogue of Watches in the British Museum. Vol. V (Unpublished manuscript)
Switzerland or France, c. 1850
Movement of a ratchet tooth lever watch with quarter repeat
Signature: On the dial 'BREGUET' in very small lettering.
Dial & Hands: A domed dial with Arabic numerals. Blued-steel moon-pattern hands.
The watch is wound through the dial.
Dial-plate: None intended, the dial is pinned directly to the movement front plate.
Dust-cap: None intended.
Ebauche Marks: 47946 and stamped HLB in a rectangular cameo surround, the H and L conjoined.
Frame: A full plate movement with the back plate cut out for the barrels and fourth wheel, with a separate bridge for each of the two barrels. There is a separate cock for the fourth and escape wheel pivots screwed to the front plate. It is crudely made from plain brass and the hole for the fourth wheel has been altered in shape. There is also a combined cock for the pallets, escape wheel and rear fourth wheel pivot on the back plate. A second cock for the front fourth wheel pivot has a foot which is directly below the rear cock on the outside of the back plate. The two cocks are then secured to the back plate by a common screw. This composite fourth-wheel cock is not original.(2) The movement is numbered 47946 under the barrel bridge and on the insides of the front and back plates. The balance cock is engraved all over with foliate scrolls and a fine lozenge pattern on the foot.(3)
Fusee, Barrel and Mainspring:
Fusee: 4 3/4-turn fusee with Harrison's maintaining power, the maintaining ratchet wheel of steel.
Barrel: internal diameter 16.0 mm, height 3.2 mm, with a recessed cover. The mainspring set-up work is mounted on the barrel bridge.
Mainspring: height 3.2 mm, thickness 0.23 mm.
Barrel Arbor: diameter 5.2 mm, not snailed.
Train: polished brass wheels, the centre, third and fourth wheels with five crossings.
Jewelling: Jewelled bearings for the escape wheel and balance only. Ruby endstones in screwed settings for the balance.
Escapement: An obtuse-angle layout ratchet tooth lever escapement(4) with short lever, single roller and D-shaped impulse pin. The enclosed pallet stones have convex impulse and locking faces. The plain brass escape wheel has three crossings of plain brass.
An equal impulse escapement.
No. of teeth embraced 32.
Balance & Spring: A split bimetallic balance with gold compensation and quarter screws, diameter 16.8 mm, thickness 1.0 mm. A blued-steel flat spiral spring with 17 turns attached to a stud on the balance cock.
Means of Regulation: An index on the balance cock registers against a divided scale with 'SLOW' and 'FAST' engraved on the balance cock table.
Train Counts and Beat Rate:
Great wheel 66 (fusee)
Centre wheel 64 pinion 10
Third wheel 50 pinion 6
Fourth wheel 42 pinion 6
Escape wheel 15 pinion 7
Beat rate: 16,000
Motion work: cannon pinion 12
minute wheel 36, minute pinion 10
hour wheel 40
Repeating work: pendant-operated quarter repeat mechanism with chain drive, striking on two blued-steel, round-section wire gongs screwed to the inside of the front-plate. The speed of striking is controlled by a depthed pinion which is now missing. The 'all or nothing' piece is of the pivoted lever type which carries the hour snail and its star wheel.
Repeating barrel: internal diameter 8.8 mm, height 2.00 mm.
Mainspring: height 2.0 mm, thickness 0.16 mm.
Barrel Arbor: diameter 2.7 mm, not snailed.
Winding System: Key wound through the dial.
Movement: diameter 51.0 mm, height 15.5 mm, pillar height 2.9 mm.
Provenance: Formerly in the Ilbert Collection. Ilbert purchased this from Belk 14/7/1932
(1) Although signed 'BREGUET' this watch is a contemporary fake, probably of Swiss origin but modified in England at a later date.
(2) This composite cock is not original. The hole in the plate for the fourth wheel has either been newly cut or enlarged, leaving a threaded hole and a steady pin hole half cut through. This large aperture also encroaches on the sink for the third wheel pivot hole.
(3) The design of this balance cock, the style of decoration on it and the fact that it is inscribed 'SLOW' and 'FAST', while the repeat adjustment is inscribed V and L for vite and lentement, suggests an English or Swiss export origin. It should also be noted that the back plate, in the area of the balance cock has been plugged and the whole plate re-gilded.
(4) The replacement balance cock and fourth wheel assembly together with the various plugged holes in the back plate suggest strongly that the whole escapement and balance are also later modifications. However in view of the difficulty of determining the nature of the original escapement it has been decided that this watch should be included in this catalogue.
- Not on display
Latest: 3 (2017)
2 (Oct 1995)
5 (Oct 1995)
3 (Sep 1995)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Following the successful acquisition of the celebrated Ilbert collection of clocks (1958,1006 collection), prints and other related materials made possible by the generous donation of funds by Gilbert Edgar CBE Ilbert's watches were then acquired using funds provided by Gilbert Edgar, public donations and government funds.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: CAI.0939 (Ilbert Collection)
Previous owner/ex-collection number: M282 (Ilbert Ledger)