For sale we have a rare and interesting Quarter repeating pocket watch. It was created and sold by Thomas Russell & Son, of Liverpool. Judging by the Tho Russell logo used and the style of gold-plated Illinois case, the age of this piece is around 1900-1915. It is of full hunter style, with a button which depresses to open the front cover. Inside the perfect enamel dial with Roman Numerals, is covered by a thin glass. The spade and whip style hands are thermally blued in exceptional condition.
The slide on the right-hand side of the case operates the quarter repeating function. The gongs chime once per hour, and twice for the 15-minute intervals.
The case back has some wear to the plating. The rear has a double hinged back which has protected the movement well. The case is made by Illinois watch case co of Elgin, U.S.A.
The movement is the standout part of this watch with its quarter repeating capability. The chiming sound is very good, with the gongs having had attention from our watchmaker. It is correctly calibrated. The movement is marked as Swiss made and is signed with the Thomas Russell & Son name. It is keeping time to within +80 seconds a day with an amplitude of 250 degrees.
The hands are set by pulling out the lever at 4 O'clock with the front cover open. The crown will then turn and set the hands. Depress the lever back in and the crown will wind the watch again.
Thomas Russell was a watchmaker in 1848 at 20 Slater Street, Liverpool. The company was handed over to his sons Thomas Robert Russell and Alfred Holgate Russell, in 1859. The firm was then named Thomas Russell & Sons. This partnership ended in 1870 and Thomas Robert continued as the proprietor of the Russell Watch and Chronometers manufactured at Cathedral works, 18 church street. In 1894 the company was known as Russell’s LTD and had jewellers in Liverpool, Manchester and Llandudno.
Alfred Russell continued the company of Thomas Russell & Sons and in 1880 the company was listed as watch and chronometer manufacturers, keyless lever movements and jewellery merchants, by an appointment to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh and the Admiralty. They imported high quality Swiss watches, which were branded with the Thomas Russell name, before being sold in the U.K. market.
Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.
The dial is formed of enamel and is in excellent original condition. There are no cracks, chips or hairline fractures. The dial has a classic railroad track for the minutes around the exterior. There are Roman Numeral hour markers with an inset sub-second dial. It is signed “Quarter repeater by Thomas Russell & Son Liverpool”. Either side of 6 O’clock it is signed Swiss Made.
The hands are original and are thermally blued. They are of spade and whip style. They are in good condition with an even and bright blued tone. The sub-second hand is also original.
The pocket watch has a replacement glass cover which is in perfect condition.
Crown and loop:
The crown is original and is in good condition. The loop is original and is in good condition with light surface scratching. The push button works to release the front cover.
The case is gold plated. There is light surface scratching consistent with age. There are no dents to the front or sides. It is in average condition with light surface scratching. There lever for the repeating function works as it should.
The case back is in average condition for its age. There is wear to the gold-plated finish at the bottom which shows through as brass. There is a slight dimpled dent to the lower middle. It has light surface scratching.
Inside of caseback:
The inside of the caseback is signed Tho Russell & Son, Illinois watch case co, Elgin U.S.A. It has the serial number 5311014. The engraving is clear, whilst the finish has significant light surface scratching. There are also some service etchings on the inside.
Inner case back:
The inner case back is in good condition with only light surface scratches.
Inside of inner case back:
The inside is marked “This case guaranteed to wear 10 Years. It has the matching serial number 5311014. It has some surface scratching.
The movement is a swiss made calibre, with quarter repeating function. Activated with the slide, the movement will chime once the hours, followed by a double chime for each 15-minute period.
The movement is in good condition for its age cosmetically. The service history is unknown, and the pocket watch hasn’t been fully serviced by ourselves. The repeating mechanism has been overhauled to ensure it functions properly and sounds strong. It has a daily gain of +80 seconds a day, with an amplitude of 250 and a beat error of 2.1m/s.
Case width: 58mm
Case length: 57mm
Case length with loop: 78mm
Case length with crown: 72mm
Case Depth: 15mm
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