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Fine Antique Clocks

The Coventry Watch Movement Company

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The Coventry Watch Movement Company was formed In February of 1889 to counter any loss from the supply of Prescot-made  blanks and to try and end the Prescot monopoly now that the manufacturers in that town had formed their own cartel, the  Lancashire Watch Company. Made up of a number of the smaller Coventry watchmaking concerns, as seen by the make up of  the founder members and board. Chairman was S. Yeomans with C.H. Errington, the local watchmaker who became part of  Williamson’s, a shareholder who spoke of ‘breaking the back of the Lancashire Watch Company’.  Lacking capital the company purchased the tools of Prescot maker Edward Scarisbrick for £1,000 and appointed his brother,  Charles Scarisbrick, as manager. In 1891, after losses of over £500 in the first two years, the board realised their methods were outdated and the company  purchased machine tools and hired engineers to make proper watch making equipment, at which point Scarisbrick’s contract  was terminated. During this reconstruction, and to boost their limited output, the company, ironically, purchased a considerable number of  movements from the Lancashire Watch Company having come to an agency and price agreement with them.  By 1900 the company was showing a small profit but was hampered by the fact that not all the local watchmakers were giving  their support and therefore by 1903 the company once again found itself in financial difficulties. With Yeomans having retired  as Chairman and his successor ill, it was the watchmaker S.T. Newsome who reported the bad trading figures. One of the  reasons being given that orders were coming in for small batches of movement, sometimes as low as ten at a time, which did  not suit their machine production. A new minimum order of five hundred was stipulated and two new centre seconds  movements were put into production. Unfinished movements were again being supplied to makers to finish themselves rather  than completed ones.  In 1907 it was reported that the machinery was being utilised for ‘small light repetition work’ including the making of parts for  electrical and cycle requirements and by 1912 watchmaking took up only a third of the production line with bicycle, motor and  electrical trade making up the majority. With the factory being turned over for the war effort in 1915, making wartime products  including aircraft parts very few, if any, watch parts were being manufactured and by 1919 the Coventry Movement Company  had joined the Cycle & Motor Cycle manufacturers Trade Association and watchmaking becomes a thing of the past.  The majority of Coventry Watch Movement Manufactory movements had a fusee with lever escapement, engraved backcock  and either a three-bar balance or a bi-metallic compensating balance, with Bosley style regulation, the majority being the flat to  the plate type, underslung hairspring, with some having a raised silvered index to an overslung hairspring. The regulation  index has a distinct marking to the centre, the design of which varies. There is sometimes found a trademark on the frontplate,  either the CWMC mark or the maker’s name Newsome or Yeomans.  Full Plate Movement with Three-Bar Steel Balance, engraved balance cock and traditional Bosley regulation  1 E. Wise, Manchester, 27171: with a Coventry asterix mid-point mark to the index, the dial with gold spade hands and marked  Improved Patent, the dust cover stamped W & A. O for Oxley of Coventry.  2 R. Davies, Portmadoc, 2051: with a Coventry four-arrows mid-point mark to the index, the dial unsigned, the dust cover  stamped WH for Hitchen & Co.  3 J. Harris & Sons, Manchester, 6120: with a Coventry asterix mid-point mark to the index, the dial unsigned.   4 L. Reidlinger, Plymouth, 42471: with a Coventry four-arrows mid-point mark to the index, the dial unsigned.  Ludwig Reidlinger is recorded at 2 Richmond Street in 1878, 4 Duke Street in 1889 and being and Son from 1897.  5 Fattorini, Skipton, 3603: with a Coventry four-arrows mid-point mark to the index, the dial signed Fattorini, Skipton, the size 18  frame stamped J.W for Wycherley. 6 Page, Keen & Page, Plymouth, 10319: with a Coventry four-arrows mid-point mark to the index, the dial unsigned and with  gold spade hands.  7 French, Top High Street, Bristol, 5340: with a Coventry fleur-de-lys  mid-point mark to the index, with a size 10 frame. Full Plate Movement with Three-Bar Gold Balance, engraved balance cock and traditional Bosley regulation  8 Jno Gaydon, Barnstaple, 44706: with a Coventry four-arrows mid-point mark to the index, the dial signed Jno. Gaydon,  Barnstaple.  9 Rudd, Devonport:  with a Coventry four-arrows mid-point mark to the index, the size 10 frame stamped for JH  John William Rudd is recorded as a watchmaker in Tavistock Street between 1866 until 1902.  Full Plate Movement with Compensating Balance, engraved balance cock and traditional Bosley regulation  10 E. Meyer, Manchester, 83719: with a Coventry asterix mid-point mark to the index, the dial signed E. Meyer, Manchester, the  frame stamped S.Y for Yeomans.  11 Thos. Russell & Son, Makers to the Queen, Church St, Liverpool, 4000324: with a Coventry four-arrows mid-point mark to the index, the dial signed Thos. Russell & Son, Liverpool, 4000324.  12 A.J. Fraser, Preston, 18690: with a Coventry four-arrows mid-point mark to the index, the dial signed A.J. Fraser, Chronometer  Maker, 5 Lune St, Preston, the size 16 frame stamped J.W, GC & Co, for Wycherley and G. Croft & Co, known customers of the  Coventry Watch Movement Manufactory Company. 13 H.J. Sobey, Beeralston, 22097: the frame stamped with the CWMC diamond with a further unusual trademark on the  backplate depicting an arrow with the initial J.S. above a B, the dust cap stamped W & A O for Oxley.   The initials J.S B are presumably for the maker/retailer.  14 Jas. J. Pinder, 26 Ashley Crescent, No. 2664: with a raised silvered quadrant to the modified Bosley regulation and Coventry  asterix mid-point mark to the index, the unsigned dial with blued steel spade hands.  Full Plate Movement with Compensating Balance, engraved balance cock and Swiss style Regulation & Index  15 J.W. Morris & Co, Faversham, 95116: with a Coventry four-arrows mid-point mark to the index, the dial signed J.W. Morris &  Co, Faversham, Naval Timekeeper, Faversham (Registered,) the size 14 frame stamped J.W for Wycherley.  James W. Morris is recorded working in Faversham, Kent between 1866 and 1874  16 J.W. Morris & Co, Faversham, 95122: with a Coventry four-arrows mid-point mark to the index, the dial signed J.W. Morris &  Co, Faversham, Naval Timekeeper, Faversham (Registered), with blued steel spade hands, the size 14 frame stamped J.W for Wycherley.  17 F. Penberthy, Devonport, 143596: the frame stamped Newsome, with the dustcover stamped W & A. O for Oxley of Coventry. Frederick Penberthy is recorded at Marlborough Street from 1893 onwards.  Three-quarter Plate, Keyless without Fusee and  Compensating Balance  18 H. Aaronson, Hanley, 44393: with an engraved backcock, the chronograph dial marked 44393, with outer numerals 0-300, the size 18 frame stamped with the CWMC diamond trademark.  ‘G’ Aaronson is recorded working in Greater Manchester from circa 1860 until 1881.  19 C. Frodsham & Co. Ltd, 115 New Bond Street, W, 09561: with a Coventry two-arrows mid-point mark to the index, the dial  signed C. Frodsham 09561, the plates stamped for Newsome.  20 Anon. 38999: centre Seconds Chronograph with engraved backcock, the size 20 frame stamped S. Yeomans and S.H.  Three-quarter Plate, Keyless with Fusee and  Compensating Balance  21 Willm Tanner, 83 Upper Street, Islington, No 9147: with Coventry fleur de lys half way Coventry mark on index, with size 16  frame.  William Tanner is recorded working between 1844 and 1851. 22 James Stoddat, Red Lion Square, London, 67679: three-bar gold balance, with Coventry four arrows mid-point mark to the   index, the size 14 frame stamped WF.  23 Jas Westwood, Royal Exchange, London, No 3466: three-bar steel balance, with Coventry four arrows mid-point mark to the   index, with size 14 frame.  24 John Walker, 68 Cornhill, 230 Regent Street, 76, Strand, London. 14139: missing cock and balance, the dial signed John Walker, 14139. Chronograph with Sweep Centre Seconds and Compensating Balance  25 Anon. No 15152: with a Coventry two-arrows mid-point mark to the index and split-bimetallic compensating balance, 26 Anon. 31202: with a Coventry four-arrows mid-point mark to the index, the dial marked Centre Seconds Chronograph, with outer  numerals 0-300. Click on the Images below to Enlarge
8  Bottom plate
10  Bottom plate
9  Rudd, Devonport
9  Bottom plate
7  French, Bristol
10  Meyer, Manchester
7 Bottom plate
1  Wise. Manchester
5  Fattorini, Skipton
1  Wise, Manchester
5  Bottom plate
8  Gaydon, Barnstaple
11 Dial
12  Bottom plate
14  Pinder, London
12  Fraser, Preston
12 Fraser dial
11  Russell, Liverpool
13  Bottom plate
16  Morris, Faversham 95122
15 Morris, 95116 dial
15  Morris, Faversham 95116
15  Bottom plate
13  Sobey, Beeralston
17  Penberthy, Devonport
19  Bottom plate
17  Bottom plate
19  Frodsham, London
19  Frodsham dial
16  Morris 95122 dial
22  Stoddat, London
22  Bottom plate
24  John Walker, London
24  Walker dial
21  Tanner, London