Leigh Extence
Fine Antique Clocks

William Ehrhardt - watch manufacturer

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A rival to Dennison as the first person to machine manufacture watches in England, the German William Ehrhardt arrived in England  in 1851 where he was soon working with Upjohn and Bright in London and attending classes at the Royal School of Mines. On going  his own way he decided, in 1856 to move to Birmingham to open small watchmaking business, feeling it was far enough from the  accepted centres of the manufacturing business to allow him to teach his work force his methods wiothout corruption from those who  still held traditional watch making as the only way. In 1874 he built a factory, Time Works, in Barr Street. Upon his death in 1897 the  business was continued by his two sons, William (junior) and Gustav Victor. In Kelly’s Directory of 1921, The British watch Company Ltd appears with the address given as that of Ehrhardt and their movements  are found signed along with the trademark of Ehrhardt. An unusual movement signed by both is displayed in this exhibition.  1924 sees the last entry in the Kelly Directory. 1 Samuel Edgcumbe, 11 Cornwall St, Plymouth, 595778: a silver open faced keyless pocket watch, with an engraved balance  cock, split bimetallic compensating balance and traditional Bosley regulation, the dial with gold hands and signed Samuel Edgcumbe,  the case hallmarked for silver, Birmingham 1911, SE (cameo) for Samuel Edgcumbe.  Complete with leather box, the inside of the lid embossed: Samuel Edgcumbe, Manufacturer & Importer, 2000 Watches & 2000 Rings  for Selection, Under the Large Double Dialled Clock, 11 Cornwall St, Plymouth. The Only Address.  2 H. Stone, Leeds, 539740: a silver open faced keyless pocket watch with a club tooth escapement, split bimetallic compensating  balance, engraved balance cock and traditional Bosley regulation, the dial also signed H. Stone, Leeds, with a numbered dust cap,  the case hallmarked for silver, Birmingham 1902, WE within a cameo, for William Ehrhardt.  H. Stone is recorded working circa 1907.  3 350193: an unusual hack watch movement with the rim to the balance marked Reg. No. – 664485 and the backplate stamped  350193 with a Coventry fleur-de-lys mid-point mark to the index. the balance cock being integral to the backplate, held in place with a  couple of screws. Another interesting aspect to this watch is the dial which is signed British Watch Co. Ltd, London with a trademark  depicting a tree.  Full Plate Movements with Ehrhardt trademark stamped on the frontplate, engraved balance cock, all with split  bimetallic compensating balance, unless stated otherwise, and traditional Bosley regulation regulation.  4 W. Ehrhardt, London, 258375: one of only two watches in the collection actually signed for Ehrhardt, with a numbered cover.  5 W. Ehrhardt, London, 11410: fusee with ‘false’ fusee to the under dial, with a finely engraved cock and gold three-bar balance, and a traditional Bosley regulation regulation, the dust cap stamped Furneaux. 6 J.N. Masters, Rye, 239334: with three-bar balance, the dial signed J.N. Masters, Rye, Coastguard Watch.  J.N. Masters, Mayor of Rye in 1893, was an extremely able salesman when it came to promoting his pocket watches, most of which  seem to have been made by Ehrhardt as in this example. He penned a small anecdotal book entitled Amusing Reminiscences of  Victorian Times and of Today which told a number of stories of his life as a clockmaker. Westcountry Retailed Examples  7 A. Rohrer & Sons, Plymouth: as signed on the dial, the plain backplate numbered 575620.  Andrew Rohrer is recorded working at 39 Frankfurt Street in 1866, 55 Union Street in 1883 being and Son from circa 1897 at both  addresses and later at 2 Old Town Street and 54 Union Street.  8 Croydon & Son, Devonport, 43375: a three-quarter plate fusee movement with a three-bar balance.  9 L. Reidinger & Son, Plymouth, 486670: a three-quarter plate fusee movement with a three-bar balance  10  R.J. Huddy, St. Austell, 975948: a three-quarter plate fusee movement with a three-bar balance  11 Samuel Edgcumbe, 11 Cornwall St, Plymouth, 574729: as signed on the dial, the plain backplate numbered 540605, part  movement.  Three-quarter Plate Movements  12  360837, Warranted English Lever, 7 Jewels: with club tooth escapement, the frame stamped Series 1906 alongside the  Ehrhardt trademark.  13  354797, English Manufacture: identical to exhibit 12 but with an unmarked frame excepting for the serial number, the dial  signed Bravingtons, King’s ‘Cross’, London, the ‘Cross’ depicted by a red Maltese cross as opposed to the written word.  14  Two identical backplates with 525938 being plain except for the serial number, whilst 579063 is marked Warranted English  Lever, Safety Pinion, both with Ehrhardt trademark to the frame.  15  Part J.G. Graves movement with Ehrhardt trademark to the frame. (see section on Graves)  Images from the Cutmore book Watches as shown in his section
5  Ehrhardt, 11410
12  Warranted English Lever
  13  Bravingtons
6  Masters, Rye
3  Bottom Plate
6  Masters Dial
 3  Dial
1  Edgcumbe, Plymouth
14  Two Movements
2  Stone, Leeds
1  350193
4  Ehrhardt, 258375
15  J.G. Gravesl
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