Liverpool Watch

This is an M. I. Tobias watch, from Liverpool, ca. 1855. The large, round jewels are made from natural sapphire. These large jewels are called "Liverpool Windows." The watch has an English Lever escapement. The dial is solid gold and was engraved by hand with exceptional attention to detail. Below are two photos of the dial: when you change the viewing angle and the light reflected off it, its appearance changes. These photos do not do justice to this dial, nor to the watch. The case is also solid gold. There are no gold hallmarks, so I believe this watch was made for export and cased abroad, probably here in the United States. Because of extremely high import duties at that time, few timepieces were exported. Despite the metal being relatively soft, it shows little wear, suggesting that this watch did not run for long before it broke, maybe only a couple of years. The last photo shows the watch after repairs. I saw watches like this one for sale in Edinburgh for 300 in 1985, but, as a student, could not afford them. It was my dream back then to be able to repair them.

Here is another Tobias watch from the same era. Notice the different balance wheels. The initials are different too. This watch was a mechanism I found for parts, but it runs. When the price of gold rose to very high levels in the 1970s, some people sold their jewelry and watches. The tragic result was that thousands of these high-grade watches lost their gold cases, which were melted down. That probably happened to this watch, ruining a piece of history.

  English Lever
  English Verge Fusee
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