Working item 12mm high 47mm diameter 85 grams without chain Dennison case 9.375 serial number 463602
Thank you for sending in this pocket watch to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall do my best to help you with that today.
Gent’s, 9K yellow gold, pair case, pendant wound and pendant set, open face pocket watch, retailed by Thomas Russell & Son, Liverpool, England, with case made by the Dennison Watch Case Company Ltd, 22-32 Villsa Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, England, and watch made in Switzerland, circa 1926.
Case: 47mm diameter, two piece open face pocket watch in the form of a pair case with 9k yellow gold outer case. The outer casing carries English hallmarks: the anchor for the Birmingham Assay Office, .375 represents the 9k gold of the outer casing, upper case ‘B’ is the Birmingham Date Letter mark for 1926. The mark of A.L.D within a rectangle represents Aaron Lufkin Dennison’s firm, then the Dennison Watch Case Company Ltd. (See history below) The back cover is polished and there is a fluted ball pendant and oval bow placed at the twelve position. The bow is attached to a gold, 9k (I assume), paper clip and ringlet link watch chain. There is also a gold colored shield shaped watch fob and T-bar connected to the watch chain. The inside case, which is either white gold or silver, can be fully removed from the case but only the barrel of the inner case is shown. .
Dial: White enameled triple sunk dial with bold yet foreshortened Roman hours (typical of British dials), closed minute ring, subsidiary seconds @6, steel English Spade hands and the upper dial marked, “Thomas Russell & Son” with the water wheel logo, “jeweled” in the dial center and ‘Swiss Made’ at the base of the dial...
Movement: Not shown but assumed to be Swiss made and likely a three quarter SPLIT gilt plate movement, perhaps marked for the Russell firm but with a Swiss made index regulator, jeweled and having a bimetallic balance wheel. These movements are later than the Thomas Russell & Son-made FULL three quarter plate movements and are slightly less valued today than those with Swiss movements.
Case – Outer cover quite worn. The inside of the gold cover is very good.
Dial – Triple sunk dial in very good condition.
Movement – Not seen but considered to be original to this case, genuine and a functional
Swiss made movement made for Russel & Son.
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/81984048_watches (failed to sell for minimum 260 GB Pounds in 2020)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/67150237_a-full-hunter-pocket-watch-by-thomas-russell-and-sons (sold for 95 GBP in 2018)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/29428607_9k-thomas-russell-and-son-pocket-watch-demi-hunter (sold for $450 with English movement made by Thomas Russell & Son)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/53798344_an-open-face-pocket-watch-by-thomas-russell-and-son-9ct (sold for 320 GBP in 2017 with Swiss movement)
History of Dennison Watch Case Company Ltd.::::
**N.B. Dennison Watch Case Co. Ltd was established in 1905 by Franklin Dennison and his son Major Gilbert Dennison, after acquiring the shares of Alfred Wigley. Over the following 60 years, the company grew to become the largest watch case company in England and known around the world for its fine Dennison Quality. Even with this success, the memory of the great founder was never forgotten, with almost all Dennison products signed with the assay mark ‘A.L.D.’
History of Thomas Russell & Son:
Around 1860 the business was taken over by his two sons Thomas Robert Russell and Alfred Holgate Russell 9the grandsons of the founder Thomas Russell. Thomas changed the name of his half to Russell, Watch & Chronometer Manufactory with branches in Liverpool, Toronto and London presumably to provide chronometers to the booming shipping industry which used these ports. The partnership between the brothers ended in 1870 and Alfred continued with Thos. Russell & Son from then onwards when he introduced the famous Russell Hunter watches with their trademark “Tempus Fugit” on the dial under the company name. The trademark water wheel in a roiling sea was registered in 1878 and continued to be used for several decades. He continued the family tradition of watchmaking in Liverpool and added the selling of jewelry to watches in their shops in Liverpool, Manchester and Llandudno. In addition, the company started importing Swiss watch movements around the turn of the century from Longines and other Swiss makers. The watchmaking and chronometer company run by Thomas was awarded a Royal Warrant to HM Queen Victoria and HRM the Duke of Edinburgh and also to the Admiralty in about 1884. On the death of both Thomas and Alfred, Alfred’s son, Bernard Holgate Russell and his cousin Thomas Townsend Russell took over the businesses in 1894. That they continued using the Royal Warrants for some years after the Queen had died was frowned on and they only ceased using this on their watch plates a few years later. Bernard’s son Thomas Graham Russell with Thomas Townsend Russell continued to run the company from 1915 when they invited Joseph Wright to become a fellow director because of his extensive knowledge of the business and his contacts in America and Switzerland. The company was run by successive members of the Russell family until both the shops and the factory were finally closed down in 1994.
Putting the two histories together one realizes that if the inside case and the outer case started out life together it would have to be post 1905 when the ALD Watch Case Company Ltd came into existence. By that time many of the movements were imported from Switzerland, although Thomas Russell & Son continued to make their own type of movement and the shop also acted as a retail jeweler selling all types of watches in the 20th century. The date letter mark identifies the era as the mid-1920’s in the Birmingham Assay Office. I believe the fair market value of this watch in today’s market place would range from $300-$350.
Thank you for again choosing mearto.com for this appraisal. I hope all the information I have shown you is helpful in understanding the place in history of this watch, a watch made by two companies, both with long and storied histories.