Antique silver fusee pocket watch by Rimmington & Son.

Last updated on June 5, 2021

Here is an interesting pocket watch I was considering purchasing before my attention was diverted by the J W Benson silver fusee pocket watch, 1883. The watch is believed to be made by Rimmington & Son of Lubenham. Ultimately, the reason I went with the Benson, is that there was very little information I could find on the maker, Rimmington. The information I could find online was from the census of 1881 that named an Eli and Adne Rimmington as father and son watchmakers. I decided to go with better-known brand, J W Benson. The watch was being offered for sale by The Vintage Wrist Watch Company. A winding key was included with the watch.

Rimmington fusee pocket watch.  © The Vintage Wrist Watch Company

Movement

The watch has a fusee movement which is working well. A fusee is a mechanism intended to lessen the effects of reduced power as the mainspring winds down. This helps to maintain accurate time-keeping. The mainspring barrel is connected to the fusee via a chain. The fusee then connects to the gear train. When the mainspring is fully wound, most of the chain is wound around the fusee all the way to the narrow top of the cone.

Rimmington fusee movement.  © The Vintage Wrist Watch Company

As the watch runs, the chain unwinds down to the wider end of the fusee cone as the chain wraps around the mainspring barrel. This has the effect of equalizing the power transmitted to the gear train. This is because the lever arm of the chain pulling the fusee is shorter when the mainspring is fully wound, and longer when the mainspring is unwound. The movement is signed, Rimmington & Son, Lubenham. Additionally, the movement is protected by an inner fitted cover.

Case

The watch measures 51mm diameter excluding the stem and the loop. The case is silver and there are hallmarks inside both of the case backs for London 1879 together with a maker’s mark for the case maker Samuel Freeman. Trafalgar Street and later of Hertford Terrace, Coventry. Judging from the photographs there is no noticeable damage and The Vintage Wrist Watch Company advise that the case has only light surface marking, which is very acceptable for an antique pocket watch.

Rimmington hallmarks.  © The Vintage Wrist Watch Company

Condition

The glass lens has a few minor marks from use, but overall it is in nice condition. These are not visible in the photographs and probably aren’t noticeable without a close inspection. The off-white enamel dial also looks to be in nice condition. It is clean with no visible hair-line cracks or fading to the indices. The dial includes the original gold hands, a subsidiary seconds dial and an outer minute track.

Time keeping

As stated on the website all watches are checked over before listing and are also checked for accuracy, which is usually within around +/- two to three minutes per day (unless otherwise stated). This is considered very respectable for an antique watch and it certainly means it can be used as a practical timepiece.

At the time I was looking at this watch I was trying to find an English antique pocket watch with a fusee movement. I would have purchased this particular example had the J W Benson not appeared on the market. Whilst writing this post I noticed that the item had sold, therefore some lucky pocket watch collector is now the proud owner of this interesting timepiece.

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