Very rare Ormskirk escapement watch

Stock No. : 1923

James Houghton
Ormskirk, Lancs., 1815
Silver pair cases, 57mm.
Ormskirk (Debaufre or chaff cutter) escapement


A very rare silver pair cased watch with an ‘Ormskirk’ escapement. This derivative of the 18th century Debaufre escapement is sometimes referred to as a ‘chaff-cutter’ or ‘club foot verge’ escapement. This is a fine example in good silver cases, all in excellent condition.

MOVEMENT : Ormskirk type escapement with twin steel escape wheels. Gilded fusee movement with engraved and jewelled balance cock. Signed and numbered (71). All in very good condition and running well.

DIAL : White enamel, in excellent condition, with some light scratches and a very thin chip right on the edge at 3. Nice gold hands.

INNER CASE : Silver, hallmarks for Chester, 1815. Maker’s mark IE (John Ellis of Liverpool). Excellent condition throughout. The high dome bull’s eye crystal is fine. The hinge and catch are good and the bezel closes properly.

OUTER CASE : Heavy silver case, with matching hallmarks to the inner. Again in excellent condition throughout. The hinge and catch are fine and the case closes correctly.

The outer case contains a watchpaper (worn) from James Banks, Clock & Watch Maker of Ormskirk, with a printed poem. Banks is listed in Ormskirk between 1848 and 1854.

James Houghton is listed in Church Street, Ormskirk from 1800 until 1855. This is an early watch (No. 71) for Houghton production. A later example (No. 931) is known in cases hallmarked for 1828.