Display Watch

EW31 front
watch index 66
country American  
piece name (title): New York Standard, worm drive
set stem
jewels 7j
size 18s
plate full
plate finish gilt
date 1887
long comment New York Standard Watch Company, worm gear escapement
case style
case material
escapement other
serial number 16367
movement Full gilt brass plate movement with straight line lever escapement aided by a worm gear drive (see notes), the worm gear visible through the star shaped cut out in the back plate. 7 jewels, bimetalic balance wheel with engraved regulator on the back plate. The plates are marked for the York Standard Watch Company and serial number 16367. (worm gear patent dated 1887).
case Size not provided, but likely an 18S, gilt white metal (nickel alloy), open face pocket watch with fluted ball pendant and circular bow placed at the twelve position, polished back cover (interior not shown).
case marks
dial and hands White enameled dial with Arabic hour chapter, closed minute ring with Arabic markers placed every five minutes on the edge of the dial, subsidiary seconds @6, blued steel American type Spade hands and the dial marked, "New York Standard Watch Company".
notes New York Standard Watch Company Jersey City, New Jersey 1885 - 1929

The New York Standard watch company, which also operated as the Crown Watch Company, was first incorporated in 1885 and operated in Jersey City, New Jersey. Although New York Standard made a variety of watches, it was primarily a producer of relatively inexpensive watches sold under various brand and model names. They produced watches in the following sizes: 18, 16, 12, 6, 0, 3/0 and 10/0 in 7-15 jewels. They are, perhaps, best known for offering a unique, straight line lever "worm-gear" escapement, patented by R. J. Clay. This led rise to their advertising slogan: "The watch with a worm in it." New York Standard operated from 1885 until 1929 and produced over 8 million watches.

Robert J. Clay and the worm gear movement: By 1883, Robert J. Clay was working for the Williamstown Watch company in Williamstown, Ma. and help patent rights to a worm gear driven escapement in their pocket watch movements. Bankruptcy occurred before the movement was produced and it was finally first produced in Jersey City for the N.Y. Standard Watch Company in 1887. The escape wheel was held in a vertical plane rather than the usual horizontal by a polished screw rather than a pinion, and was powered by the fourth wheel. this drove the usual lever escapement. The worm like screw was visible through a star shaped opening in the rear plate. Essentially, the worm gear, although highly unusual and uncommon, added complication to an otherwise routine lever escapement and was, I believe, quite unnecessary to proper operation of a standard movement.
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