Jesse Smith Pocket Watch

Jesse Smith Pocket Watch

Jesse Smith Movement

Jesse Smith Jr. apprenticed for Benjamin Balch in 1807 and later became his partner. They worked together to 1832 when Smith entered business under his own name as a watchmaker working on Essex Street in Salem Massachusetts. His two sons, Edward and Daniel, joined him in 1846. Smith sold clocks, chronometers and watches, and adjusted chronometers for the substantial New England fishing and whaling industry.

Jesse Smith was certainly capable of making any part of this movement and the profusely engraved back plate is fairly unusual work. However, there is no hard evidence that Smith had a hand in making or finishing the movement and it was likely imported in a ready-to-sell state to his desired specification and quality. The movement is signed "Jesse Smith Jun'r Salem Masstts Improvd Lever 3277." It has a lever fusee escapement, steel three arm balance enamel dial, full Liverpool jeweling and dates to about 1840. The original case, likely made of gold, is missing and was most likely scrapped for cash sometime in the last 150 years.

Jesse Smith Watch
Benjamin Balch
Jesse Smith Watchmaker
American Chronometers
American Watch Papers

Jesse Smith Watch Papers: A wonderful set of Smith watch papers are shown for reference:

  1. Balch & Smith, Watches for Sale, Clock & Watch Makers Salem, Move the regulator with the sun to make the watch go faster, against it to make it go slower (1815)

  2. Jesse Smith, Chronometers and Watches for Sale, Watch Maker Essex Street, Salem (1816)

  3. Jesse Smith, Chronometers & Watches for Sale, Watch Maker No. 262, Essex Street, Salem

  4. Jesse Smith JR, Watches for Sale, Watch Maker Essex Street, Salem, Chronometers Adjusted (1836)