Now up on our YouTube channel is the latest installment in the Knibb reconstruction series.
In this episode we showcase the process of crossing out the great wheels. This is done in the traditional manner, by hand with a piercing saw and files. Many hours of work go into making components such as this.
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We have just added a selection of high quality gold watches just in time for you to finish your Christmas shopping.
The selection includes a superb crisp and almost unused example of a high quality solid gold pocket watch by Waltham. The watch is in almost perfect condition and even comes complete with its original presentation case and leather pouch. An absolute bargain at £995.00
Completing the line-up is a brace of Jaeger Le Coultre gold dress watches. These extremely high quality watches are vastly underrated and extremely good value when compared to their contemporary Vacheron Constantin or Patek Philippe models.
There are few names in Horology which really move the soul and inspire one to dream the dreams of a maker. Breguet is one of them, and this particular name went on to inspire undoubtedly the finest watchmaker of our time. George Daniels. Much has been written on the output of this great man, and I don’t feel that I would do justice to begin describing the complexity and wonder of his creations, however I do feel compelled to highlight one of his most famous pieces – ‘The Space Travellers’ Pocket Watch’.
This watch has recently been truly in focus in the watch world following it’s recent sale where it reached a staggering £3.2 million.
This tour de force of horology was completed by Daniels following the sale of a previous version. The first watch had a mechanical error in the calculation of the sidereal train, something which all clocks and watches containing this function had also been subject to. This was improved on for the second watch with the help of Daniels friend, another Daniels, Professor Henry Daniels. He managed to successfully design a train with ratios giving an accuracy in the calculation of 0.28 seconds per year.
Completed in 1982 the ‘Space Traveller’ has to be one of the finest and most important pocket watches of recent times. Yes there are others, you are probably screaming out at me “what about the ‘Graves’ Patek?!” – the most complicated (and expensive) watch ever made at the time and selling most recently in 2014 for a whopping $24,000,000.
The only watch that I can think of which comes close is the Breguet masterpiece made famously for Marie-Antoinette, but even this somehow lacks the essence captured by Daniels. All of these watches, perfect and magnificent in their own ways, somehow lack the purity of thought and design displayed by Daniels. I don’t believe that Daniels was striving to achieve super complication for the sake of it, or even for one upmanship, but simply as a way of improving a design which was open to improvement.
This clarity somehow makes the watch feel pure and honest, a quality which is surely the most super complication of them all.
We recently undertook a major restoration on this triple singing bird cage.
The cage as received was in a rather sorry state. The birds were moth eaten and almost completely destroyed, the gilding tired with partially degraded lacquer, the base was knocked around and the movement rusty and non-functioning.
The images and video demonstrate the process of bringing this sweet object back to life.
The birds were re-feathered by a taxidermist as a Bullfinch, a Yellow Hammer and a Goldfinch.
The movement was fully restored, as was the base and the gilt cage sensitively cleaned and repaired.
Well March has very nearly come and gone without me choosing a clock of the month. I’ve now put things right. This months featured clock is this superb domestic regulator by Thomas Benniworth of St Albans. The clock features a recoil anchor escapement which is unusual in a regulator such as this, especially a regulator which includes bolt type maintaining power. The movement is very well constructed and includes many thoughtful and asthetic detials to its construction. Timekeeping is kept stable by the substantial wood rod pendulum with large diameter brass bob and fine rating nut. A very lovely clock currently gracing my office, however the Clock is for sale here