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John Roger Arnold. A Silver Openface Pocket Chronometer With Helical Hairspring And Fitted Wooden Box
John Roger Arnold. A Silver Openface Pocket Chronometer With Helical Hairspring And Fitted Wooden Box

SIGNED JN. R. ARNOLD, LONDON, INVT ET FECIT, NO. 2151, CASE STAMPED WITH LONDON DATE LETTER FOR 1816

Details
John Roger Arnold. A Silver Openface Pocket Chronometer With Helical Hairspring And Fitted Wooden Box
Signed Jn. R. Arnold, London, Invt et Fecit, No. 2151, Case Stamped with London Date Letter for 1816
Full-plate gilt-finished chain and fusée movement, spring detent escapement, free-sprung bi-metallic balance with compensation weights, blued steel helical hairspring, diamond endstone, white enamel dial, Roman numerals, large subsidiary seconds, plain case, dial and movement signed, case and cuvette stamped with maker's mark TH for Thomas Hardy and London date letter for 1816
60mm diam.

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Lot Essay

Accompanied by a fitted wooden hinged presentation box and with copies of the Admiralty ledgers, correspondence, rating sheets from 1830 including details about the balance conversation undertaken by Arnold Dent in March 1835 at a cost of 15 pounds, and intriguing details regarding the watch's early Admiralty history.

The present watch has a long and interesting eighty four year Admiralty history. It was used in the early British expeditions to find a sea route through the Northwest passage from the Atlantic to the Arctic ocean. The opening up of a navigable route was of such importance that Sir John Barrow, Secretary to the Admiralty instructed the Artic Explorer Lieutenant (later Captain) Sir John Franklin to undertake a voyage "to determine the latitudes and longitudes of the Northern Coasts of North America", on behalf of the British Government.

So concerned were the British as to what the Russians where doing on the west coast the issue of the present watch along with Arnold watches, 2147, 2148, 2149 was documented as; Secret Service, being returned to the Colonies Office, Downing St., on 17th April 1823 along with a report of proceedings to both the Admiralty and Government.

We are indebted to The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London for their valuable assistance with researching this watch.

Illustrated; Hans Staeger, 100 Years of Precision Timekeepers from John Arnold to Arnold & Frodsham 1763-1862,Stuttgart, 1997, pp. 217-8, and pages 243-4.

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