2 July 2004
A Regency silver pocket chronometer with 'Z' balance
John Roger Arnold, London, No. 1869
The cream enamel Roman dial signed Arnold 1869, blued steel hour and minute hands, delicate blued steel subsidiary seconds hand at VI, the gilt full plate movement signed Jno R Arnold London Inv et Fecit No. 1869, diamond endstone to the balance cock engraved with an eagle and foliage, gold helical hairspring and two-arm bimetallic 'Z' balance, chain fusee, Earnshaw-type spring detent escapement with jewelled locking stone, consular case hallmarked London 1802, casemaker TH (Thomas Hardy); together with a fitted mahogany three-tier box
63 mm. diam.
Cecil Clutton Collection, Isle of Man
Sotheby's, New York, 21 February 1996, lot 616
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Cecil Clutton, Collector's Collection, pp. 30-32, pls. 11 A-B, AHS, London, 1964
Vaudrey Mercer, Arnold & Son, pp. 213
Cecil Clutton & George Daniels, Watches, pl. 202 A-B
In Collector's Collection Cecil Clutton noted that he gave this chronometer to be serviced by George Daniels who 'took it to task after which it ran for 2½ weeks plus 2 and minus 2 seconds per day'.
Clutton further notes that in his opinion this pocket chronometer was of the highest quality, full equal of anything executed in the life-time of John.
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium
John Roger Arnold
John Roger Arnold (1769-1843) was the son of John Arnold, one of the most famous British watch and clock makers.
In 1783 John Roger started working with his father before moving to Paris as an apprentice to Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1792. He was admitted as a member of the Clockmakers' Company in 1796 and became Master in 1817.
After the death of John Arnold senior, John Roger continued on his own, maintaining his father's reputation of one of the leading watch and clock makers of his epoch. In 1830 he moved to 84 Strand and started a flourishing ten year partnership with E.J. Dent, during which the two associates undertook various experiments, especially in regard tot he influence of magnetism on chronometers.
When Dent left in 1840, Arnold continued on his own until his death in February 1843 after which Charles Frodsham immediately purchased the business which prospered until 1858 under the name of Arnold and Frodsham.
Arnold's inventions included the helical balance spring for chronometers and a detent escapement similar to the modern chronometer escapement. To this day he is considered the principal chronometer maker.
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