BARRAUDS' Cornhill, London. No 2/626


Fine Pennington supplied pocket chronometer with 'hanging detent,' circa 1814, in purpose made later case.

More details

Very well designed and finished fullplate fusee movement with separately cocked escape wheel (ie, not run between the plates), mounted in the case in the reverse position to normal (jointed at 6), allowing the detent to hang vertically down when the watch is in the normal pocket 'pendant up' position. Spring-detent escapement with Pennington's dovetail form of detent with gold passing-spring, the lighter than normal brass escape also typical of Pennington. Fully developed form of Pennington's screw balance, no longer having affixes to protect the bimetal arms when moving the screws, and with quarter-timing nuts for mean time adjustment. 5-turn blued-steel helical balance-spring. Later enamel dial with seconds at 12 and unusual placement of minute figures, blued-steel hands. In later purpose-made single silver case hallmarked London 1830, casemaker JD (James Dow or Joseph Dewin, both working in Clerkenwell). 56 mm diameter.

Paul Philip Barraud, one of the leading London watch and chronometer manufacturers throughout the 19th century. NB: This chronometer started life as part of Barraud's initial series, being number 626. It was modernised by the firm with a new case, dial and balance just 16 years later, in 1830. See also the book on Barraud and its Supplement by Cedric Jagger for extensive details of this important London firm where Jagger records this chronometer, though this caliper was not understood by Jagger to be the work of Robert Pennington. I also do not understand Jagger's description of the balance which appears to be completely wrong, and if, like Nos 625 and 627, it was originally fitted with Arnold's Z balance, one can fully understand why such an outdated balance (in 1814) was updated to its present state-of-the-art Pennington example.

Dial with faint hair crack in the dial near 3 and edge chip near 5, otherwise a very early example of this most interesting Pennington designed and made pocket chronometer. NB: Later changes and improvements are normal for working instruments and, if well done, as here, should be appreciated as a bonus rather than being thought of as detrimental to the originality of any chronometer. Ex Vaudrey Mercer collection. Cleaned for its previous owner and appearing to be working well, but can be freshly serviced if wanted.