R & H MOLYNEUX, 30 Southampton Row, London. No 2152


A slim pocket chronometer of unique and interesting caliper.

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Silver case with fixed dome (access to movement is from the front) hallmarked 1838, casemaker TH conjoined, a mark not identified by me but possibly Thomas Hardy II, Clerkenwell. Beautifully signed three-quarter plate fusee movement with engraved cock, of thin lever or duplex caliper, but instead finished with a chronometer escapement. Earnshaw side-footed detent placed between the 3rd and 4th wheels, the original steel detent with pinned-in steel passing-spring. Compensation balance, spiral balance-spring fitted with a very rare resilient stud, its foot mounted on the top plate. Engine-turned silver dial, blued-steel Breguet-type hands. 50 mm diameter, only 12 mm deep including crystal.

Robert & Henry Molyneux, sons of Robert, famous watch and chronometer makers, the son Robert who is said to have later emigrated to the USA.

NB: Pinned-in passing-springs are typically Thomas Earnshaw in design, its use of which is perhaps not surprising in this watch as Robert Molyneux was a pupil of Earnshaw. Resilient studs, similar in operation to a spring-detent and used with spiral balance-springs, are thought to be the invention of Thomas Young, although Parkinson & Frodsham are also know to have used them in a few of their pocket chronometers - surviving examples are rare.

Light signs of use but generally in fine original condition, especially the detent and resilient stud, both of which have not been damaged or replaced - rare these days. Serviced and guaranteed.