New Charles J HILL 'Maker to the Admiralty' Coventry & London. No 150095

Charles J HILL 'Maker to the Admiralty' Coventry & London. No 150095


Fine example of a Bonniksen karrusel movement, circa 1900.

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Typical larger sized Bonniksen supplied, keyless (openface set) going-barrel movement with cap jewels on balance (diamond), lever and escape, the pillar-plate with Bonniksens PATENT 21421 stamp. Single-roller detached lever escapement. Top quality compensation balance with quarter-timing nuts, balance-spring with overcoil, the escape and fourth wheel also mounted in the revolving carriage. Enamel dial with original matching blued-steel hands. 48 mm diameter, 10.5 mm deep, not including centre arbor.

Bahne Bonniksen, Coventry, Patent No 21,241, November 1892, inventor of the karrusel in which the escapement and balance is made to turn 360 degrees in 52 1/2 minutes (less in centre-second movements) in order to cancel out the deleterious effects of gravity in fixed escapement watches. Doing essentially the same as devised by John Arnold, and first made by A-L Breguet who called it a tourbillon, the karrusel differs in as much as the power of the mainspring drives both the carriage and the escapement. In the tourbillon the mainspring drives only the carriage, the escape wheel pinion being driven by a fixed wheel mounted under the carriage - the karrusel does not have a fixed wheel.

Charles John Hill, wholesale watch manufacturers, Russell House, Coventry. One of numerous well established and important Coventry firms that seem to have been forgotten in modern times. I should add that they are unlikely to have retailed many karrusel watches and, like the majority of names found on Kew entered watches, will have used karrusels like this in order to gain test results good enough to have had at east one watch purchased by the admiralty. The sole commercial reason for doing so being that they could then legitimately describe themselves, as here, "MAKER TO THE ADMIRALTY"

The usual small hair cracks into the seconds bit of the dial at six, otherwise a good, clean and complete example worthy of re-casing. Not serviced by me but running happily when wound.

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