A fine and rare 2-day box chronometer by this most interesting maker, circa 1890.
Beautifully figured 3-piece plain mahogany box, the ivory plaque on the middle section bearing the retailers name and Gardner's number. Fullplate fusee movement retaining most of its original spotting. Spring-detent escapement in fine condition retaining its original footed detent with gold passing-spring. 9-turn blued-steel helical balance-spring acting with a slightly unusual compensation balance having additional screws mounted on the balance arms. Silvered dial with state-of-wind indication and offset seconds, original blued-steel hands. Box 18.5 cm.
Alexander Dobbie & Son, 45 Clyde Place, Glasgow, nautical opticians, retailers of best quality chronometers by various suppliers, including Gardner.
Robert Gardner (1851-1931), one of the most interesting chronometer makers of his day, and certainly one of the best read and informed on the subject of chronometer making and horology in general. His library, catalogued and sold by his son Malcolm in the early 1930's, led to the establishment of the Malcolm Gardner business that formed firm and lasting friendships with Courtney Ilbert and many other horologists.
Robert spent his apprenticeship partly in Glasgow (learning clockmaking) and then London, after which he travelled extensively in Switzerland, France and America in order to learn about watchmaking. Originally based at Bearsden, near Glasgow, he moved to 20 Lloyd Square London in 1886 and set himself up as a watch and chronometer maker, eventually concentrating exclusively on chronometers of the highest class and finish. See his obituary in the February 1932 issue of the Horological Journal, as well as the Gardner letterhead on my website, giving details of his appointments and the specialities he offered. NB: Gardner 2-day chronometer No 5/4162 came 1st in the Greenwich Trials of 1897.
The box has just been lightly cleaned and polished and has no real faults to speak of. Movement and dial both in very good original condition, with just a few minor age spots, the original detent in perfect condition as is the balance and spring. Serviced and guaranteed. NB: This chronometer is in the United Kingdom and will need specialist shipping and handling. Please enquire as to likely costs.
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