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  1. #1

    Default Mercer Chronometer?

    Hi, is it possible to date a (I think a Mercer Chronometer) Serial Number: 14379? It has a Swedish Companies name on the Dial, "C L Malmsjo & Co, Goteborg". No photos at the moment. I think that I posted this in the wrong place? Regards Ray

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mercer Chronometer? (By: Omexa)

    C L Malmsjö & Co. of Göteborg (Sweden) was a prestigious dealer in watches, clocks and scientific instruments in the mid 19th century until the early 20th.

    As far as I can tell, they did not manufacture themselves, but I am not certain of that.

    Doesn't help you with the date but just a little background information.

    JTD

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mercer Chronometer? (By: Omexa)

    Thanks JTD. Regards Ray

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mercer Chronometer? (By: Omexa)

    Mercer, as you say, about 1933/34, according to Tony Mercer's 'Chronometer Makers of the World'
    Peter

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mercer Chronometer? (By: Omexa)

    Hi, I now have some photos from seller. I received from Mercer Chronometers UK a reply that they have not a record of the serial number, but they sold in 1936 2 Chronometers with serial numbers that are very close to the Serial Number: 14379 on this Chronometer to C L Malmsjö & Co. of Göteborg (Sweden). It is just a glitch in their records. I have some restoration work to do on the Dial, the movement looks to be in pretty good condition. What sort of escapement would this Chronometer have? Regards Ray Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mercer Chronometer? (By: Omexa)

    Hi Ray,

    It would be basically an Earnshaw spring detent, but there may be some auxiliaries on the balance. Great care needed when dismantling, that detent and the associated jewels are very fragile.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mercer Chronometer? (By: Omexa)

    Thanks Graham.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Mercer Chronometer? (By: Omexa)

    As Graham said, great care... mostly meaning all power must be removed before disassembly, including the maintaining power, which is often over looked.

    Ralph

  9. #9

    Default Re: Mercer Chronometer? (By: Omexa)

    Hi, I got a photo of the Balance. Regards RayClick image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mercer Chronometer? (By: Omexa)

    Hi Ray,

    This does appear to be John Poole's Auxiliary, which limits the amount of outward movement of the rim and reduces the error at lower temperatures. Although it's generally known as John Poole's, (from 1845), it was used earlier by Pennington and earlier still in a very similar form by John LeRoux.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

  11. #11

    Default Re: Mercer Chronometer? (By: Omexa)

    Hi Graham, I presume the water around Sweden would be pretty cold so it would be pretty nippy on board the Ship. I found this in a post on the NAWCC forum. "In an article published in CLOCKS July 1984, Vaudrey Mercer investigates the errors that besets the makers of early chronometers and the diverse methods they use to overcome them. In the article John Poole's chronometer balance with auxiliary compensation was discussed. His balance prevents the rim from moving outwards to its fullest extent and hence it is suitable for exposure to extreme cold. His chronometers were much in use in the vessels sent to find the North West passage. This type of balance halves the middle temperature error and greatly reduces the error in low temperature.

    Mun C W". Regards Ray
    Last edited by Omexa; 11-27-2016 at 10:40 AM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Mercer Chronometer? (By: Omexa)

    Hi Ray,

    Yes, that's right. It's covered in much more detail in Gould's book.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

  13. #13

    Default Re: Mercer Chronometer? (By: Omexa)

    Hi Graham, from not much interest in Chronometers and mainly studying Verge Fusees, I now find the subject very interesting, it is unfortunate that Mercer have lost-misplaced the records of this particular Chronometer but they did find 2 more sold to C L Malmsjö & Co. of Göteborg in 1936 with similar Serial Numbers. I will try to find out how the seller acquired this Chronometer living in a place that is far away from the nearest City, Surakata-Solo (Surakarta is a city in Central Java) and nowhere near the Sea. It would be very interesting to find out which Ships it was on in the 80 years since it was made? I just found Madura island is a Ship Breaking area. Regards Ray
    Last edited by Omexa; 11-27-2016 at 11:35 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Mercer Chronometer? (By: Omexa)

    Hi Graham, I am in a good mood today, I went to the Doctor yesterday for the first time in 5 months and as I walked in the door he said "Your looking well" and I was; Blood Pressure 130 over 80, not bad at 75 going on 76. (I had a few beers that day, it is normally 127 over 72) Now I have been looking at Chronometers and they all seem to look very alike; lots of different Brands look to be based on Mercer? Now the questions: How do you tell if it (my Chronometer) is 2 or 8 Day? (I just worked it out from the Wind indicator; 2 Day) Another thing is that my Chronometer has "Import" on the Dial which I have not seen on any other Chronometer. Maybe it is a Swedish Regulation that Imported Goods have to be marked as such. Regards Ray Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Mercer Chronometer? (By: Omexa)

    Hi Ray,

    Glad to hear you've been passed fit!

    I think it's not so much that everyone copied Mercer, but more that they were all using a design that had been well proven over time since the days of Earnshaw and Arnold. As you'll have seen in Gould, there were some pretty amazing and complex balance designs invented in an attempt to correct middle temperature error. A two day instrument was intended to be wound every day, (this one has "Wind" at 24 hrs), with some spare in case anyone forgot; I think most navigation chronometers were like this.

    If that dial is engraved, as it seems to be, it should clean up pretty well.

    Regards,

    Graham

    "Ut tensio, sic vis" - Robert Hooke

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