1913 Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by tick talk, Mar 18, 2011.

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  1. tick talk

    tick talk Registered User

    Sep 16, 2008
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    I'm wondering if anyone has accesss to a copy of the Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review which reports on the 1913 Kew Observatory test results? I'm trying to collect a copy of the results for my V&C movement 357355, which I understand from past posts was published in the Review. It scored 78.7 points which was entered in the Kew ledgers on March 5, 1913.
     
  2. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    Microfilm copies of The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review are available on loan by mail to NAWCC members from the NAWCC Lending Library).
     
  3. tick talk

    tick talk Registered User

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    Thank-you for that information. It seems a bit clunky to go through all that...I was able to find the publication of the Geneva Observatory tests online! Who has a microfilm reader at home?? :eek:
     
  4. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    You do what we used to do for decades, you take it to your local college library - where they have reader/copiers.

    That's how I copied pages of the T. Eaton catalogs. I went to Queens University in Kingston, Ont. where they had the microfilms and reader/copiers.
     
  5. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    #5 Dr. Jon, Mar 18, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
    There is good new and bad news.


    The bad news is that the results for your watch were not published. The published lists for 1913 were of the top 52 watches. The lowest score was 86.3. Your watch placed too low to make the Kew published list.

    The good news is that you can get a copy of your abstract of results by contacting the Greenwich Observatory. They got the records from Kew/ Teddington. They do not charge for this but it may take some time.

    A score of 78.7 is still very good. It got a Kew A certificate but was well out of the running for the top list. There are several ways a watch can get this score so an estimate of its accuracy from the total score can not be highly precise but your watch was certainly comparable to a very good quartz watch today with an error of one minute per year or better.

    Better news, your watch also went to the Geneva trials where it won a third place. If Vacheron sent it to Kew they sent it to Geneva first. It made the top listing for 1912. The top two got a first. The next 9 got second. Yours came in about 28th. That was near the bottom of the third group but well ahead of about 30 that got honorable mention.

    Your watch was arguably one of the 30 most accurate in the world then.

    It s numbers were

    Mean variance 0.27 sec per day
    Position error 0.32 sec/day
    Compensation Error My copy is blurred here it is probably 0.4 sec but it could also be 0.1

    Rate resumed 0.92sec/day this is the difference in room temperature rates before and after temperature tests

    It got 733 points of 1000 by the "new" system and 242.3 by the older system. It was adjusted by C. Batifolier, one of the best "regleurs". Batifolier was more known for the Patek watches he did but your Vacheron was also done by him.

    I suspect he was very disappointed with the Kew results but I have seen several watches that did well at one trial and not so well at another.

    These errors are fractions of seconds. A gnat spitting (I was going to use a more graphic word that rhymes with the one I used) at the wrong time and place could cause a loss of many places.

    With these figures its rate over a year would have been within better than 10 seconds per year.
     
  6. tick talk

    tick talk Registered User

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    Dr. Jon, thanks very much for taking the time to add your insights on the test results...they are pure gold to me! Here are the published results from 1912 for the Geneva tests where my watch was listed with 733 points, adjusted by Batifolier. He was a very busy man that year, having done both Grand Prize watches, four Second Prize and 14 Third Prize watches on behalf of three manufacturers :eek: No wonder he won the Grand Prize for regleurs! 87342.jpg 87343.jpg
     
  7. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    Glad to be of service.


    Do you have the case? If so what is written on the cuvette?

    How did you know it has been to Kew?
     
  8. tick talk

    tick talk Registered User

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    LOL, Dr. J you've seen it before! https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t=66960&highlight=vacheron+observatory

    I've since added the Geneva newsletter published results and made a request for a duplicate Kew certificate from Greenwich Observatory. The last piece of the puzzle was the Kew published results but, as you've explained, that didn't happen. I'm gathering all of the info and images together into a book using mypublisher.com to document the piece. Would you mind if I was to include your comments on the testing results?
     
  9. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    Deja vu all over again!!

    Be my guest to use what you like.

    I had forgotten the previous thread.

    It's still a lovely item.
     
  10. tick talk

    tick talk Registered User

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    This is as good a place as any to post information regarding Kew Observatory Certificates.

    As recent as 2006, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) of Great Britain housed the Kew/Teddington Observatory archives and issued replacement certificates. The archives have since moved over to Greenwich Observatory Museum. The staff there are very helpful in providing copies of the register and results for any movement tested but they DO NOT re-issue chronometer certificates. My only suggestion was that they might consider it for the future as a revenue source, considering the Geneva Observatory currently asks 200 CHF to re-issue a Bulletin de Marche. 87996.jpg
     

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