• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

"Arnold Frodsham key wind pocket watch inscribed 84 Strand London 15912".

Omexa

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Hi, my purchase for the day; a Complete with Hunter Case that I think is original, “Arnold Frodsham”, Seller’s description: “Arnold Frodsham key wind pocket watch inscribed 84 Strand London 15912 Arnold Frodsham Case marked IT 13912 and has the British symbol for silver comes with the key for winding.” I am not sure about the Case Number it may have been misread. This seems to be made just after Arnold had passed away, and when Frodsham purchased the business? Who was “IT”? What year? I can't seem to get to the "Frodsham.com" website. The Pocket Watch has a plain Dial; (Maybe a replacement?) Photos later I hope. Regards Ray
 

Frank Menez

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My serial number records show S/N 15897 Circa 1864. S/N 15912 should be around the same date. I have never seen an original Arnold Frodsham pocket watch with a plain dial. The following watch case maker used IT

James Thickbroom Clerkenwell London Need to see movement and case hall marks
 
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Omexa

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Thanks Frank, I am not getting an answer re. use of sellers photos. I may have to wait until the Pocket Watch arrives. At least I know something about it now. Regards Ray
 

Omexa

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Hi, you can be lucky at times, I took a risk-punt and purchased (US$149.00) this "Arnold Frodsham" Pocket Watch and I ignored the not so good photos. I have done this before and sometimes it works and at other times it would be best described as a "Horror Show". The 3 photos were what I had to decide if I buy or not. I know that Martin loves Frodsham Pocket Watches and I like them too. I am pleasantly surprised at how good it is. The movement looks superb and the Dial has no Hairlines and one small Chip near the one. The Crystal is terrific. The Hour Hand is Broken and the second Hand is missing. The Chain, Balance. Hairspring are all OK, 1.jpg DSC00762.jpg DSC00763.jpg DSC00765.jpg DSC00766.JPG DSC00752.jpg DSC00753.jpg DSC00754.jpg DSC00755.jpg DSC00758.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg DSC00750.jpg only major problem is the Ratchet when you Wind it Slips. This is the only Arnold Frodsham that I have got with this address and the Bonus is it is in the Original Case. Regards Ray
 

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gmorse

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Hi Ray,

Definitely James Thickbroom at 28 Tysoe Street at this date, (1847). I'm sure a small problem with the winding, (probably a worn fusee ratchet), is easily fixed by a man of your experience!

A very enviable purchase!

Regards,

Graham
 

MartyR

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This is interesting. When I saw your first post I immediately assumed (as you did) that the plain dial was a replacement. It is a well-established view that all Frodsham dials were signed and serial-numbered. However, now that I see your photo of the dial I am less convinced that it is a replacement.

Here are the dials and corresponding movement signatures of three distinct serial number ranges:

The first is #12474 dated 1844 and has an unsigned dial which looks remarkable similar to Ray's and the movement signed "Arnold Frodsham"; the second is #16027 dated 1851 and has a dial signed just "Arnold" and the movement signed "J R Arnold Chas Frodsham". The second is a very unusual form of both signatures!

44 2 Arnold Frodsham.jpg 44 5 Arnold Frodsham.jpg 57 1 Arnold Frodsham.jpg 57 5 Arnold Frodsham.jpg

The next pair are more consistent:

The first is #9844 dated 1858 and has a dial signed "Arnold Chas Frodsham" and the movement signed "Arnold Chas Frodsham"; the second is #9860 dated 1859 and has exactly the same signatures.

47 2 Arnold Frodsham.jpg 47 5 Arnold Frodsham.jpg 50 2 Arnold Frodsham.jpg 50 6 Arnold Frodsham.jpg

And finally the latest dated one in my collection:

This is #04672 dated 1872 and has a dial signed "Chas Frodsham" and the movement signed "Arnold Chas Frodsham".

52 1 Arnold Frodsham.jpg 52 5 Arnold Frodsham.jpg

My conclusion is that immediately after Frodsham acquired the business and stock of J R Arnold there was either no specific plan as to how he wanted to sign the watches, or perhaps there were limited resources available to re-sign existing stock. The classic "Arnold Chas Frodsham" dial signature was probably an overprint of the standard Frodsham signature on to an existing signed Arnold dial ... or perhaps vice versa. All of my movements show that they were signed as they are without later addition, but my guess is that they had many dials in stock and added a dial from stock immediately a movement was finished. In the case of my #16027 I had believed they simply forgot to update the dial signature, but now I tend to the "insufficient resources" theory.

My unsigned dial does look exactly like Ray's and now I am beginning to believe that both our dials are original. The watches date to the very early stages of the merger, and it may be that in the rush to sell watches and get them out of the door, they just didn't have time or people to add a signature to the dial. That might have been reinforced by some uncertainty as to how to sign the dial.

A lot of guesswork, but it's fascinating to hypothesise what was happening way back then :)
 

Omexa

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Thanks all, when I repair it I will look to see if there is any writing on the back of the Dial. Regards Ray
 

Frank Menez

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Marty You list S/N 12474 dated C 1844 My list shows that S/N as C 1860 You list S/N 16027 dated C1851 My list shows that S/N dated C 1864. I know it is not easy to date these watches, but there is quite a difference between your dates and mine. If I have missed something here let me know. The HM on the case containing S/N 15912 C1864 appears to be 1847-48. Movements and cases are not always placed together in the same year. Looking forward to your comments on this matter. Frank
 

MartyR

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Frank, you're right that the dates which you quote are those given by Vaudrey Mercer, but to be frank (no pun intended!) I long ago gave up on his methodology for dating by serial number ;)

In the particular case of Arnold Frodsham watches, his serial number list goes from #2838 (1854) to #101397 (1860) which is completely in conflict with the dates he gives for the existence of the Arnold Frodsham "label" which is from 1844 to 1857.

In any event, given that all Frodsham watches have matching movement/case numbers and all their watches were in hallmarked cases, his list is redundant except for uncased movements.

My two watches to which you refer are in hallmarked gold cases and I have dated each watch from that hallmark. The dates I gave are correct and in fact do exactly fall within the known dates of existence of the Arnold Frodsham label, and I am entirely happy that they are right and the dates deduced from Mercer's list are wrong.

The latest of my watches dates to 15 years after the end of the Arnold Frodsham label, and it seem reasonable to suppose that since this is a complex and expensive movement it was not sold until then and was cased when sold.
 

Frank Menez

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Marty I agree Mercers list of serial numbers leaves a lot to be desired. The serial numbers I have compiled over the years includes numerous numbers taken for various publications other than Mercers book. Here are some samples of four digit serial numbers. S/N 1084 C 1841, S/N 1529 C 1843, S/N 6348 C1844, S/N 6786 C 1847, S/N 7014 C 1850, S/N 8886 C 1856, S/N 9737 C1858. I can not find any five digit serial numbers in the 1840s or 1850s listings I have. My lists show five digit numbers starting C 1860. Some of these dates were from case hall marks. I guess we just keep on looking to try and solve this numbering system. Frank
 
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