• 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.

Colonial and Early American Watches

Rich Newman

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Apr 6, 2005
I had an opportunity to spend time at the museum during 2014 for an exhibit on early colonial watches that featured the two earliest colonial watches known; the John Wright (NY) circa 1720 that was published in the April, 2014 Bulletin and the Samuel Bagnal (Boston) circa 1740 published in December, 1996 and October, 1998 Bulletins. The museum has a very good collection of watches, including colonial and early American watches. Below a fairly complete list that I saw while I was there:

  • Aime Brandt, Philadelphia, no serial number (typical for this maker). Likely imported Swiss case and ebauche with characteristic double foot/two-screw arrangement for attaching the balance table, and steel coquerette. Dial is signed, gold hands. Circa 1800. Note: few Aime Brandt examples survive.
  • Benedict, S.W. - In display case. Serial number 22719
  • Charles Billon, Philadelphia, serial number 157. Circa 1800. Signed dial. Likely imported Swiss case and ebauche with characteristic double foot/two-screw arrangement for attaching the balance table, and steel coquerette. Note: few Billon examples survive.
  • John Bliss, New York, serial number 2556. Movement only. Signed dial with up-down indicator. Three-quarter screwed movement. Split precision balance. Movement signed "John Bliss & Co. No 26 Burling Slip." Note: only example of a John Bliss pocket watch movement that I've seen.
  • Bliss and Creighton, New York, serial number 19225. Movement only. Three-quarter screwed movement with exposed going barrel. Split precision balance. Marked "Patent". Note: few survive; one other with serial number 19527 is engraved "Made in the year 1853" on the back plate.
  • Brown and Sharp, Providence, R.I., serial number 12002. Signed dial with seconds. Replaced silver consular case (Birmingham assay, Rotherham & Sons). Pinned full-plate movement.
  • C. W. Burbank, Boston, serial number 3559. Enamel dial with seconds. Period hands. Pinned full-plate movement. London assay 1846, Maker's mark William Carter. Note: unidentified maker/retailer, perhaps Boston, England or Boston, Mass.
  • A. H. Burrow, New London, Ct. Full plate movement with dust cap. Engraved "Patent" on balance table. Outer pair case missing. Inner case Chester assay 1837. Maker's mark "NL" unidentified, possibly Nathaniel Lee of Liverpool.
  • Caleb Wheaton, Providence, R.I., serial number 1141. Movement (verge) only with signed dust cap. Circa 1795.
  • Effingham Embree, New York, serial number 519. Full plate verge movement with dust cap, engraved "Effingham Embree New York". Original gilt pair cases. Circa 1795.
  • Effingham Embree, New York, serial number 10552. Full plate verge movement with calendar. Great enamel dial. Silver pair cases with duty mark. London assay 1798 (photo unclear, need to confirm). Maker's mark likely for William Linsley. Movement engraved "E Embree New York"
  • Ephraim Clark, Philadelphia, serial number 603. Full plate verge movement. Silver pair cases with duty mark. London assay 1793 and Maker's mark likely for John Turner. Gold beetle and poker hands. Note: Very early example from this maker.
  • Ephraim Clark, Philadelphia, serial number 3048. Full plate verge movement with signed dust cover. Silver pair cases, Birmingham assay 1810 and Maker's mark for George Thickbroom of Coventry. Note: Very late example from this maker.
  • W. E. Harpur, Philadelphia, serial number 9. Movement only, full plate. Signed enamel dial with seconds. Precision split balance.
  • W. E. Harpur, Philadelphia, serial number 529. Movement only, half plate. Signed enamel dial with seconds. Precision split balance.
  • Henry Griffin, New York, serial number 1185. Full plate verge movement. Silver pair cases with duty mark. London assay 1797 (photo unclear for maker's mark).
  • Isaac Baker, Princeton, N.J., serial number 1199. Full plate verge movement. Silver outer pair case with Birmingham assay 1832, maker's mark for Vale & Rotheram, Coventry. Note: unrecorded maker.
  • John Dotty, Albany, N.Y., no serial number. Movement only. Signed enamel dial with winding hole. Swiss ebauche. Circa 1815.
  • Samuel Davis, Boston, serial number 4185. Full plate pinned movement. Massey 3 escapement (?). Split precision balance. "Patent lever" engraved on plain balance table. Enamel dial with seconds. Silver pair cases with Birmingham assay 1825 (photo unclear), maker's mark for Vale & Rotheram, Coventry. Outer pair case with very unique engraving: "J. B. Smith / Springfield Vt. Aug 27[SUP]th[/SUP] 1863 / Adjusted to variation / 70 degrees.
  • Thomas Howard & Co., Boston, Mass, serial number 18450. Movement only, full plate screwed, solid balance
  • Young, Coffin & Co., Lake Village, N.H., serial number 10443. Movement only, full plate pinned, split balance. "Patent" engraved on balance table. "Thos Ham, Lake Village N.H." engraved on movement. "THOS HAM BY YOUNG. COFFIN. & . Co." printed on dial (with seconds).
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