Leonard Hall. Louth. Pocket chronometer or just a free sprung lever?

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by D.th.munroe, Feb 10, 2019.

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  1. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

    Feb 15, 2018
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    I found this movement in with a bunch of english and center seconds chronograph movements. Some of which honestly made me very sad..
    Anyway I couldn't find much on Leonard Hall of Louth. One entry in Loome's. All it says is 1901. Although I'm guessing he was one of Hall Bros, Louth, Lincs. Listed in Tony Mercer's Chronometer Makers of the World. 1888-1907. With similar serial numbers. This has/had a center seconds hand but no hack mechanism, it is stem wind/pin and I guess key set with the square below the word "admiralty". So I'm not too sure whether it would be considered a pocket chronometer or deck watch or just a nice free sprung lever watch.

    15498009351521077075425728478696.jpg 15498010087827658236693724118955.jpg
     
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  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi D.th.munroe,

    It could well have been used as a deck watch, they weren't all chronometer balances. It does have a freesprung overcoil balance spring after all.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  3. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    To answer the question in the title, it would not have been a pocket chronometer in English parlance although, if it passed the trials, it could have been in the Swiss usage.

    It would need a detent escapement and it has a lever.

    If my eyes do not deceive me, it is a direct center seconds with the 4th wheel planted in the center and it has a going barrel.

    At first glance these can be confused with fusees because of the second arbor's offset position. (Or, I may be confused just now. :))

    The sweep center seconds hand is missing.
     
  4. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi, this question has been puzzling me for ages, are Detent Pocket Watches any better Time Keepers than a Lever or a Duplex:???: Or is it just, that it has to be a Detent to be called a Pocket Chronometer just by definition? Regards Ray
     
  5. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    Ray asked several questions.

    As Tom wrote, the English defined a chronometer as necessarily having a detent escapement and they fought the Swiss on this in Court until 1922.

    In Europe, any watch submitted for trial could be called a chronometer, they referred to all as chronometers. If they passed they had a bulletin of rate. In the US anyone could call any watch a chronometer and Illinois made a watch they called an Interstate Chronometer and the Keystone Howard Company made a nice but third tier railroad watch they called a Railway Chronometer.

    Timekeeping is a matter of definition. Swiss trials measured day to day rate variation, variation due to position, and change in rate or return to rate after temperature testing. They set up scoring systems based on the rate changes. They also kept track of performance by escapement and by balance spring type.

    IN 1870 the trials at Neuchatel showed that detents has about 0.01 sec variation per day less than did levers. Here are the aggregates from 1870

    Lever +/- 0.53 Pivoted detent +/-0.62 Spring Detent +/-0.52

    For comparison they were seeing a average of about 2.5 seconds per day difference between horizontal and vertical rates.

    These were the top of the line as one would expect of English pocket chronometers. In wear the major difference you would see is that the detent was more likely to stop on a sudden jar and at an observatory you had about a small chance of observing better performance for detent if you looked long enough.

    I have carried a few pocket detent chronometers and I think one stopped once; but, for reliable accurate timekeeping the lever is better in my view and the difference is not worth the cost to buy and service and risk of stopping.
     
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  6. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

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    Thanks Tom and Graham. That was my understanding that it should have a detent escapement to be a pocket chronometer.
    And yes it is a direct center seconds and going barrel.
    Ray I think the detent is a better time keeper over a longer period of time not requiring oil on the impulse and lock jewels although not great for a pocket watch if you're an active person.
     
  7. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

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    And thank you dr.jon almost simultaneous posts there.
     
  8. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Thank you all for contributing to my question; having worked on Ships-Boats for a number of years in very rough Southern Waters near Tasmania, I reckon that a Lever would probably do a better job. Regards Ray

    Abalone Boat.jpg
     
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  9. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    If a salty eats your watch along with you, they may be able to find your remains by the ticking of the watch if the water is cool enough to prevent full digestion. :D

    (I learned that from Peter Pan)
     
  10. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    Rough sailing was a problem. In Tom M's recent webinar he re-told the story that a clipper bound for England from the US lost its chronometer in bad weather and the captain navigated to a safe landfall with his duplex.

    My research has found that insurance underwriters gave watches to captains who prevented losses with smart action in emergencies. They began doing this in the early 1800's but by 1856 in every instance I found they gave freesprung english lever watches in 1856.

    Steamships rode harder to shorter voyages so lever watches were often a better choice, I have not found any laws on this except English maritime law at one time requried ships going to foreign ports to carry a chronometer and a good watch.

    FWIW, I regard the oil argument as a bad one in favor of detent pocket chronometers. They are so hard and hazardous to service that they have to go a long time without oil just to be competitive whereas levers are relatively much easier to service so they CAN be oiled regularly. That is why the better captains carried good lever watches and the insurance underwriters awarded them.

    If you were English gentry and avoided rough sports like fox hunting and polo a pocket chronometer would give better service, because it did not see hard knocks and you had the money as well as access to top watchmakers.
     
  11. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

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    I do have to agree with you dr.jon on the oil argument for pocket chronometers and would think that that argument was much more applicable for earlier marine chronometers when you couldn't get them serviced if you were at sea for extended periods and oil was not the best.
     

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