Chronometry: Longines Deck Watch

Discussion in 'Chronometers' started by John Hubby, Nov 9, 2012.

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  1. Larry Treiman

    Larry Treiman Registered User

    Jan 18, 2009
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    You're welcome, Lloyd. It sounds like we both read more or less the same things about the shortage of chronometers during WWII and the role that Roth Bros. (and I believe I read about at least one other firm in the Pacific Northwest) played in the supply effort with their conversions.

    Actually, my interest in this topic has been somewhat marginal over the years, so I feel a little uncomfortable discussing it. My main interest has always been railroad watches. However, when nearly nine hours passed and nobody replied, I decided to contribute my 2 cents worth. My knowledge of how these different timepieces is rather spotty. Perhaps Marvin Whitney's book on Gov't timepieces goes into all that. I never bought the book because of my rather limited interest, and my even more limited book budget. There are times when I am a little sorry I didn't buy it, but it is something I can get along without owning.

    There certainly are those who are very familiar with such things as ship's chronometers and other maritime timepieces and their use, but they don't often come around this MB. I hope some will show up and set the record straight where I might be wrong.

    Larry Treiman
     
  2. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    Dec 14, 2001
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    There is lot of tradition about handling detent chronometers. In one of Patrick O'Brian's books it states the penalty for opening one at sea was death by flogging and burial in "unhallowed" ground or Shaquille dump I not the sea. I often think of this as I see them being handled.
    The caution is primarily for tension on the fusee chain . Authorities suggest putting a bit of tension to take it off the stop
    That is how I keep mine in storage.
    Surprizingly they are pretty rugged when corked.
    I had left one loose in some drawer file when I had it moved. My heart skipped a free beats but it ran fine after I removed the wedges.
     
  3. tick talk

    tick talk Registered User

    Sep 16, 2008
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    Any comments on these non-fusee Vacheron & Constantin marine chronometers? Very rare in comparison with their output of deck and navigation watches. This one was manufactured in 1919 (Antiquorum photos):
     

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  4. rmw

    rmw Registered User

    May 31, 2005
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    There are a few V & C marine chronometer for sale on the internet, and reports of sales by auction. They are described in entirely conventional terms - Earnshaw detent movements, fusee, etc. and are mounted in the usual gimballed box. The movement of the only one I have ever seen looks very similar to that of a Ulysee Nardin. I wonder if they were a product of badge engineering. like so many English chronometers which, whatever the dial says were made by Mercer.
     
  5. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I have seen one fusee V&C detent marine chronometer. It looked like straight Mercer. Opt .
    They made a comparative lot of non fusee lever "Chronometre de Bord" time pieces most were
    made in the 1920 to late 1940 range. Going up the "Food chain" they start as large superb lever watches. Next upgrade is Guillaume Balance. Next are with. Center seconds. I think they also made some with winding indicators.

    Some of the earlier ones were marked Chronometre Royal.
    They are all unmistakeable as V&C.
    The UK National Maritime Museum has service records on the ones the Royal Navy bought. These have the broad Arrow mark on the case
     
  6. tick talk

    tick talk Registered User

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    Hi Dr. J :) I believe we share a love of V&C, yes? FWIW, I've been told by "insiders" that Kullberg made their fusee marine chronometers, but the levers are entirely in-house manufacture.
    Here is a British HS2 navigation chronometer with Chronometre Royal movement, followed by an Observatory-rated Kriegsmarine chronometer with vernier regulator. Both saw WWII service.
     

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  7. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    May 3, 2012
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    Wow!! Tick Talk - you own these?
     
  8. tick talk

    tick talk Registered User

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    Yes, they are among the pride of my collection. I'll pm you more...
     
  9. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I will have to pay more attention when I see references to the V&C Chronometre Royal. I had only seen those that are similar to the Patek Gondolo but your nickel Royale is in an entirely different class.Thanks for sharing. I would appreciate pictures of the dials also.
     
  10. rmw

    rmw Registered User

    May 31, 2005
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    Since this thread has gone almost completely off-thread and is providing new information all the time, I thought I would share this. It is the top plate of a very small Ulysee Nardin marine chronometer (dial about 7.5 cm across. Although it is a fusee spring detent, you will see that it has a snail regulator. It was one of about 200 made in the 1950s. Externally the piece has all the appearance of a gimballed lever deck watch, like the Longines or even a Hamilton 22, although the box is 3 piece. It shares no parts with the usual larger UN chronometer.

    file://localhost/Users/richard%201/Desktop/P1030493.JPG
     
  11. rmw

    rmw Registered User

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    I don't think my attempt to post the image worked first time.


    P1030493.jpg
     
  12. Adam Harris

    Adam Harris Registered User
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    I am NOT surprised
    They are magnificent.
    Thanks for sharing and the PM
     
  13. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Looking at the Nardin chronometer I note that the regulator and hairspring stud look a lot like those on a Zenith pocket watch I used to own. Is there a connection between the two?
     
  14. rmw

    rmw Registered User

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    No, none at all. The UN is, apart from the fact that it is not free sprung, an entirely conventional marine chronometer with a helical hairspring. I have a couple of Zeniths (deck watches), and apart from the similarity of the regulators they are very different from the UN, being ordinary (if high quality) 15 jewel lever movements.
     

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