Mercer Chronometer

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Omexa, Nov 26, 2019.

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  1. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi, seeing as there are few Chronometers being put on the Forum, it has revived my interest in this Chronometer. I purchased this years ago and I was dudded by a Minister in Indonesia; when I informed him about the problem all I virtually got from him was God be with you. I am now going to have a go at fixing it. If a Moderator thinks it should be elsewhere, I have no problem with that. Photo 5 was a bit of an experiment using Red light. Regards Ray

    1.jpg 2.JPG 3.JPG 4.JPG 5.JPG 6.JPG 7.JPG 8.JPG 9.jpg
     
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  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Ray,

    I think I can see a dovetail foot on that detent in your picture 5. Is the rest of it intact, especially the locking stone? It has Poole's auxiliaries on the balance, and I do hope the discharging pallet is still there, along with the staff pivots of course.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  3. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi Graham, I will let you know as I get into it; it will be a learning curve and if successful I will try to apply it to to at least 1 of my other Chronometers. Wish me luck; I will need it. Regards Ray
     
  4. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi Graham, the Balance has both Pivots and Stones. Regards Ray

    P1030901.jpg
     
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  5. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Ray,

    The jewelled impulse roller is nice.

    Rupert Gould in 'The Marine Chronometer' wrote of Poole's Auxiliary:

    "The name by which it is generally called is that of the maker (John Poole, 1818-1867) who brought it into prominence, but although there appears no reason to doubt that he re-invented it independently about 1845, it had previously been employed by John Pennington." Even Pennington, moreover, was not the original inventor, since there is a watch in the museum of the Clockmakers' Company, by John Leroux, hall-marked 1785, fitted with what is undoubtedly an early form of "Poole's auxiliary"."

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  6. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #6 Keith R..., Nov 26, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
    I like it!! Round weights look like an add-on.

    My only Poole. Any kin Graham??

    This example, James Poole.

    Keith R...

    poole2 (600x800).jpg poole3 (600x800).jpg
     
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  7. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Ray/Graham - I have to be honest that I only had a vague recollection of Poole's auxiliary and how it works - as I get older I find I have to encounter 'things' and read about them a few times before it sinks into the memory. So thanks to Graham's pointer I went to Gould and read on ... so to help my little grey cells improve their retention and to complement Ray's photograph, Gould continues ...

    'It consists of two small screws carried on rigid arms united to the cross-bar of the balance, and so adjusted as to meet the rims near their roots, as they move outwards at low temperature. The effective length of the rims (and accordingly, the motion of the weights which they carry) is thus reduced slightly below its normal amount. The action is made use of by adjusting the chronometer fitted with such a balance to keep correct time, say at 90° and 60° which would normally cause it to have a considerably increased error at 30°. The action of the check screws, however, counteracts this.'

    If the distance between the lower (check) screw and the rim is reduced, the outward movement is increasingly restrained ...

    upload_2019-11-26_23-48-30.png

    'A chronometer fitted with it would still have a slight (gaining) error between 90° and 60°, and a slight but increasing losing error between 60° and the temperature at which the rims meet the check screws. For a further reduction of temperature, the error would either remain constant or gradually diminish ...

    The practical effect of the device is, then, to halve the M. T. error between the two standard temperatures and greatly reduce the error which would normally be produced at low temperature by this adjustment. Balances of this pattern are simple to make, and their popularity may be ascribed to this reason.'
    I hope this is helpful to others.

    John
     
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  8. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Keith,

    Your 'J. Poole', (James), was John's brother and father of James U. Poole, also a noted chronometer maker. Nature or nurture?

    James carried on the business, retaining the same name, after John committed suicide in 1867. The company supplied watches to William Bond & Son of Boston.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  9. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi all, I should have known better; I was using Silvo to clean up the Brass Dial (it was at one time Silvered, I think) a tough spot was giving me trouble, so I got out a small Rotary Tool with a Buffing Wheel on it; I looked for my Goggles and I could not find them; sure enough a very small amount of Silvo flicked off and went into my Left eye. Silvo has Ammonia in it. Nothing like an Old Fool, the eye is still a bit sore. I notice that it has "Import", on the Dial? Regards Ray

    20191128_030702.jpg
     
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  10. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Ray,

    Well, the signature is for a company in Gothenburg, in Sweden, so presumably that's why, although whether it was imported into Sweden or exported from there into the UK isn't clear.

    I'm a little puzzled by the title of this thread; where did the 'Mercer' come from?

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  11. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi Graham, I always assumed it was a Mercer; maybe I am wrong; Please enlighten me? Regards Ray
     
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  12. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Ray,

    Is there anything on the dial side of the pillar plate to indicate who made it? I can't see anything in the pictures so far. Other chronometer makers were available!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  13. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi Graham, the same Serial as on the front of Dial is on the back of the Dial; I could hope it is by Jurgensen? Regards Ray
     
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  14. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi Graham,
    CL Malmsjö & Co

    Clock company in Gothenburg founded by Carl Ludvig Malmsjö in 1843 or 1841. Born in 1818 in Röstånga in Skåne. Moved to Gothenburg in 1841 like three brothers where he founded a watchmaking company. Brother Johan Gustaf Malmsjö founded JG Malmsjö's piano factory and another brother, CA Malmsjö, became bookbinder.

    In 1870 Henrik Hallgren was incorporated as a company and the company was then called C. L Malmsjö & Co. The company was the largest watch manufacturer in Gothenburg from the 1840s to the 1870s. In 1879 Henrik Hallgren took over the company. In 1907 his son Gunnar Hallgren became co-owner and in 1916 sole owner of the company.
     
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  15. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Ray,

    If Malmsjö actually made or finished this instrument, then the 'Import' marking implies that it was imported into the UK from Sweden. They must have been busy, making over 14,000 movements before this one!

    Perhaps Skutt50 can shed some light on this, he lives in Gothenburg.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  16. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    Hi all,

    As Graham said I live in Gothenburg. I am however afraid I don't know very much about the Malmsjö watch maker but here are a few thoughts:

    Malmsjö still exists today as a watch retailer having their shop at "Götgatan 15" downtown Gothenburg.

    I find references to Malmsjö beeing the biggest clock maker in Gothenburg back in the 1800:eds. The best known Swedish watch factory was HALDA. and they made some 8000 watches. Therefore I find it odd that Malmsjö would have made more than twice as many. This leads me to believe the watch was an import from abroad and the serial number is from the maker..

    If Malmsjö was a "big" watch/clock maker I think they would be better known but I have found very little about their history.

    Malmsjö probably made clocks in the middle/late 1800:eds but later on bought watches and other mercendise from other manufacturers and retailed in Sweden. On local auction sites, on occation, one can find items like (Swiss made) pocket watches, monoculars or barometers marked Malmsjö Göteborg.

    The city name "Göteborg" is the Swedish name for "Gothenburg". My guess is that this is intended for the domestic market and if made in Sweden for export, it would be marked "Gothenburg".

    After having said all this I think I need to take a walk downtown to visit the present Malmsjö shop. I don't have high hopes that the current owners have that much to add to the story but I will report back after my visit. This might however take a week or two.
     
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  17. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Skutt,

    Thanks for some background on Malmsjö. It occurs to me that if this had been acquired by the Admiralty during WW1 as a matter of wartime contingency, it should have the broad arrow showing somewhere, but as it doesn't, that solution is out of the window. As Ray's had the dial off, I wonder if there's any sign on the back of it that it's been 'hammered up' in order to allow the front to be re-engraved?

    The trouble is, most box chronometers look very similar, and even variations such the auxiliaries on Ray's balance don't necessarily indicate any specific maker. I don't have access to Jonathan Betts' chronometer book at the moment, but I'll try and borrow it again next week if it's available.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  18. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Ray/Graham

    Almost certainly Mercer.

    Mercer's Chronometer's of the World lists Malmsjo movements. The first list 'All Kullberg: ....'

    Second list ...
    All Mercer 1927 - 13285; 1928 - 13379; 1930 - 13722 .... continues on to ... 1936 - 14341, 14457, 14478, 14481, 14512, 14561; 1937 -14/560 ....​

    So it would appear to fit into the 1936 sequence.

    John
     
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  19. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    Thanks for clearing that up, (another book I don't have!), so the 'import' mark is for the benefit of the Swedish market. I believe the English and Swedish nouns are identically spelt.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  20. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    I can confirm that Import is spelled the same in both languages..

    I also found some ads for old ships chonometers in which Malmsjö is mentioned. All about being either sold by Malmsjö or serviced by Malmsjö.

    In the mid 20:th century the shop advertised themselves as "Ur, Optisk & Nautisk affär" which roughly means Clock, Optical and Nautical instruments shop.
     
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