Marine: Thomas Mercer 2-Day Centenary Marine Chronometer


Registered User
Sep 5, 2000
This 2-day Thomas Mercer marine chronometer with serial number 22178 is not very old being made in 1958. It is however of some historic interest as it was made to commemorate the centenary of the company.
IMG_7423-001.JPG IMG_7449-001.JPG IMG_7454-001.JPG

A number of documents found at the bottom of the carrying case provides interesting information relating to the chronometer.

Among them is a certificate of origin and rate certificate issued by Thomas Mercer dated 17th December 1957. There is another rate certificate dated 4th July 1958 issued by Hutchinson & Jackson the agent that sold the chronometer to the owner of the ship. The certificate has the name of the ship - Villanger as well as the name of the captain- Olsvick.

IMG_7484ai-001.JPG T Mercer rating cert.JPG Hutchinson rate cert.JPG

An online search provided the following information relating to this ship:


1958 built by J. L. Thompson & Son, Sunderland ; 1974 sold to Arne Teigens Rederi A/S, Egersund (Bruusgaard Kiøsterud Skips-A/S), renamed Ryttervik, 1976 renamed Hai Hing, 1977 taken over by p/r Ryttervik (Thoresen International), Egersund, 1979 sold to Lugar S.A., Panama not renamed, 1980 sold to Selco Hong kong Ltd., Hong Kong same name, 1981 scrapped.
( Source: Westfal-Lansen & Co A/S- TheShipsList: Passengers, Ships, Shipwrecks ).

This chronometer was featured in a cover story in the December 2014 issue of CLOCKS, a UK horological magazine.

Thomas Mercer was the last maker to produce mechanical marine chronometer for use on shipping vessels.They ceased production in 1984. The company was revived in 2012, and it now makes high-end chronometers for the luxury market with precious materials, with an emphasis on yachting. A website of the present company was set up recently:
A picture of the above centenary Thomas Mercer marine chronometer 22178 is featured in the heritage section (covering the period 1945 to 1965) of their website.

Fullscreen capture 312016 93536 AM-001.jpg

With this documentation it fills a gap in the company history as prior to this, and as to the best of my knowledge there was no trace in the company record that the commemorative centenary 2-day marine chronometer was produced by the company in 1958.

Mun C W

Last edited:

doug sinclair

Registered User
Aug 27, 2000
Calgary, Alberta
An excellent addition to the historical reference. Great addition to the NAWCC MB, chronometer forum! The effort you put into your research really shows.


Registered User
Nov 30, 2014
Lincolnshire, UK
Thank you for posting this fascinating piece of history. You have been fortunate indeed in acquiring it. Mercers chronometers were very fine instruments.
I always try to research the history of chronometers I purchase but with mixed results!
I have a beautiful chronometer signed by Langford of Bristol and dating to around 1880, but everything about the movement says it is a Mercer. It is also mounted in a brass stringed coromandel box which I have assumed was made for a yacht or other non-commercial vessel.

Incidentally, the Sunderland Nautical Optician who supplied your chronometer was situated opposite the rear of an office in which I worked back in the 1970's. I don't know where this leads except it is one of those strange coincidences.

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