A fine and rare 7-day marine chronometer by Brockbank & Atkins dating from c.1850, in a mahogany three-part box. There were a great many more 2-day marine chronometers made than those with 7 or 8-day durations. Brockbank & Atkins were clockmakers famous for producing quality chronometers. So this chronometer is an impressive addition to any collection.
The week-going chain fusee movement is set within a pillared frame, all plates and balance cock beautifully spot finished by hand. The main plates contain the fusee, barrel and centre wheel, and a sub-frame contains the Earnshaw-type spring detent escapement with bi-metallic compensation balance and helical balance spring. The chronometer has Harrison’s maintaining power.
The movement is the same as Brockbank & Atkins’ 8-day chronometer no. 1496, held at the Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
The silvered brass dial is located with a pin to the gimballed brass bowl. It has Roman numerals and a large subsidiary seconds dial below the centre, below the signature BROCKBANK & ATKINS, / LONDON/ No. 1450. The state of wind indication is from 0 to 7 [days]. A flat beveled glass is fitted to the screw-down bezel.
Gilt spade and poker hands.
Original winding key.
A repair docket accompanies the clock, from Mercers of St. Albans. The clock is in beautiful condition. The movement will be fully serviced prior to sale, and sold with a 3-year guarantee.
John Brockbank (1747-c.1806) and brother Miles Brockbank (1754-1821) were pioneers in the chronometer business from around 1780, following hot on Harrison’s heels. Among others, they employed Thomas Earnshaw, who soon after [controversially] patented a spring detent escapement. From around 1800, the firm started to produce marine chronometers, production gradually building. In 1815, George Atkins (1767-1855) joined the firm. George’s son Samuel Elliot joined the business as an apprentice in 1821. In 1850, they were joined by Moore. The business remained active under the leadership of the descendants until the end of the First World War.
References: J. Betts, Marine Chronometers at Greenwich, Oxford, 2017
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