Diameter: 52.700 mm (outer case)
M&ME CAI 2381
Room 38-39: Clocks and Watches
Watch with seconds dial by Thomas Tompion
London, England, AD 1688
In 1675 Dr Robert Hooke and Christiaan Huygens independently introduced the balance spring to watches, which meant that they could be much more precise, capable of being accurate to within less than a minute per day.
This new technology was one of the factors that contributed to a change in attitude towards time and timekeepers, and there was an immediate demand for these new precision instruments. This gave rise to a series of watches with a seconds hand. Although not the first watch to have such a feature, this one is an early example.
The watch has a
The watch is housed in a plain silver inner case with the case-maker's mark (ND conjoined) of Nathaniel Delander, one of the most accomplished case-makers of the time. The back-plate is signed 'Tho Tompion London 4' with two punched arrow head marks, each denoting 500 in Tompion's coded system, making a total serial number of 1004. The brass-covered tortoise-shell outer case is inlaid in silver piqué posé with a design of foliate scrolls, birds and a squirrel.