- Museum number
3/4 plate; nickel-silver frame; going barrel; stop mechanism.
Pin-wheel lever escapement.
Hands not original.
Timer, Centre seconds, minute recorder and subsidiary 1/4 seconds; inscription.
- Production date
Diameter: 54.70 millimetres (case)
Diameter: 45.80 millimetres (movement)
Thickness: 21.10 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Comment from Richard Good, Catalogue of Watches in the British Museum. Vol. V (Unpublished manuscript)
Made by the Auburndale Watch Company
Auburndale, Massachusetts, USA, c. 1880
Nickel-silver cased timer with stop and reset facilities and with a special pin-wheel lever escapement.
Signature: On the back plate 'AUBURNDALE, MASS. TIMER 1761' and 'Patent Applied For'.
Case: Nickel silver open face case, scratched in the back 'E-O' and 'AD 1878'.
Dial and Hands: The dial missing, but no doubt was the same as that on Cat. no. 267 (registration no. 1958,1201.1263). There are three hands but none is original.
Dial plate: None intended.
Dust cover: None intended.
Ebauche Marks: 1761.
Frame: A nickel silver frame. 3/4 plate layout with three turned pillars. On the front plate, on the inside, is stamped 'PATENTED MAY 28th 1878' and 1761. The balance cock is numbered 1761 on the underside.
Barrel and Mainspring:
Barrel: going barrel, internal diameter 17.2 mm, height 2.5 mm.
Mainspring: height 2.30 mm, thickness 0.23 mm.
Barrel Arbor: diameter 5.3 mm, snailed.
Train: The brass wheels not gilded and left with a grained finish. The second wheel is solid, the third and fourth wheels have five crossings. The third wheel is at the centre of the watch.
Jewelling: Jewelled bearings with ruby endstones in screwed settings for the balance pivots only.
Escapement: A purpose designed escapement unique to this type of watch(1) made by Auburndale. The brass escape wheel, with four crossings, has 4 steel pins which work with steel pallets with long impulse planes. There is a large drop in the escapement and draw. A single roller with a D-shaped impulse jewel.
Balance and Spring: A rounded-rim three-arm steel balance, diameter 13.3 mm, thickness 0.45 mm. A blued-steel flat spiral spring with 122 turns pinned to a stud on the balance cock table.
Means of Regulation: An index on the balance cock registers against a divided scale with 'S' and 'F' engraved on the balance cock.
Train Counts and Beat Rate:
Great wheel 80 (barrel)
Second wheel 80 pinion 12 (carries 10 minute hand)
Third wheel 80 pinion 8 (carries the centre-seconds hand)
Fourth wheel 60 pinion 8
Escape wheel 4 pins 10 leaves on the pinion (carries the hand revolving once a second)
Beat rate: 28,800 balance beats 1/8th seconds.
Winding System: A fixed key on the barrel arbor. Turning the pendant button (now missing) operates the stop and start device and the zeroing is accomplished by pressing it. This watch has an additional piece to those present in cat. no. 267, this is a lever which presumably zeroed the one second hand.
Case: diameter 54.7 mm. height 21.0 mm (over the glass)
Movement: diameter 45.8 mm, height 15.0 mm, pillar height 4.2 mm.
Provenance: Formerly in the Ilbert collection. Ilbert purchased this watch from Malcolm Gardner 22/5/1936
(1)According to Michael C. Harrold in American Watchmaking, a supplement to the NAWCC Bulletin No 14 (Spring 1984), the escapement in this watch was designed by James Jerry, a mechanic and manager of many watch factories who also designed a version with two pins in the escape wheel, see page 114. On page 125 a brief history of the company is given. Apparently the company was founded in 1876 with their demise possibly in 1890.
A similar watch is in the Time Museum. It is numbered 3068 and is Cat no. 220 in the catalogue American Watches by Donald Robert Hoke, published by Time Museum, Rockford, Illinois, U.S.A., 1991
Another Auburndale Timer inscribed 'Patent applied for 129' can be seen in the catalogue of the Paul M. Chamberlain collection, exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1921 item no. 250, where Chamberlain says that the design was by Mr Hopkins (Jason R. Hopkins), and the escapement by J.H. Gerry.
See Edwin A. Battison 'The Auburndale Watch Company' NAWCC Bulletin 218 Contributions from the Museum of History and Technology Paper 4, pp. 49-68. (now out of print but available from the NAWCC Lending Library).
Apparently about 3,500 of these 1/4 and 1/8 second timers were made by Auburndale.
- Not on display
- Latest: 3 (2017)
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: CAI.1261 (Ilbert Collection)
Previous owner/ex-collection number: N223 (Ilbert Ledger)