An ebonised spring clock by Sam Watson
London, c1700. Pull quarter repeat on two bells, five pillar movement, the backplate engraved with a tulip pattern and maker’s name. The verge escapement had been converted to a pivoted back cock with spring suspension, preserving the original escapement but causing the pendulum to swing wide. It has been restored to the original knife edge by a prominent UK restorer who commented: “This late 17th/early 18th Century Spring Timepiece with Pull Quarter Repeating work is without question one of the most original survivors of this important period of English clockmaking I have seen in nearly 50 years of benchwork.” Copy and details of work undertaken available. Samuel Watson was an important clockmaker and mathematician who is recorded in Brian Loomes, "The Early Clockmakers of Great Britain" as initially working in Coventry from around 1680 where he was Sheriff in 1686 before moving to London in around 1691; he was admitted to the Clockmakers’ Company as a free Brother in 1692. He was supposedly ‘Mathematician ordinary’ to Charles II for whom he made an astronomical clock in 1682 followed by another clock which he did not finish until after the King’s death. This clock was eventually sold to Queen Mary on its completion in 1690 and is preserved at Windsor Castle albeit in a later case. He also made two further complex astronomical clocks for Isaac Newton and invented five minute repeating for watches. In November 1712 Samuel Watson approached the Clockmakers’ Company with an instrument to ‘discover the houre of the day at sea and several other useful mathematical matters’ but to no avail.