clock-watch repeater (watch)


This clock, or watch/ minute repeater, was made in c.1891 by Charles Frodsham & Co. The firm was founded by Charles Frodsham, who was born into a dynasty of clock, watch and chronometer makers in 1810. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to his father William and formed his own business in 1834.

By the mid-1850s Charles had established himself as one of the period’s most eminent horologists, renowned for producing high-quality precision timekeeping instruments including watches, clocks and regulators. The firm continued after his death in 1871; Charles Frodsham & Co. are the longest continuously trading firm of chronometer manufacturers in the world.

This watch is a rare and has a highly complicated mechanism. It strikes the hours and quarters, and repeats hours, quarters and minutes. It has two trains, wound from the same button (one forwards, one backwards), as well as strike-silent and hours-quarters levers. The hours-quarters levers determine whether hours only or hours and quarters are to be struck.

When the repeat button in the band of the case is pressed, the repeat mechanism is wound by the second (striking) train and then automatically discharged. This is quite different from the ordinary repeater mechanism, which is wound by hand as required.
The brass movement has an English lever escapement which is free-sprung with a double overcoil spring. The watch has a subsidiary seconds dial which is made from enamel. The case is made from gold.

This watch entered RAMM’s collection as part of a bequest from Mr Clement Francis Venn of Craddock, Devon, in May 1928.

This object is on display at RAMM in the Making History gallery.

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