Watchmaker Roger W Smith visits Bonhams Clock & Watch Exhibition

The exhibition features two famous watches dating back to 1697

The UK’s best known watchmaker, Roger Smith visited the Clock and Watch Exhibition at Bonhams to examine two famous, historical watches part of a private collection owned by Dr John C Taylor.

The first watch, a Thomas Tompion watch from London dated 1697. The watch on show is said to be the best preserved of Tompion’s early repeating watches, the innovative movement is concealed by the employment of secret secure latches.

Pre-balance-spring watches were generally single-handed, but the Thompion featured two hands for hours and minutes, read against boldly set out numerals. The Tompion has a top that can be pressed to ring out the first quarter hour that has just passed and the hour that has just passed.

The second watch viewed was the technologically advanced David Ramsay royal watch – precisely 300 years old this year and made for a King. The silver case upper and lower covers are engraved with scenes from St Luke’s Gospel. Both watches were handmade by craftsmen who made their own tools to create these masterpieces.

Roger W Smith said: “It is interesting to see how technical advances took off very, very quickly in these apparently primitive times. For me, it’s a wonderful opportunity to see these never been seen together before clocks and watches at first hand.”

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