Rare Stogden Minute Repeating Chronometer


Signed    Barwise   London
Hallmarked London   1829
Diameter   56 mm         

1 in stock


A very rare early 19th Century English chronometer with Stogden type minute repeating work in a gold consular case.  Full plate gilt keywind fusee movement.  Harrison’s maintaining power.  Plain cock with diamond endstone, compensation balance with freesprung helical blue steel hairspring. English spring detent Earnshaw chronometer escapement, escape pivots with endstones. Push pendant minute repeating on two blue steel gongs.  Signed and numbered white enamel dial with subsidiary seconds, Roman numerals, blue steel seconds hand with gold arbor, gold Breguet hands. Substantial plain 18 carat consular case, gold cuvette.  Gold push pendant with blue steel lock, maker’s mark “WW”.  Fitted in a later brass bound mahogany presentation case.

A very rare watch employing a development of  Stogden's repeating work.  Very few chronometers were equipped with repeating work or indeed any form of complication.  A unique design most likely made as a special commission.

An interesting design, Stogden's repeating work is found only in English watches. It is a reliable system which requires the best standard of workmanship.  Most commonly repeating quarters they are sometimes found with half quarter or even more rarely with five minute repeating work.  All these variations only require a single snail and bar to control the quarters.  This watch has an extra snail and bar to allow it to repeat the minutes.  Stogden's design has advantages over other mechanisms.  For the user the delay between the hours being struck and the quarters is always short and the same regardless of which quarter is struck.  With the standard design there is a longer wait if only one quarter is being struck while the rack is gathered.  Stogden's design also eliminates the pallets being drawn backwards by the rack as it drops.  It has a further advantage of not impinging at all on the going train unless used.  In other repeating mechanisms the going train is required to advance the hour snail every hour.  This would have been seen as important in a chronometer.

The two bars, one for the minute and one for the quarters hold the pallets above the ratchets as the pendant is depressed.  When the hour tail presses against the snail the bars are released allowing the pallets to drop into the same plane as the ratchets.  After the hours are struck the quarters sound until the quarter bar is lifted at the appropriate time.  The minutes then sound until the minute bar lifts the pallet allowing the repeating train to return to its rest position.  It can be seen from this that both the quarter and minute snails are reversed from the usual layout, with the lower steps resulting in fewer blows being struck.

Two Engllish minute repeaters are known by Mudge.  He used Stogden work for the quarter repeating mechanism. The minute repeating being achieved by an adapted version of the conventional Swiss method.

According to F J Britten, Matthew Stogden worked for Graham inventing quarter repeating work about 1712 and given a patent in 1728.   It fell out of use by the early 19th Century, although Breguet did adapt the basic design for use in his single hammer quarter repeaters.

A well respected family of watchmakers.  John Barwise, St Martins Lane, London 1790-1842.  In 1805 he was selected by the Board of Longitude alongside other eminent watchmakers to adjudicate in the dispute between Arnold and Earnshaw.  This watch appears to be the latest chronometer made by Barwise.  See a 14 page article about Barwise by A D Stewart in the March 2014 edition of AHS (https://ahsoc.contentfiles.net/media/assets/file/Stewart_on_Barwise_wm6.pdf).

This watch is the only example we know of which has minute repeating Stogden work.  It is probably the very last watch ever made employing Stogden's repeating work.