Watson's Keeless Gravity Clock. A shelf clock made in North London.

This clock has great presence and is sure to attract a fair amount of attention. It is visually interesting. Put it on your desk and see if your clients comment on it. I bet they do. Thomas Watson and Christopher Frederick Webb applied for a patent in England in 1919 for an improved timepiece to go by its own weight without a mainspring or other driving power. They received a British Patent, No. 140668, on April 1, 1920. As a result, they manufactured these clocks in Watson’s works in Kentish Town, North London. This is an original form which is seldom seen. The circular case is made of press sheet steel and is painted black. It is supported by a footed base that is constructed of wood an finished in black as well. This base is original to this example. The painted black dial is also steel and the tumbled Arabic style hour numerals that are painted in white. The contrast of the brass hands, brass made escape wheel, the brass mounts and the brass pendulum fittings against the dark background is attractive. The motion of the pendulum is very unusual in that it rocks side to side at the top and the bottom of the time ring. This unusual brass geared movement features a dead beat exposed escapement that used in a gravity clocks with a bar-type balance or pendulum. The pendulum is impulsed by the escape wheel pallets. Brass ball weights are positioned on either end of the pendulum. One winds this clock by pushing down on a lever that is located on the outside the case at approximately the 9:30 position. This has the effect of lifting a heavy bar inside the case and behind the dial that is essentially the weight. The brass knob located at the 8:00 position is used to adjust the hands. It is geared to the hands. This knob has a knurled end. This unusual shelf clock measures approximately 10.5 inches tall, 10.5 inches wide at the feet and 3.25 inches deep. It was made circa 1920.


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