From Sea to Pocket

The Royal Navy Veteran's 18ct Chronograph Pocket Watch

Featured in our upcoming Watches auction, is an unusual 18ct gold cased chronograph crown wind open face pocket watch, no. 37660. 



This marvellous watch was obtained as a token of recognition for 50 years of service in the Royal Navy. The history of its manufacturer, Dent & Co. spans three centuries of precision watch and clock making in Great Britain.  

Established in 1814 by Edward J. Dent, the company embraced the Victorian passion for technological advancement. They specialized in crafting precision chronometers, essential for navigating the Royal Navy and guiding adventurous explorers on their voyages. 



During the late 18th century, the British Empire experienced rapid expansion, fuelled by its strong maritime tradition. This era also witnessed significant technological advancements, including John Harrison's ground-breaking longitude solution in 1764. His achievement in determining a ship's position at sea earned him the prestigious Board of Longitudes prize money. This success further solidified Britain's position as a dominant force in the world of horology. 

The company manufactured the Standard Clock at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. This clock kept Greenwich Mean Time, serving as the standard reference time for the entire British Empire until 1946 when it was replaced by an electronic clock. His contributions propelled Britain's primacy forward. Dent also produced, arguably the most famous clock in the world, the Great Clock for the Houses of Parliament, familiarly known as Big Ben. 



The case back engraved 'No.1 THORNYCROFT STEAM WAGON ROLL OF LONG SERVICE - PRESENTED BY DIRECTORS TO G.N. DAVISON (No.10)'. George Nathan Davison began his career with Thornycroft in 1898 and he oversaw the boiler rooms of the destroyer H.M.S Tartan. At one point, he managed the significant engineering repairs on the H.M.S. Berengaria, Aquitania and the first Mauretania. 

A 1950 newspaper spread, featuring an article about the watch being presented to the Thornycroft servicemen

The pocket watch is accompanied with a silver dog tag relating to the watch provenance. Along with a 50 year service presentation book to Mr G.N. DAVISON with Thornycroft illuminated address, director photographs. It includes images of the earliest and latest battleships produced by the company, company autographs and a 1950 newspaper cutting regarding the watch being presented.

This fantastic and unusual pocket watch will be sold in our Watches auction, which is taking place on Thursday 25 April. 


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