Earlier this week I had a short but interesting mail exchange with Nick, owner of http://www.clockmaker.com.au/. He pointed this article out on his website, regarding the Dent 1508 Ship Chronometer.

For collectors with a passion for accuracy, ship chronometers might interest you!

Nick writes:
Dent No. 1508 Ships Chronometer, signed “Dent, 82 strand LONDON”. Purchased by Admiralty in March 1841. Used as navigation instrument on HMS ‘Virago’ – 1847, HMS ‘Plover’ – 1869, HMS ‘ Sattelite’ – 1886, HMS ‘Carysfort’. Serviced in 1879 Cape Observatory, 1895 Cape of Good Hope, 1895 by Mercer (famous Marine chronometer himself) , 1902 in Sydney, 1919 in Liverpool. Sold by auction in 1920. In private collection since 1983, first time offered for sale.

The maker of this Ship chronometer, Edward John Dent (1790-1853), also was the maker of the great clock of the House of Parliament, known as the Big Ben.

For the visitors of this blog who are not into Ship Chronometers, check out the restoration projects done by Nick on wrist watches. Here is an example of the restoration of a vintage Rolex Explorer:.

From this:

To this:

The original dial (with gold print) and hands are kept and restored as good as possible. The bracelet has been repaired and refurbished as well. The case also has been refurbished as you can see. The caliber 1030 movement got a complete overhaul and is running within COSC specifications again. This project took about 12 hours in total. Amazing.

Give him a visit at http://www.clockmaker.com.au.

  • Very interesting, thanks RJ.

  • Preety nice what he did whith that Rolex

  • georges zaslavsky

    he made a nice restoration, too bad he didn’t relume the hands.

  • lynn allan

    Very interestig. Does anyone have any info on a adent 1660 chronometer history etc?

  • I have read your site with interest. I served an apprenticeship in London in the 1950’s at a precision clock and instrument makers in Clerkenwell. I must have repaired and re calibrated 100’s of English, French and American chronometers in my works lifetime. I helped also on the refurbishment of one of Harrison’s chronometers from Greenwich. I find great satisfaction that people will look after these instruments well into the future. I calibrated a London ships chronometer (made in London 1853) in 1972. It had the accuracy of (+ – ) 6 seconds per month. I was the third service in all that time. Failing health now keeps me from my workshop and tools.

    • Perter_Last

      It is sad that such dedicated highly skilled clock makers ( Leonard Borrow) will soon be gone with the passing of time. These masters served 5 year apprenticeships on low wages and long hours to gain their craft. How many people today could totally service and repair a Harrison chronometer. I remember a Saffron Walden clock maker (Jerald Penn) make his own brass so that the colour and surface texture would exactly duplicate the cog wheels of say a Daniel Quare Long case movement he was working on. He would bring the completed work into our workshop and have us apprentices detect the wheels and and gear teeth he had replaced. If we spotted them he would take it to pieces and start again. Sadly such perfectionists are rare today.

  • Tom Franklin

    I would be interested to know if a Dent chronometer can be dated from the number. I have a nice original example No; 2194.