The calendar of all events (collector marts and education) is located on the National Watch & Clock Museum / National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors website, nawcc.org.
2023 "Save the Dates"
February 16-18, Mid-Winter Regional Meeting - St. Augustine, Florida
Show and Tell. Please bring your new acquisitions or horological treasures to share what you know and ask questions to expand your knowledge.
April 13-15, Southern Ohio Regional Meeting - Wilmington, Ohio
The Greenwich Observatory Clock that Changed Time Throughout the World and its Forgotten Creator. In the middle of the 19th Century, George Airy, the Astronomer Royal, saw the need to have a method of transmitting Greenwich Mean Time to various places in the U.K. To this end he acquired a regulator clock for the Royal Observatory at Greenwich which not only would be the basis of timekeeping there but would be capable of transmitting the time instantaneously to any part of the Country as well as other places in the world. This timekeeper would be the primary source of Greenwich Mean Time for 70 years. Arguably, it was this clock that through the distribution of GMT caused GMT to be the de facto basis for timekeeping throughout the world. The story of this remarkable clock and its maker will be the subject of the presentation.
About the Presenter: Bob Pritzker has been a member of the NAWCC for 25 years. He is a member of several Chapters and is a Past President of the British Horological Chapter (#159). His interests in clocks and watches is quite varied. Bob has enjoyed visiting many horological museums throughout the world and learning the stories of time and timekeepers. Repairing and reconstructing clocks is another way Bob enjoys horology.
July 13-16, The 80th Anniversary National Convention – Lancaster, PA & at the museum
The London Horological Engine Turners.
In 19th century London, the making of a watch required the work of many individuals, each practicing their own specialism. This presentation will discuss the engine turners of Clerkenwell and the links between their work and the watch case and dial making trades. Who were the engine turners, where did they come from and what machinery did they use? Where did they acquire their unique skills and, as the London horological trade declined, what happened to these workers and businesses?
About the Presenter:
Seth Kennedy is a professional antiquarian horologist with over 20 years’ experience, based in London, England. He repairs and restores antique pocket watches, both the movements and the cases. Alongside this work he also makes complete pocket watch cases in silver or gold using mostly traditional methods. These cases are each made individually to re-home antique movements in a period appropriate fashion.
The Convention has about 25 lectures and workshops and many will be of interest to scholars and collectors including a talk by Keith Scoby-Youngs at the Convention Banquet (registration required) on the conservation of the Westminster great clock, Big Ben. Your BH Chapter is helping to sponsor this and other educational events at the National Convention.
2022 Past Lectures and Prior
February 18 – 19, 2022, Mid-Winter Regional - Lakeland, Florida
Philadelphia maker Robert Leslie by Rich Newman. Leslie was in the forefront of invention and innovation of clock and watchmaking in the 18th century and was awarded the first clock and watch patents in America. This updated presentation includes newly discovered watches and clocks from the 1790s including a chronometer and an amazing one-wheel clock made for President George Washington. Newman, NAWCC Fellow & Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors, has lectured at The Ward Francillon Time Symposium, National Conventions and Regional events, and has written over 20 articles on both clocks & watches for the Bulletin and other publications. He additionally hosts a website on colonial and early American watchmakers, www.colonialwatches.com to promote research and education.
April 7 – 9, 2022, Southern Ohio Regional - Wilmington, Ohio
Show & Tell; Presentation of watches in the upcoming exhibit at the National Convention, including several renaissance-era watches and alarms.
June 23-26, 2022, NAWCC Annual Convention - Dayton, Ohio.
Early Case Making; The Art of the Silversmith by Ken Rockwell. Although a vast number of pocket watch cases were handmade in the 18th century, the craft is almost lost today. Insights, techniques, and tools for fabricating a case for an important 18th-century Thomas Tompion pocket watch movement will be discussed. Ken Rockwell is the 2013 NAWCC Pritchard Award Winner. He is also an accomplished gold and silversmith and has restored hundreds of antique watches. He has a BS from Southern Illinois University, an MS and a Master of Fine Arts from Florida State University.
Anatomy of a 30-Day Windmills Tall Case Clock, by Safwat Wahba (2021). Discussion of an early Joseph Windmills tall case in a walnut case. Members brought Windmills clocks and watches for show and tell afterwards.
James Ferguson Astronomical Clock, by Craig White (2021). Analysis of the astronomical indicators and dials designed by Ferguson.
A Retrograde Journey by Ken Rockwell (2020). Experience a collaborative and creative solution in the restoration of an early eighteenth century London timepiece having a glass chain protector and a portrait outer case. The drawer of the hopeless found Mr. Lampe's circa 1710 watch languishing for at least a century.
Extraordinary Finds by Howard Gitman (2019). A discussion of some of the more interesting timepieces including American chronometers and early English pocket watches. Howard Gitman joined the NAWCC in 1971 and has been in the antique watch business for over 50 years.
Sundials by Graham J F Jones (2019). The history and principles behind the sundial from ancient to modern times with examples of horizontal and pocket dials. Graham J F Jones, NAWCC Fellow, is a retired mechanical engineer and has been studying and working with clocks since 1980. His main interests are Canadian clocks and Tower clocks.
James Cox, by Bob Pritzker (2019). Cox (c. 1723–1800) was a British jeweler, goldsmith and entrepreneur and the proprietor of Cox's Museum. He is now best known for creating ingenious automata and mechanical clocks, including Cox's timepiece, powered by atmospheric pressure, the Peacock Clock and the Silver Swan. The presentation includes videos of some of Cox’s major pieces in operation. Bob Pritzker, NAWCC Fellow is the current President of Chapter 159. His interest in James Cox was piqued by a visit to Angelesy Abbey some years ago where two purported Cox automaton clocks were on display. A trip to the Hermitage Museum in Russia to see the Peacock in operation whetted his curiosity further.
Introduction & Comparison of Mean Solar Clocks and Regulators made by George Graham, by James Cipra (2018). Mr. Cipra has been collecting for over 50 years with a broad horological over view and a special interest in precision and technically elegant timepieces. He is President of the AHS USA Section. He was co-chair for the NAWCC Ward Francillon Time Symposium on French Horology held at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1988 and co-chair for the 2013 Time for Everyone Ward Francillon Time Symposium held at Caltech where he was responsible for the Tompion display of clocks, watches and sundials at that event.
Discovery & Analysis of a Massachusetts Colonial Watchmaker's Account Book, by Andy Dervan (2018). Samuel Bemis (1754-1818) was a clock and watch maker in Cambridge, MA. Unknown to the Horological community, his post-revolutionary war account book survives at the Henry Ford Museum. Dervan spent a year transcribing and analyzing his account book that dates from 1785-1798. Andy Dervan, NAWCC Fellow, has found researching the histories of various makers and companies as challenging and exciting as collecting. His principal collecting interest is weight-driven clocks from late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Analysis & Restoration of a 17th Century "Star of David" Travel Clock, by David Cooper (2018). David Cooper, NAWCC Fellow, is recipient of numerous NAWCC awards and author for publications including the Bulletin and Horological Journal. There is virtually no part of a watch or clock that he has not made at one time or another.
A Brief History of Early Watch & Clock Case Embellishment: 1640 – 1700, by Ken Rockwell (2017). The lecture focus is on watch and clock embellishments, including; enamels in “The Golden Age (1640 - 1700)”, piercing and engraving, champlevé and repoussé, and shell and skin coverings.
The Clockmakers' Collection at the Science Museum, London, by John Kirk (2017). The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers (WCC) is the world's oldest private collection of timekeepers. The presentation will include photographs, descriptions, and discussion of selected displays and individual objects in the Collection after it was relocated from the Guildhall to the Science Museum. John Kirk’s career as an astronomer includes satellite orbit management, GPS-based positioning, navigation, and timekeeping. His primary horological interest is precision mechanical timekeeping, particularly pocket and marine chronometers, and highly stable pendulum clocks.
An Interesting Cruciform Watch, by David Cooper (2017). The restoration and analysis of an early cruciform watch. These unusual timepieces are normally associated with Continental makers; however, Mr. Cooper has discovered some very interesting connections to British makers as part of his research.
An Inspirational Look at Thomas Windmills, by Ken Rockwell (2016). This presentation is on the renowned London maker Thomas Windmills (1672 - 1737). Windmill's watch movement #2577 and movement #9003 were used as the vehicles for dialog, and the history of the time period, often referred to as the "Golden Age of Watch and Clock Making" was explored.
Sir William Congreve and his Unusual Clock, by Bob Pritzker (2016). This presentation consisted of four parts; first, a look at Congreve, his background, personal life and his inventions; second, the rationale behind the clock - Congreve's patent, the construction of the prototypes and their success; third, a description of the operation of the Congreve Clock and its most typical form, and finally, Mr. Pritzker’s own experiences and observations with a couple of examples of these clocks and why they are such poor time keepers in practice.
Robert Leslie Remembered, The Untold Story of an Important Early American Watch & Clock Inventor, by Rich Newman (2016). Coming from the humblest of circumstances in rural Maryland, Leslie was a self-taught clock and watchmaker who made his way to Philadelphia and worked with America’s most revered statesmen and inventors including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. Obliterated from history by a catastrophic fire that destroyed his records in the 1830’s, Leslie received the first clock and watch patents in America and his inventions amazingly still influence makers to this day.
Impact of American Technology on the English Watch Trade, by Philip Priestley (2015). The lecture aims to explore the relationship between American and English watch manufacturing during the second half of the 19th century. In part it is based upon the travels and career of Aaron Dennison, the subject of the lecturer's recent book.
Watch Ebauches, by Philip Poniz (2015). Prior to the age of machine-made parts, watches were hand-made by dozens of separate specialist trades working in cottage industry conditions, and, with few exceptions, watches sold from London to Paris to New York, even chronometers and those with complications, owe their origins to one of the movement manufacturing supply centers (predominantly) located in England and Switzerland. The focus of this lecture is on unfinished movements, also known as rough movements, movements in the grey and ebauches. Philip Poniz has worked with Sotheby’s, Antiquorum and Patrizzi & Co., and has handled and studied many of the most important watches and clocks that survive. He is currently a partner and lead expert at WatchInvest, Inc., where he advises high-end watch collectors and investors, and owner of European Watch & Casemakers, Ltd, a company specializing in restoring mechanisms in ultra-complicated watches and clocks. Amazingly, Philip additionally owns and manages the largest electronic horological library in the world with over eight million files.
Early English Longcase Clocks, 1660 to 1730, by Dennis Radage (2014). The English longcase clock with a focus on early clocks and the development of styles and functionality.
A Brief History of the Great Clock at Westminster Palace; It's Concept, Construction, the Accident and It's Aftermath, by Mark Frank (2014). Mark Frank investigated the protagonists involved with the building of the tower and the clock at Westminster Palace, and how a unfortunate contest of wills between them planted the seeds of the accident which was to befall the great clock 118 years later. Mark Frank has been researching and collecting timepieces for the past 25 years that exhibit interesting mechanical characteristics as demonstrated through complexity, novelty, or visual appeal and was most recently a featured speaker at the 2013 Time Symposium, “Time For Everyone”.
John Arnold #10, by David Cooper (2014). David Cooper presents a marine chronometer made by John Arnold and discusses the differences between Arnold and Earnshaw chronometer escapements.
Collecting Pocket Watches, by Johnny Wachsmann (2014). Mr. Wachsmann discussed what collectors should consider when building their collections. Longtime NAWCC member Johnny Wachsmann began his interest in pocket watches over 40 years ago and is co-founder of Pieces of Time London (www.antique-watch.com), a premier website specializing in English and Continental pocket watches that has steadily grown to be the largest on-line source of watches and movements in the world, most recently expanding operations to China.
Timepieces for the Turkish Market, by Dan Osterud (2013). Mr. Osterud will cover aspects of Ottoman history and culture and how they relate to timekeeping in the Ottoman Empire, and the trade in timepieces, both imported and domestic. His lecture includes a large display of clocks and watches that demonstrates the technology and fashion that appealed to this very important market.
Isochronal Regulators, by Philip Poniz (2013). Few clock collectors are aware of the subtle discoveries that eminent clock makers such as Huygens, Ellicott, Breguet, and Janvier made regarding the difficult challenge of isochronism in pendulums, yet many of us have witnessed, for example, the transfer of energy between the weights and pendulum in long-case clocks that impacts the amplitude of the pendulum and causes the weights to swing when wound down to the level of the pendulum bob. Philip Poniz investigates the concept of clock tourbillons, showing examples by Breguet and others that spans over 200 years.