Archive for August, 2017

Industry News, September 2017

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

The Solar Time Clock

By Donna Hardy

British clockmaker George deFossard, FBHI, has created a mechanical clock that can be set for longitude and latitude, allowing it to tell the time virtually anywhere in the world.

deFossard, who spent more than three years building the elaborate clock made of 750 handmade parts, started his career in mechanical engineering and design. He later retrained as a clockmaker, studying the conservation and restoration of antique clocks at West Dean College.

deFossard’s wife, Cornelia, who studied the conservation and restoration of antique furniture at West Dean College, created the clock case, which is made of ebonized pear wood and brushed stainless steel metalwork.

The moon phase indication is driven by an exceptionally accurate, complex, and unusual compound worm mechanism, which was first designed by 18th-century English clockmaker Thomas Mudge. According to deFossard, Mudge’s invention was condemned to history because of its complexity, rather than its mathematical accuracy. deFossard has resurrected it and combined it with his own mechanical invention to create a unique and modern timepiece.

The deFossards said they were inspired to make the clock “by the vibrant and innovative mechanical watch market.”

There will be an official launch at The Clockmakers’ Museum in London in the autumn, as part of the Worshipful Company of Clockmaker’s collection, which includes clocks and watches by horological icons such as Tompion, Harrison, and Daniels. After its time in the museum, the Solar Time Clock will be put up for public sale.



Donna Hardy is the managing editor of the Horological Times.

A Message from Our AWCI President – Fred T. White, CMW21, September 2017

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

The “impossible” only takes a little longer and costs a little more.

Fred T. White, CMW21, AWCI President

Over the last few years, I have tried to instill the desire to succeed by my messages. I hope that some of my thinking has inspired at least one of you to try to improve your lot in life. Most of us watchmakers have had to deal with the parts issue. Some years ago, I heard that if you are dealt lemons, then turn them into lemonade. There are certain problems that we cannot fix, but we can go down another road. So, you have a choice: If you can’t get the parts, then do the “impossible:” It will take a little longer and you charge accordingly. You go searching for the part through our trade journals, and you may find a world of parts that you did not know existed. Recently, I needed a rare pallet fork for a rare Howard pocket watch. I had two choices: I could give the watch back to the customer, or I could go on a search. Because of my makeup, I don’t give up, so I went searching. First, I called the material houses that I deal with, but no luck. However, I was not to be deterred. I turned to our trade journals and guess what? I found the part through the NAWCC mart. I called the gentleman and inquired if he might have this part, and it turned out that he did. We agreed on a price, I bought the part, and my customer is happy.

In the words of Winston Churchill “Never, never, never give up.” I have had the good fortune of knowing many World War II veterans, but none stand out in my mind more than my friend C.W. Smith. He was wounded in the Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944 while making an assault on the mountain. He lost a leg and lung, but he lived to age 82 and died with shrapnel still in his back. He had the most positive outlook in life of almost anyone I have ever known. Here was a man who could have given up but chose to go on despite his injuries, and he lived a good, long life, raised a family, and was a successful watchmaker. When you are confronted with a problem, I hope you will look back on these words and keep on working to find your solution.

We are preparing for a great convention in Tampa, Florida, October 4 through 8. It is an opportunity to meet with old friends and make new ones. There is nothing better than sitting down with your fellow craftsperson and building those relationships that may last a lifetime. They could be the very ones to help you overcome that issue you are having on any given day. There are also those classes that can expand your knowledge and give you handy tips that you may bring back to the bench and put to use right away. It was through attending conventions that I got to know Marvin Whitney, Joe Cerrullo, Jordan Ficklin, Henry Fried, and many more. Just think, if I hadn’t attended those conventions, I would not have those great memories, and what a loss that would have been for me. I hope to see you in Tampa. Come—you will not regret it.