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Tag Archive horology

Nathaniel Styles Clock | Tick Tock Thursday

This week’s horological shenanigans has seen us start the restoration of a lovely mid 18th century clock by the eminent Nathaniel Styles of London. Nathaniel was recorded as working from Wood Street, Cheapside London. Nathaniel Styles became a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in 1725. He finally retired in 1773 making his career well over 50 years including the training and experience needed to become free. This particular clock is particularly rare in the fact that it is certainly a “base” model. ( the 1980s Ford Fiesta 950 of its day. ) the clock is simply a timepiece without any striking or alarmwork. It has a very simple case without any frills including side frets, fancy handles or glazed rear door. The case is a beautiful deep mahogany that has never been “ebonised”. If it had, his would have added to the cost.

This type of clock would have easily been thrown away after it was worn out sometime in the 1800s. Just like the 1930’s mantle clocks are at the moment. You simply could not have given them away. This clock has obviously been stored away in a dry attic somewhere for 100 years. Now its on my bench. The first steps to restoring the clock was to carefully remove years of dust and grime that had built up on the case.

mechanism for an antique 18th century clock inside of a mahogany case
back of a mahogany clock case
Nathaniel Styles 18th century clock

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Quarter Striking Bracket Clock – Tick Tock Thursday

This week’s horological shenanigans have seen us receive a lovely quarter striking bracket clock from Cincinnati, Ohio in the USA! We are proud to say that the owner had researched for quality restorations. As such he had chosen Overton Clocks to fully restore his Winterhalder and Hoffmier 19th century clock. This lovely clock is quite unusual. Having a beautifully carved oak case with gilt ormolu frets and finials. The movement chimes every quarter of an hour on four gongs and has a “silence” lever at the 3 o’clock position.

Firstly, we plan to carefully remove all of the ormolu. Then, we will be removing the layers of dirt and grime from the case layer by layer until the original polished finish is revealed. We will then completely dismantle the clock down to its last nut and bolt. Then completely overhauled so that it can give many years of good service, it should look amazing when its finished. The quality of the packing case supplied by International Export Packers of Newark is excellent. I would highly recommend them. They handled all the documents needed for a temporary Import/export licence so that we can restore the quarter striking bracket clock and get it back to the USA hassle free.

a large wooden crate
Quarter striking bracket clock
A large wooden crate with Styrofoam packaging inside

A large wooden crate with Styrofoam packaging inside

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William IV period bracket clock – Tick Tock Thursday

This week’s horological shenanigans have seen us fully restore a William IV period bracket clock. This rare clock takes cues from the grand tours and has an Egyptian feel to the design. This is a stunningly original flame mahogany double fusee striking bracket clock.


The Egyptian influenced case is finished in a wonderfully deep flame mahogany. This is only seen in the finest of early 19th century clocks. Finished off with fine brass inlay scrolls, flower heads with ebony inserts and cross banding to the stepped top. I have very carefully removed all the layers of dirt and soot to reveal the original shellac high polish finish. This has to be seen to be fully appreciated.


The double fusee movement is totally handmade with its hand cut crossing to all the wheels. These crossings making the shape of a star. The overall quality of the movement is excellent and has been totally overhauled by me personally. So I can give a full three years guarantee to safeguard your investment.


The original convex dial has received the most careful of conservation based cleaning. As such it compliments the rest of the clock.
I would date this clock to William IV ( c1830) 


William IV period bracket clock
William IV period bracket clock face
William IV period bracket clock

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Vulliamy clock – Tick Tock Thursday

Horological shenanigans have seen quite a few notable clocks pass through the shop, the best being a clock by Vulliamy.

Benjamin Vulliamy (1747 – 31 December 1811), was a clockmaker responsible for building the Regulator Clock, which, between 1780 and 1884, was the official regulator of time in London.

Benjamin Vulliamy was the son of Justin Vulliamy, a clockmaker of Swiss origin, who moved to London around 1730. Justin became an associate of Benjamin Gray, a watchmaker established in Pall Mall, and married Mary, a daughter of the same, with whom he had Benjamin. Justin succeeded his father-in-law in the charge of the business and from 1780, his son Benjamin entered the society. Father and son worked together until the death of Justin, on 1 December 1797.

From an early age, Vulliamy had shown interest in pursuing his father’s career. As an adult, he began to earn a reputation as a builder of mantel clocks. Decorative timepieces that adorned the halls of high society (some can be found at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery). His talent earned him a Royal Appointment in 1773. Through this he came to receive an endowment of £150 a year as George III’s King’s Clockmaker. There was a similar distinction, Royal Watchmaker, then held by George Lindsay. The king, an enthusiast for watches and mechanical devices, was patron of Justin Vulliamy. However, only Benjamin received this significant honour.

Around 1780, Vulliamy was commissioned to build the Regulator Clock. The main timekeeper of the King’s Observatory Kew, which served as an unofficial Prime Meridian and was responsible for the official London time until 1884. After which the Greenwich Royal Observatory assumed both roles. The Regulator Clock is now in the Science Museum in London.

In 1780 Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy was born; he was the last to dedicate himself to the family clockmaking business. None of his descendants took up the art of clockmaking, although his son, Lewis, was notable as an architect.

The Vulliamy clocks

Vulliamy clocks were of considerable value and represented the climax of technology at the time. one such clock was presented to the Chinese emperor by the diplomatic mission of George Macartney to Beijing in 1793. Vulliamy clocks were combined with fine porcelain figures to create artefacts that combined both science and art. The overall design was made by Vulliamy. He employed prize-winning sculptors such as John Deare to create the figures that were influenced by contemporary French designs. The Vulliamy family used Crown Derby to make the figures from porcelain designs. One of Vulliamy’s assistants, Jacques Planche, was a brother of Andrew Planche who had been involved in the early Derby Porcelain business. The business also subcontracted much of the clocks’ manufacture to other skilled artisans.

a porcelain clock face belonging to a Vulliamy Clock
the word Vulliamy London NS 1718 inscribed on a metalplate
a porcelain clock face belonging to a Vulliamy Clock

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Charlie Chaplin – Tick Tock Thursday

Ey up!! It’s tick tick Thursday! This week is the turn of Charlie Chaplin to teach you about the art of horology and customer service!! I’m not sure if I should be watching… 🤓 enjoy!

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Palatial Regulator – Tick Tock Thursday

This week we’re focusing on our amazing apprentice Jessica! Jessica has been with us for over a year now and is moving onto the finer clocks we work with. This palatial regulator has been fully restored from a very tired state and is now ready for a good number of years service again.. enjoy!

Jessica the apprentice working on a palatial regulator

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Tick Tock Thursday! – Cube Clock

A rather nice cube clock and a clock that needed a new suspension top making from scratch!  

Posted by Overton Clocks on Thursday, 23 February 2017

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Regulator with Calendar

regulator with calendar clock face
regulator with calendar full case

Striking Longcase Regulator with calendar and the age and phase of the moon by Thomas Morgan of Manchester c1860.

This is a remarkably complex clock for a regulator with calendar. It must really be considered a borderline example due the ease of reading the dial. The case is of walnut and above the panelled plinth it is glazed at the front and sides and around the arched top. There is carved fretwork below the circular dial.

The dial has no less than six subsidiary dials and is laid out in a regulator fashion. The main dial is a centre seconds dial. With the hour dial at 9 o’clock and the minute dial at 3. At 6 o’clock is the date dial with the signature on either side of it. At 12 o’clock is the month dial with. On its right, the days of the week and on the left the dial showing the age and phase of the moon.

The substantial movement has a dead-beat escapement and maintaining power. The pendulum has a wood rod and heavy lead bob covered in a brass as are the substantial weights.

regulators cogs
regulator mechanism with pendulum
regulators cogs on back of mechanism
regulators cogs on back of mechanism
regulators cogs on back of mechanism
regulators cogs on back of mechanism

Complicated Regulator Clock

Now then…. this very complicated Regulator clock came in recently for a full overhaul.. the gearing had been set up incorrectly so we completely dismantled and cleaned all parts before reassembling correctly! I think it’s time for a stiff drink after all that! Enjoy! 🤓

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Tick Tock Tuesday! – 19th Century Pocket Watch

It’s tick tock Tuesday again! The theme of this week has been “tiny!” A 19th century pocket watch needed a broken pivot repairing and a Ruby pin fitting to the balance assembly. The second was a brace of new platform escapements needing fitting to two carriage clocks. Enjoy! 🤓

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Early French Clock with Automated Ship

An excellent piece of Automata. an early French clock with automated ship riding a rough sea! A bit of careful restoration needed with the delicate “paper tissue” sea that is already showing signs of fragility….. enjoy! 🤓

Early French Clock with Automated Ship

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Ottoman style Bracket Clock

An Ottoman style Bracket clock with Anchor recoil escapement. Rack striking on the hour and a Whittington tune playing Carillion on eight bells that is triggered every quarter of an hour via a “flick” let off lever. Although this clock was quite grubby, it clearly had not been serviced for some time. There was a lack of previous repairers marks or Botcher’s scars present. The movement required 4 handmade bushes fitting to the centre arbour and fly on the striking side.

As always with these clocks, the setup of the let off spring is vital due its precise nature of operation. Too little tension and the Flick lever does not push the rack lever off and the quarter rack does not drop. This in turn does not push both the strike lever off the strike rack. Then the warn lever isn’t held forward holding the strike train ready. On the other scale if the Flick lever spring is too tight, too much energy is absorbed from the going train trying to bend the flick causing the clock to stop. The case was also in a very similar state of repair and required a full restoration including missing and loose parts having to be manufactured.

Ottoman style bracket clock case
Ottoman style bracket clock case
Ottoman style bracket clock mechanism
Ottoman style bracket clock mechanism
Ottoman style bracket clock mechanism
pieces of an Ottoman style bracket clock
pieces of an Ottoman style bracket clock
pieces of an Ottoman style bracket clock
pieces of an Ottoman style bracket clock

Claude Du Chesne Clock Restoration

A rather special clock in this week for a full restoration. This is one of the finest from the 17th century. This one dating from around c1690 and made by the highly talented Claude Du Chesne of London. Featuring a double fusee verge escapement bracket clock movement. After being poorly repaired the clock had a few bushes that were not very clever. A full three days of work has it working correctly and looking amazing..! I’ve added some before pictures as well… Enjoy the shiny brass! 🤓

Claude Du Chesne Clock gears
Claude Du Chesne Clock mechanism
Claude Du Chesne Clock back plate
Claude Du Chesne Clock back plate

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Tick Tock Tuesday – Fabrikmarke clock

It’s tick tock Tuesday again! This week sees a start on this unusual Fabrikmarke clock that goes for 1 year on one wind! It also features a deadbeat escapement and fusee movement. As you can see it’s pretty grimy! Special attention is needed on all bearings and friction surfaces to ensure as little power is lost in the train. I will add the finished work later in the week… Enjoy! 🤓

Fabrikmarke clock mechanism
Fabrikmarke clock pendulum

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parts of omega pocket watch

Omega Pocket Watch Repair

A most splendid week! We had a customer from Panama! He was visiting family and wanted his Omega Pocket watch repairing.. Apprentice Jess is progressing well and Colin has been getting his teeth into complicated carriage clocks! Time for a nice cold beer outside a nice pub! Enjoy!

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Omega pocket watch exterior
omega pocket watch