• 01246 204978
  • overtonclocks@gmail.com

Tag Archive Regulator Clock

Table Regulator – 18th century | Tick Tock Thursday

This week has seen us restore a very fine and rare precision table regulator of French manufacture. Dating from the Charles X period (1824 – 1830), This piece is in outstanding condition.

The case of this table regulator is veneered in exotic Bubinga and inlaid with contrasting Box Wood. Overall it produces a wonderful case which is glazed on all sides. The front and rear glasses being accessed by removing the pegged top and sliding the glass out. It has been constructed to minimise the ingress of dirt and dust.

The finely made and complicated 14 day duration movement is signed Nicole Paris and has a very large visible escape wheel with dead beat escapement mounted outside the back plate . There is micro adjustment for the beat adjustment. The size of the escapement allows the half second beat pendulum to allow the sweep second hand to rotate once in 60 seconds. The good quality pendulum has nine rod gridiron compensation.

The 4 3/4 inch silvered brass dial unusually displays day and date subsidiary calendar dials and is retained in a finely cast bezel of 6 1/4 inches in diameter which retains all of its original gilding. 

Please don’t confuse this hand made precision clock with the factory made mass produced items sold later in the Century. I doubt that this particular type clock was replicated.

It is 24 inches tall , 12 1/2 inches wide and 9 1/2 inches deep at the base.

Table regulator. a dark wood with an orange edge highlight, gold face rim and god pendulum, the face of the clock itself is silver in colour.

Post on Facebook

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

Post from Facebook

Striking long case regulator with calendar and age and phase of the moon face

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! 🤓

original post