Learn about Marine Chronometer

A marine chronometer is a clock with a highly accurate time-keeping mechanism that can be used to determine longitude by means of celestial navigation..

They were essential navigational instruments for mariners and used in conjunction with the sextant they can determine an accurate calculation of the latitude and longitude of a vessel.

Prior to the invention of the chronometer in the 18th century, there was no reliable method for determining longitude, (although latitude could be calculated) with the result that ships could end up many miles east or west from their proposed destination, and even worse, run aground on land or reefs.

Credit for the invention of the chronometer is given to John Harrison, originally a Yorkshire carpenter, who spent most of his working life perfecting the invention.

Chronometers are usually mounted on gimbals and housed in a highly polished block-shaped wooden case often with protective brass edges, handles and a viewing lid. Emphasising the importance placed on safeguarding the chronometer, this was then second felt-lined wooden case. more...
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A Ulysse Nardin marine Chronometer, in presentation box, reference 9862, two day, silver dial, box measuring 19 x 19 x 19 cm

Marine Chronometer by a Johannsen & Co. Silver coloured dial with Roman numerals, fusee movement, and two subsidiary dials. Diameter 12.5 cm

A marine chronometer by Thomas Porterhouse, London circa 1845, with 90mm silvered dial engraved 'Thomas Porterhouse, Maker to the Admiralty, 10 Northhampton Square, London', in brass bound mahogany case, with key, 17 cm high, 20 cm wide, 19 cm deep

An English rosewood cased two day marine chronometer, circa 1860 the silvered dial signed John Poole, maker to the Admiralty, Fenchurch St., London. no.2251, subsidiary seconds and up-down gimbal, mounted within three tier rosewood case with original ivory

A mahogany cased marine chronometer by Hamilton, 1941, 4 3/4 inch silvered dial with subsidiary seconds and 'Up and down' signed Hamilton N.3631 Lancaster P.A. USA. Ernshaw spring detent escapement. Brass bound gimbal fitted case (2 day) model 21, 14 jewel

A fine Victorian brass bound rosewood marine chronometer by Langford Bristol N.1835, two day, fusee and chain drive movement with up and down and Ernshaw escapement. Fully gimballed case 33/4 inch silvered dial. Signed dial 1900.

A Russian two day marine chronometer by Um-KOPOBA, c.1940, with gilt fusee and chain drive movement. Ernshaw detent escapement. High quality brass bound mahogany case fully gimballed, with outer mahogany carrying case.

A German Glashutter Unrenbetriebe marine chronometer no. 4854, World War II, fusee drive. Ernshaw detent escapement 2 day. GUB movement with electrical contacts. In fully gimballed mahogany case with outer carrying case.

An American Hamilton marine chronometer two day no.3378 (1941), model 21, 14 jewel with fusee drive. Ernshaw detent escapement. Fully gimballed with mahogany case and outer travelling case.

A good mahogany case 2 day marine chronometer by Edw. Baker, no.1067, in brass bound gimbal fitted case. Up and down with subsidiary seconds dial. Three and three quarter inch silvered dial. Replacement hands. Fusee drive. Ernshaw detent escapement. C.1850

A Victorian brass bound flame mahogany cased marine chronometer by F Bywater, Liverpool, c.1840, silvered 3 3/4 inch dial with up and down and subsidiary seconds. Two day. Fusee drive Ernshaw escapement. Photocopy of observatory certificate.

A good Ulysse Nardin marine chronometer two day, SN.5021. Ernshaw detent escapement, fusee drive. C.1950. Fully gimballed. Mahogany case.

A German two day marine chronometer by Wempe, Chronometer Werken c.1950, Ernshaw escapement fusee and chain drive. Fully gimballed. Mahogany case.

A USA Navy chronometer Deck watch in double mahogany fitted case, c.1940, two and a half inch dial with up and down Hamilton Lancaster, PA, USA movement. Case in satin chrome on brass. Stamped US Navy, N.7450, 1942.

An English Thomas Mercer Ltd. marine chronometer 17313, c.1930, silvered dial with Roman numerals, up and down dial with sub/seconds. Bezel dia 125mm. Two day with Ernshaw Detent escapement. Gimballed mahogany case with Hong Kong Rate certificate. Ship 'Go

An American Hamilton two day chronometer deck watch, in mahogany case. Two and half inch dial signed Hamilton, Lancaster, PA, USA, with up and down. Lever escapement in gimbal fitted mahogany case. C.1940. 150mm x 150mm.

A Swiss Zenith Chronometer mahogany cased Deck watch, Winding knob shaft broken. Double hinged mahogany case.

A German two day 'Wempe' marine chronometer, c.1950, no.6197 in mahogany case with fully gimballed Ernshaw type fusee movement. Chronometer Werken.

A Swiss two day marine chronometer, by Ulysse Nardin, No. 3348, within a gimbaled brass bound mahogany case and hardwood leather strapped traveling box. 19 cm high, 19 cm wide, 19 cm deep

A marine Chronometer A. Johannen Co. London, Makers to the Admiralty and to the Royal Navies of Spain & Portugal, no. 3651 anti-clockwise with a ratchet movement, boxed in brass bound timber, glass top and velvet upholstery to interior of lid, accompanied

Chronometer by Thomas Mercer Ltd St. Albans, England, in original timber case. Supplied by Henry Browne & Son Ltd Barking (no. 19226), with Dutch shipping lable 'N.V. Observator Rotterdam' & vessel name (illegible)

A Hamilton watch Co., ships marine Chronometer with case, c.1920's, manufactured Lancaster, PA., USA in brass corner bound and mahogany case. Dial diameter 12.5 cm. Height 17.5 cm, 19.5 x 19.5 cm (case)

A sterling silver Deck watch signed Daniel Buckney / no. 30399 / 5 King square / London, circa 1888 with a keywind movement, free sprung fusee, the movement stamped with English admiralty mark, white enamel Roman numeral dial with subsidiary seconds, the c

A mid 19th century Charles Frodsham two day marine Chronometer a two day movement with silvered 3 3/8 inch dial and gilt brass gimbal fittings in a mahogany double hinged case with outer protective mahogany case. By Charles Frodsham 84 Strand London, numbe

An English mahogany cased chronometer No. 469 by Eiffe, 48 Lombard Street city and south crescent, Bedford square, London, circa 1845, the silvered dial with Roman numerals, fusee movement with Harrison's maintaining power, Earnshaw style spring detent esc

A blackwood two day marine chronometer, retailed by Thomas Gaunt, Bourke Street, Melbourne, 1880, the silvered dial Roman numerals, fuse movement with maintaining power Earnshaw's spring, detent escapement with compensation balance and helical hair spring,

A good 19th century marine chronometer in three tier brass bound mahogany case. The 3 1/4 inch silvered dial signed J & a Walker no 258. Pool Lane Liverpool. Two day fusee and chain drive movement with Earnshaw spring detent. Helical blue steel balance spr

A fine 19th century two day marine Chronometer with Dent's patent staple balance and Ernshaw spring detent escapement, freesprung. The balance consists of a cross bar with U shaped bimetallic affixes to reduce the effects of temperature. Silvered dial with

A mahogany cased marine chronometer, mid 19th century, dial marked, 'Alex Cameron, Maker to the Rufsian Discovery Ships, South Castle St, Liverpool 1607', clock diameter 11.5 cm

Late Victorian two day marine chronometer, by Charles Shepherd, Maker to the Royal Navy, 53 Leadenhall St London, 1202, with brass gimbal mount, in fitted rosewood box, with Sydney retailers paper label. Clock face diameter: 12 cm

A 19th century English mahogany cased two day marine Chronometer the dial signed Rich. Hornby, Liverpool, No. 765, with a 9.5 cm diameter silvered Roman numeral dial with convex glass, subsidiary Down/Up and seconds dials and a spring detent escapement fus

An eight day carriage chronometer circa 1972, accurate marine chronometer by Thomas Mercer, brass & glass case, tooled leather carrying case 15 cm high, 14 cm wide, 9 cm deep

A Scottish rosewood cased two-day ship's chronometer, the dial signed Alexr. Dobbie, maker to the Admiralty, Clyde place Glasgow, last quarter 19th century, the square brass capped case with a hinged cover opening to an internal glazed cover, the spring de

A cased Thomas Mercer chronometer, circa 1920, set in a walnut case with a glazed lid, brass bowl and gimbal suspension. Silvered with Roman numerals, subsidiary seconds and up-and-down scale. Blued steel 'pear' hands, notes receipt of repair in 1972, heig

56 hour chronometer, British, maker unknown possibly mid 19th century mechanism in later sterling silver casing, hallmarks indicate London 1893, face diameter 7 cm, depth 4 cm, a fine and unusually large example

A Parkinson and Frodsham marine chronometer, English, circa 1860, gimballed brass two day marine chronometer, Ernshaw style spring detent, silvered dial, subsidiary seconds, movement and dial signed Parkinson and Frodsham, change Alley, London, Se, serial

A mahogany marine chronometer, Thomas Porterhouse, London circa 1845, 90 mm silvered dial, dial signed 'Thomas Porterhouse, maker to the Admiralty, 10 Northhampton square, London' in a mahogany brass bound and mounted gimbled case with carrying handles16 c

An English mahogany cased marine chronometer 19th century 12 x 9x xx 9 cm retailed by a Ericsson, St Petersburg, 19th century brass bound case, silvered dial, engraved initials L.J

A cased A.Ericsson St Petersburg Nautical Chronometer housed in a double lid mahogany case with brass mounts, the lid with the original ivory inlay name plaque A. Ericsson St Petersburg 871

A Johannsen & Co, London, Sidereal Chronometer, c1915, Makers to the Indian Government and Admiralty, Italy, Spain & Portugal, 149, London, 9171, Minories rosewood cased Sidereal Admiralty pattern Chronometer, of square form, the double hinged top one encl

A Mercer rosewood cased two-day marine chronometer, retail mark for Kline & Company New York No. 621, the two-day movement with seconds and up-down subsidiary gimbal fitted to a brass bound three tier rosewood case 9.5 cm dial