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Kendal & Dent deck watch in a mahogany case "Click" to Login or Register 
I was fortunate and found a deck watch from Kendal & Dent of London, in a mahogany case on the weekend. I thought I might share it with you, in the hope that I´ll learn more about it.

I was hoping there would be one in the National Maritime Museum London, which would have made things easier for me, but no such luck. I´ll have to go slog it out the hard way finding bits of information here and there.
It´s in a two piece Mahogany box, with an issue card from H.M. Chronometer Depot. Royal Navy, Bradford-on-Avon.

A mahogany deck box fitted with a brass piano hinge and a simple pressed brass clip-type catch. The top of the box has a circular Ivory Identity disk, on it has; Semi-Circular, kendal & Dent, in the middle the crowsfoot /I\, below that C W and the Serial no. 17296. The box contains a brass drum mounting in the base, shaped to the form of the watch, with a blue velvet-covered cork base inside.
It has a brass screw-down bezel with silvered site ring and bevelled glass. The inside lid is covered with blue baize and contains a brass-plated, folded steel label holder for an issue card. The bottom of the box is covered with green baize. The silver, open-face case has the winding/setting crown inset into a cylindrical pendant, with a hand-setting push piece on the side of the case to the left at '11 o'clock'. The plain silver, rolled-edge bezel has no fitting for a glass. The silver, double hinged back is machine engraved on the outside back 'H.S.(crowsfoot)/I\ ­2'.
The case is in Sterling Silver with English Hallmarks.The inside of the back is stamped with the manufacturer's mark and 296, the Siver Hallmark is London. Dated to 1893.
Who was the silversmith/maker?

A white enamel dial of 50 mm Æ is signed Kendal & Dent/17296/ C (crowsfoot)­/I\ W above the centre, and has a subsidiary seconds dial below. The dial has Roman numerals and the seconds dial has small Arabic ten-second figures. Polished, blued-steel spade hands and counter-balanced blued-steel seconds hand.
I haven´t found out anything about the movement up till now, but from what I can see the gilt movement has a 3/4 plate signed Kendal & Dent, 106, Cheapside London, The serial Nr. 17296 and again the (crowsfoot)/I\. The cut bimetallic compensation balance is mounted with 16 gold screws around the rim. The flat spiral, blued-steel balance spring, with over coil, has been mounted to the upper surface of the balance cock.The train is jewelled with red screwed-in stones. The balance and escape wheel have blued steel-set end stones.The going barrel has a large screwed in jewel setting.
All screws have been blued exept the two which fasten the movement to the case, these were polished.
The instrument is in fine, almost as new condition, with just a few marks on the wooden box.

If I have forgotten something, or made mistakes in my observation, please correct me!!!

Kendal & Dent were trading at 106 Cheapside, London from about 1881 untill about 1927 and were clock and watch makers. James Francis Kendal, who died in 1911, published a book entitled ‘A history of watches and other timekeepers’ in 1892. The company is listed in trade directories as watchmakers for 1882, 1891, 1899, 1902, 1910 and 1915. The listings added that they were also clockmakers, goldsmiths and jewellers but they always advertised under watchmakers.

Kendal and Dent, although well known for their clocks, also were watchmakers.
The company supplied watches to the British Navy and were given the right, quite early on in their history, to mark their watches ‘Makers to the Admiralty’
. Unlike many fake watches with other names who claimed to be makers to the admiralty, Kendal and Dent actually were makers to the admiralty!

In Wesolowski’s book there is a picture of a Kendal & Dent watch with this inscription on it. Many of Kendal & Dent’s watches were Swiss made. In Ron Rose’s book, there is a picture of a very interesting dial clock by Kendal & Dent, though there is no other information about clocks there.

After the Great War (1914-1918) the Company raised the question "is it possible for us to produce a watch of equal precision to the foreign one at the same price or even 15% higher? if not we feel that the sinking of any large capital in such an undertaking is a losing propositon". This may well be why they disappear soon after this date.

My WWW collection is now complete, time to look for new ventures!
Posts: 699 | Location: Hannover in Germany | Registered: July 23, 2009
I can’t tell you anything about it but it sure is a beautiful timepiece. Congrats on the find.

Posts: 1499 | Location: Rancho Cucamonga, California USA | Registered: December 20, 2006
Thanks Ray, here´s a nice appropriate piece of information which has its relavance to these deck watches;
Trial of Deck Watches of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, in 1890
Chronometer makers who may care to send watches to the trial must first obtain permission from the Hydrographic, Admiralty, Whitehall, S.W., to whom all requests for such permission must be sent not later than October 6.
The watches are to be deposited here between the hours of 10 and 1 on any day (excepting Sunday), during the week ending with October 20th, after which no watch can under any circumstances be received.
The rating this year commences on Saturday, October 25 and will be as follows:
Watch horizontal, dial up, in room for 6 weeks
Watch horizontal, dial up, in oven for 1 week
Watch vertical, pendant up, in oven for 4 days
Watch vertical, pendant right, in oven for 3 days
Watch vertical, pendant left, in oven for 3 days
Watch vertical, pendant up, in oven for 4 days
Watch horizontal, dial up, in oven for 1 week
Watch horizontal, dial up, in room for 6 weeks
The mean temperature in the oven will be from 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
The watches are to be in silver cases with crystal glass, and each must bear a distinguishing No. engraved on the plate of the movement, Preference will be given to keyless watches.
Each watch is to be labeled with its price, which is to include a mahogany box with ivory label, cleaning after trial and engraving the Government mark on the dial and plate of the movement, and the name of the maker, the No. of the watch, the letters D.W., and the Government mark on the ivory label of the box.
WHM Christie
Royal Observatory, Greenwich.
Navigational timekeepers were defined by the Hydrographic Survey in four categories thus.
H.S. 1. The master chronometer with detent escapement. These were tested at Greenwich before 1914 and after that time at the National Physical Laboratory at Kew.
H.S.2. The chronometer watch, formerly known as the deck watch had a lever movement, was adjusted for temperature and in five positions. These were also tested.
H.S.3. These were small watches, most 16 or 19 size with lever escapements, adjusted for temperature and in two positions. Most of the examples found have been of a much higher standard, adjusted in five or six positions.
H.S.4. These timekeepers were large or small cockpit instruments with different specifications.

My WWW collection is now complete, time to look for new ventures!
Posts: 699 | Location: Hannover in Germany | Registered: July 23, 2009
Well,well, look what the internet gave me, after a long and hard search Wink
My Kendal and Dent came 15. of all the watches that were sent to the Admiralty, Royal Observatory, Greenwich, Deck Watch Trials from October 22 1898 to February 11 1899.

It's nice to find my watch mentioned, it gives it a little more authoritativeness.

Source; Deck Watch Rates

My WWW collection is now complete, time to look for new ventures!
Posts: 699 | Location: Hannover in Germany | Registered: July 23, 2009
Nice work Werner, I have a 1916 Johannsen I need to do the same with.
Posts: 317 | Location: Florida in the USA | Registered: December 07, 2009
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