I just wanted to share my newest acquisition with you. It arrived in the mail this week and I just took some quick and dirty pictures.
This is a VC Deck Watch made in approximately 1943. According to Marvin Whitney’s book “The Ship’s Chronometer”, approximately 100 of these watches were made for the British Admiralty. I don’t know if others were made (this calibre was still listed in a VC’s Parts Catalog from 1967, 26+ years later – so it may very well have been used in other watches, though I’ve never seen or heard of them before).
The watch is classified as HS2, which is the level right below HS1 - Ship’s Master Chronometer.
(HS1 – was a Ship’s Master Chronometer with detent escapement and tested at either the Greenwich or Kew Observatories.
HS2 – Chronometer Watch, or Deck Watch, with lever escapement and also tested at either the Greenwich or Kew Observatories)
Steve G. wrote a very detailed post about his Deck Watch, and mine is the same watch ref. number – just without the original wooden case.
The watch is 60mm in diameter, has a silver case and uses the beautiful 21 ligne, cal 166 with indirect center seconds, operating at 18,000vph. It was beautifully finished to the highest of standards and representative of VC’s best. Look at the gold finish (the related cal 162 and cal 163 were rhodium plated), Geneva Waves, black polished stainless steel, etc. I just love staring at it. Being a “tool” watch, it was made with accurate and consistent timekeeping as it’s “raison d’etre”, it uses a guillaume balance, has 21/22? jewels (I’ve seen it listed as both 21 and 22 jewels), and was originally regulated to very high standards.
What attracted me to this watch was it’s merging of technical capability with beautiful finishing. I love the blued steel hands, blued steel balance spring with overcoil, gilt movement (reminds me of the new cal. 1003/3). You name it, this watch has it from a chronometry point of view. It’s simplicity belies it’s technical capabilities.
I’ll be sending this watch into the VC spa for restoration and CofA. I will take much better pictures of it after it’s return.