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Box Chronometer - click to enlarge

Box Chronometer - click to enlarge

Box Chronometer - click to enlarge

Click image to enlarge.

Box Chronometer

Catalogue number:

"Gerh. D. WEMPE (/) Hamburg" and ":ABT. CHRONOMETER-(/) WERKE (/) HAMGURG" and "2783"

bezel 123 mm diameter

German shipowners established "Chronometer Werke, Hamburg" in 1905. G.D. Wempe bought the failing factory in 1938 and remained in business until 1975. During World War II, German chronometer makers were forced to redesign their instruments because metal was scarce. Wempe made bowls of pot metal rather than brass and a put a steel wire in place of a fusee chain. Several Wempe chronometers were taken from captured German ships and sent to the U.S. Naval Observatory. The Navy Bureau of Ships transferred this example to the Smithsonian in 1956. It is a 56 hour instrument with a later pattern Earnshaw spring detent escapement, and indications for hours, minutes, seconds, and up and down.

Ref: Marvin E. Whitney, The Ship's Chronometer (Cincinnati, 1985), pp. 58-60.

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