Lot No. 569 (89th Auction)
Nicole Nielsen & Co., London, Case No. 7515, 50 mm, 117 g, circa 1873

A gentleman's very rare pocket watch of historic interest with split seconds chronograph and eccentric time indicator
Case: 18k rose gold, polished, push back with dedication engraving: "George Brown from John I. Thornycroft and John Donaldson - Chiswick 1883", case maker's punch mark "AN" (Adolphe Nicole), chronograph mechanism operated through the crown. Dial: enamel, eccentric hour indicator with Roman hours, numbered, signed, blued spade hands. Movm.: 4/5 plate movement, Nicole Nielsen's patented winding system, frosted, gilt, chronograph mechanism on the top plate, English lever escapement, gold screw compensation balance, fine florally engraved balance cock.

John I. Thornycroft (1843 - 1928)
Sir John Isaac Thornycroft was a British shipbuilder, the founder of the Thornycroft shipbuilding company and member of the Thornycroft family.He was born in 1843 to Mary Francis and Thomas Thornycroft.
Thornycroft worked for a while at Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company in Jarrow-on-Tyne before studying for a diploma in engineering at the University of Glasgow. At Glasgow he studied under Lord Kelvin and Professor Macquorn Rankine. He established a shipbuilding yard on the River Thames at Chiswick in 1864. He built his first steam launch when he was 19 years old. In 1876, his first vessel for the Royal Navy was a steam torpedo boat, HMS Lightning. His yard built a steam-powered lorry which led them into the vehicle manufacturing business, the Thornycroft named business lasting until the late 20th century.
Thornycroft worked on means of aiding hull lubrication by air which also led him to the hydrofoil. This led him to develop stepped chine hulls which used for 55 ft British Coastal Motor Boats during the war gave them speeds of up to 40 knots.
In 1904, he transferred larger shipbuilding activities to Southampton. In 1908 he also set up the Hampton Launch Works on Platts Eyot, an island on the Thames at Hampton, Middlesex. He died in 1928.
Source:​oft, as of 02/07/2014.

John Donaldson
John Donaldson was born in Aberdeen, later studying Engineering at Glasgow University. It was here that he met fellow pupil John Isaac Thornycroft, who became a lifelong friend. After graduating, Donaldson worked in Calcutta for the Department of Public Works. It was whilst in India that he married John Thornycroft's sister, Frances. Returning to England in 1873 due to Frances' ill health, Donaldson joined Thornycroft as a partner in his boatyard at Chiswick. It was here that Donaldson's skill as an engineer came into its own, designing and working on various craft, especially fast torpedo boats, for which the company became famous. John Donaldson lived and worked in Chiswick until his relatively early death in 1899, aged 58.
Source:, as of 02/07/2014.
Estimate  3,000 - 6,000 €

Price Realised  4,400 €
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