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  Reader's letter | July 2008 | Clocks Magazine

Synchronome regulator

I refer to the photograph figure 7 in the Auctions section of the April 2008 issue of Clocks that showed the Sychronome regulator recently sold at auction at Christieís for £58,000. I am still a bit perplexed by the cylindrical object shown next to it so I would be glad if someone could explain the significance of this.

I am, however, more amazed at the sale price because I have a Synchronome regulator which looks exactly like it. Mine was originally bought new in 1959 and was used as our master clock in the factory of Standard Telephones and Cables at Boksburg in South Africa until about 1977 when it was retired in favour of a computerised time recording system. That was when I acquired it.

It has been running all that time except for a period when it was shipped to New Zealand, its present home. It is still good to plus or minus a few seconds per week. In fact I havenít adjusted it for months. It works from a lead-acid 6-volt secondary battery which I charge about every four months.

The one I have does not have the small slave clock within the case but it did operate a number of slaves in its factory location via an auxiliary mercury relay mounted just below the main frame, otherwise it is identical, even to having the small adjusting weight tray halfway up the pendulum rod.

The case is of solid oak but the clock suffered some damage when I had to replace the glass and carry out some restorative work on the movement. As a keen model engineer with a useful array of machine tools I was more than happy with the result.

After its restoration I carried out a number of tests on the clock. I have summarised these results (see panel above) which may be of interest to other enthusiastic possessors of such a fine timepiece.

The fact that the one sold at Christieís was No 7 and mine is No 6000-odd may have something to do with the perceived difference in values.

Bill Brading, New Zealand

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