Thursday, 18 May 2017

Another Innovator

A recurring interest of mine is in watchmakers who acquired the expensive habit of wanting to innovate rather than manufacture readily marketable conventional timepieces.  Time and again this led to the maker having more substantial references in the Bankruptcy Notices section of such as The Gazette than in the horological records published by Britten, Baillie and Loomes.  Sigismund Rentzsch is a bit different: the novelty of some of his technology was a factor in his achieving the accolade, ‘King’s Clock and Watch-maker in ordinary’, and his business was sufficiently profitable to support a personal ‘productivity’ which resulted in a family that included no less than fifteen children!  However, his second wife, Mary, who bore eleven of the offspring, continuing the business (at 13 Regent’s Street) after Sigismund’s death, did find herself obliged to make a bankruptcy assignment in September 1848.

After a good deal of research I am finalising a full article on Rentzsch’s life and work.  Meanwhile, I notice that David Penney has a nice-looking cylinder for sale on his Antique Watch Store website: