National Association of Watch and Collectors
HOME » Archive » Archived News » Old News
Old News
December 2010
Our Christmas Party meeting was very well attended by over 120 members, wives and guests. The food was excellent as usual, great Christmas fare and cheer. Our tea ladies were honoured with a gift in recognition of their behind the scenes service of providing afternoon tea for 100 people at each Chapter meeting. Carla Bosch couldn't attend but her hard work as Newsletter editor, producing a high quality document 6 times a year was appreciated.

The December meeting had a fun theme - Talking Clocks by Lindsay Bramall. Members brought along some examples which created lots of laughs. Two clocks at opposite ends of the spectrum are shown below.
August, October 2010
It's amazing the number of meetings, workshops and excursions we manage to achieve, from Michael Smith talking about the dodgy clocks and even dodgier "workmanship" he has encountered, to the use of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining in horology by the supplier.

With the right CNC equipment, it is possible to create wheels and plates of any complexity, and they can be engraved with the finest detail. Despite this, there is no comparison with the work done by hand in years gone by. CNC is with us to stay though, and like all advances it evokes mixed emotions.
June 2010

The June meeting was conducted by Peter Ekins, Lindsay Bramall being overseas. Roger little said there were venue problems for the Canberra Regional and a new date will be set for October. Members on email have been sent the information to hand. Accounts were given of the visit to Palloys Metal Casting, the activities of the Electrical Horology and 400-day clock group activities. The Autumn workshop on learning how to disassemble, clean and replace watch and platform balances was a success. John Stapleton reviewed a recent trip to Europe with his wife, including tips on how to get around and visit important sites, horological or otherwise.

Doug Minty gave an illustrated review of a recent trip to Tasmania by a group of club members and spouses. A mix of sightseeing and clock and watch inspections, especially of tower clocks as is usual with Tic-Toc Tours organised by Doug and wife Joan. An interesting visit was to meet up with Richard Watkins who has been writing a series of articles for the NAWCC Bulletin on watch collecting.

The raffle was won by Geoff Raberg the prize being a most unusual 1930's art deco marble desk clock, unusual because it is a battery electric movement.

Peter then closed the meeting inviting all to enjoy afternoon tea and the noisy socialising. 

Meanwhile, the Electric Horology Course has also been active. We looked at cells and batteries that have been used for electric clocks over the years.

As you can see on the right, even the most basic cells were demonstrated - in this case a lemon cell! Many older electric clocks were driven from "earth batteries" (or cells), where the power was generated by a couple of metal plates buried in the garden. 

April 2010
We've had a very active year so far, including a Picnic near the Nepean River, two Chapter meetings, an auction, two 400-day clock meetings, two electrical horology meetings, and much more.

Our new logo is getting close to being finalised, and it can be seen on the web pages now. Upcoming activities include a second fund raising Auction, two workshops, field visits and the regular meetings. Pictures of activities this year to date are shown in the gallery.
December 2009
The Christmas Meeting was commenced by Lindsay Bramall, our President, giving prizes to those first year members who had renewed their subscription, a pleasant surprise for them at the meeting. Carla Bosch said that the new Chapter Logo, selected by ballot was at a designer to simplify the layout for printing.

The main presentation was "Skeleton Clocks" which had multiple persons speaking about their experience and possession of these desirable clocks where the plates are pierced to reveal clock gearing and mechanism. Some examples are shown in the pictures in the gallery. After a black marble French clock was won in the raffle, the meeting concluded with afternoon tea of traditional Christmas fare and sweets handed out by Santa in a large blow up red suit. Another successful and very busy year concluded.
October 2009
Recent activities have included the Chapter meeting in October, University of Sydney Heritage and Museums Department tour and a Memorial Service for Jack Percival.

The Chapter meeting was as usual full of activities. The new Chapter logo competition was put to a secret ballot and Richard Fawdry won by a margin. Jeff Raberg gave a presentation on the letter "R" in the A-Z of Horology series. Members whose surname begins with the next letter in the alphabet may be asked to participate, so we await somebody called S.... to present the next in the series. This gives members the opportunity to so some research, prepare a presentation (help is available) and talk to the meeting on their chosen subject/s based on the letter.

The main presentation was a fascinating trip into wooden clock technology by an extremely talented clockmaker Will Mattheysen from Victoria. He brought 2 examples of his work to explain his methods of design and construction. Visit his website to learn more ... absolutely fascinating. However to have the man himself talking to you about his work, his workshop and personal history adds so much, so we were able to thank Will personally for coming to our meeting. Members brought along examples of clocks with wooden movements which were popular with early German and American clock makers.

Jack Percival, a valued member of our Chapter passed away and 20 members attended his Memorial Service, including Lindsay Bramall, President, Doug Minty and Peter Ekins, Vice Presidents. Doug gave a testimonial for Jack for whom the Chapter was part of the life and soul of his interests, introducing a new horological expression "Jackified" since Jack had the most innovative ways in clock repair. We paid our respects to the family because we will also miss him as he was a dedicated "show and tell" participant, ex Committee member and overall clock fanatic.

The next meeting is on December 7th, which is our Christmas party, after presentations on Skeleton Clocks. This is very trendy since "skulls" are the in-thing with kids nowadays.
August 2009
The month of August was a busy one. The meeting also included the Chapter 72 AGM, and the new committee was elected. Noel Lipscome finally stepped down from his role as treasurer, after 20 years of faithful service. Predictably he received a very warm round of applause for his tireless efforts.

The topic for the talks was radium - its use for clock and instrument dials and hands, and the dangers that faced the women who were employed to paint the dials. Many people brought in luminous dial clocks and a few aircraft instruments, and a Gieger counter showed that they were still very much "alive". Given that radium has a half life of about 1,600 years this is not surprising.

We also had a talk about the safe disposal of radium paint, and it turns out that several members had kits that contained potentially dangerous amounts of radium. The NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water provides safe disposal, and offered their services free to the Chapter 72 members.

August is also the month of the annual auction, an event anticipated by a great many members. The auction was a resounding success, with Doug Minty knocking down about 700 lots in quick smart time, the whole operation going like ... clockwork. He managed to move 134 400-day clocks, the most we have seen at an auction. Prices for everything were buoyant.
June 2009
Our bi-monthly meeting on the 7th of June was well attended with Ken Prentice talking about one of his passions "Guilmet and his Clocks." A Frenchman, Guilmet produced Mystery Clocks, the mystery being about how his clocks worked. A pendulum swings without any visible means of connection to the clock movement and is usually suspended from the hand of a graceful lady. Ken unravelled the mystery for us with examples and diagrams.

Carol Stapleton, comprehensively covered the topic of diamonds, their gemology and uses in horology. She was followed by Michael Neuman who works in the diamond trade how they are graded and purchased. Rien Touw showed some new Library aquisitions with Doug Minty reviewing a DVD set on Clock Repair.

Twenty-three members went on a field trip to The New south Wales Government and Parliament Houses, escorted by our Secretary Greg Kelly who has a high position there. The focus was of course on the various antique clocks ranging from a mahogany longcase to locally supplied bracket clocks.

The Electrical Horology meeting in May was attended by 15 members who have a special interest in learning more about this branch of horology. This session covered ATO and Hettich battery examples, operating on two different principles.

Some in the Chapter have planned to visit Canberra and participate in Chapter 182's Annual Exhibition at the Irish Club on July 4th.
February/March 2009
Our Chapter Meeting in February and the Pocket Watch Workshop in March were very well attended. Meetings are always fun because the business stuff is conducted on the alternate month, leaving the afternoon to activities, presentations, show and tell, mart and the like. All good stuff. Visitors are welcomed by Chris Nicola. The floor is open to members to "show and tell." This is a very important and usually entertaining session where members talk about their experiences and projects, difficulties in collecting, repair and restoration of clocks and watches. There are a few perennials.

Doug Minty reports on the activities of the torsion clock Chapter 168 which locally is approaching 10 years of meetings. Roger Little reports on the activities in the Nation's Capital, Canberra, Chapter 182, an active group.

A previously unheard of Australian Clock manufacturer "Cosmic" was presented by our Chapter President Lindsay Bramall which was of special interest because he had converted the clocks from 230V ac to 16v ac on the principle developed by Rod Elliot to make frequently unsafe clocks, more safe.

Led by qualified watchmakers, Watch Restoration workshop Part 1 was fully attended. It was essential to have your watch and tools inspected before the workshop to make sure you start off on the right foot. A lot of fun, some scrambling on the floor for lost bits, some unsuccessful at recovery of these small parts, but a great day and thanks to the instructors. Everybody is looking forward to Part 2 in September.
December 2008
The December meeting was well attended with members and spouses enjoying the Christmas party. There was a prize for the best decorated statue and figurine clocks displayed and our usual raffle, won by Phil Jost. Our Librarian Rien Touw showed some additions to the library of clock Catalogues on DVD. Graham Mitchell wrapped up the Electrical Horology course which had a devoted group attending the 9 sessions. Thanks to Rod Elliot and others for their participation. There will be 3 electrical Horology meetings during 2009. Doug Minty similarly for the 400-day clock chapter 168. Roger Little encouraged us to come to Chapter 182 meetings in Canberra.

Peter Ekins told us about the Special Auction, Field trips and Workshops planned for 2009, a full and varied programme. Carla Bosch presented pictures of the year in review, a nice and funny reflection of a very full year. President Lindsay Bramall had some first renewal encouragement awards and a President's Encouragement award to Alison Fry for her good work.

2009 is shaping up to be another bumper year of activities. Check your Newsletter for details of Chapter 72's programme and also Chapters 168 (Sydney), 182 Canberra, 104 Brisbane and 122 Melbourne who all have full programmes as well.

Our ladies auxiliary was recognised for its support and catering efforts during the past year at the Chapter meetings, the workshops and the auction . The members were presented with ABC Shop Gift vouchers as a "thank you" from the chapter.

Santa made a surprise visit and passed out confectionary treats to all present.

Next Chapter 72 meeting is on the 1st February 2009 with the special topic of "Quartz Watches"
August 2008
The AGM was conducted at the August 2008 meeting. There were no elections since this only happens every 2 years. President Lindsay Bramall summarised the achievements of the past year, including numerous workshops, field visits and the special Electrical Horology course. Contributions to the year's programme by members were praised. Secretary, Greg Kelly and Treasurer Noel Lipscombe reported on the activities of the Committee and the state of finances, both healthy!

The meeting continued to enjoy a Film Festival with A Charles Chaplin film and Geoff Reczek 7 minute short. Of course Charlie Chaplin worked in a Pawn Shop, inspected an alarm clock for which the owner was asking $2. By the time Charlie has dismantled and worked on the clock it was worth nothing - so he declined the offer! Geoff Reczek's film concerned a man who died coincident with his clock stopping. Geoff was able to revive the clock with a sneeze and saved the man. Avant-garde? *

Max Osborne used his own drawings to talk about the letter "O" in horology as part of our alphabet series of presentations and was not guilty of Obfuscation! On display were Brille clocks and other members bring alongs, an interesting Mart, special afternoon tea and great camaraderie.

* Avant-garde represents a pushing of the boundaries of what is accepted as "normal"
June 2008
Our meeting on the 1st of June continued to reveal the talents in our Group. The Percival Brothers were to the forefront again. George had been working on a kit form street clock 10 feet high, powered by a time recorder movement. Jack on the other hand had a "train" clock where the wheels were powered by a Europa travel clock style of movement and run along tracks at the rate of one foot per hour.

President Lindsay Bramall showed some results from two recent auctions in Melbourne - Sothebys and Bonhams where some clocks received high prices whilst others were quite modest. He also displayed some 400-day clocks for which he had miniature versions, quite amazing. Our assistant librarian, Arthur Reid showed us the new book on Omega clocks and watches, a recent addition to our library.

Noel Lipscombe, our earnest Treasurer continued the alphabet series on the letter "N" of course. Searches with this letter in Horology proved significantly sparse but Noel did a good job from Ulysse Nardin, watch and chronometer maker to the uses for the metal nickel in horology.

The main talk was on Bulle French battery operated clocks by Lindsay. With the number of electrical horology enthusiasts growing in the club, this may attract a few more.

By the way the Electrical Horology course is progressing well, having covered the tools needed, the components, testing and coil rewinding. We are now moving on to Motors!
March 2008
2008 is off to a busy start with the commencement of the Electrical Horology course with 12 members showing lots of enthusiasm. Martin Foster enthralled us with his discourse on Swiss and Chinese watches at the February meeting. He had some marvelous slides of some very expensive watches for the very wealthy which surprised us all.

A wood restoration workshop included a demonstration by Howard Products Australia on methods of restoring clock cases. Greg Kelly covered marble restoration as well as wood and Doug Minty led a practical session on Marbling. About 25 members had a great day.

Seventeen members visited W J Sanders metal restoration factory to be enthralled with the quality of the work produced, especially the restoration of antique silver, gold and other plated antiques.
February 2008
2007 finished with an excellent Christmas Party which was very well attended, lots of Christmas fare and a good time had by all. The visit to Euro Marble Company was also attended by the Sydney Clockmakers group which added to the pleasure of the day. Of course the International event at Darling Harbour was the highlight of the year and worth all of the hard work put into the exhibition and programme.

2008 is going to be another full year with workshops, visits and the Electrical Horology course (now fully subscribed). All this in addition to the full program of bimonthly meetings with news of events, information sessions on Clocks and Watches and of course our well stocked library. By the way, Arthur Reid has joined the Library team.

Check the Calendar Page the dates for events. Information is also available for Chapters 168 for torsion clocks and our friends in Canberra Chapter 182.

The Gallery is a bit bare for recent events due to a computer meltdown that took all the photos with it. These are still being recovered, so please bear with us as it's a very time-consuming process.
October 2007
The "Time on Ship and Shore" regional at the Australian Maritime Museum in Sydney included some magnificent displays, and was a great success. More information (and photos) will be provided as soon as the photos are prepared for the website.

Chapter 72 would like to thank all participants, with special thanks to Carl Sona (Regional Chairman), Chapters 122 (Melbourne VIC), 104 (Brisbane QLD) and of course 182 (Canberra ACT). Without the volunteer assistance of the many who helped, the Regional could never been as excellent as it was. Thanks to all.

Thanks too to all those members who attended the regional - this no doubt boosted attendance by members of the public who visited the museum. Nothing attracts people to an exhibit better than seeing a large number of people gathered around.

The eight lectures over three days were very well attended, with an average of 60 people at each. This is an outstanding result, and if far ahead of the average for such events held elsewhere.

Although relatively small, the mart was also a great success. It too was very well attended, and the traders and collectors who bought or sold goods were very pleased with the results.
August 2007
The AGM was held and a new committee appointed. Lindsay Bramall is our new President. A warm vote of thanks was given to Carl Sona, the outgoing President, for his leadership in many areas leading to better experiences for members.

After the AGM and election, the talks included a dissertation by Joy Percival on Frederic Japy and the successes of the Japy Freres in French clock making. Lindsay Bramall, Noel Lipscombe, Michael Smith, Richard Fawdry, Carl Sona and John Garske covered the field of watches in a series of excellent presentations. As is usually the case, the Mart, a raffle and hot tea made it a very full afternoon.

Be sure to visit the Gallery for photos of the afternoon's enlightenment and entertainment

August was a busy month with the AGM incorporated into our normal meeting and of course the annual members' auction. The auction was a great success as always, and there are photos ...
July 2007
Both the Chapter 72 and 168 meetings were full of interesting presentations and information sharing between members.  The Chapter 72 meeting is always a full and varied program. This time we covered insurance for your collection and if you want to sell some of your clocks and watches, how this can be handled by the public auction houses. Some Chapter 72 pictures are available here, and for Chapter 168, click here.

Member's restoration projects are a great learning experience for all with the chance to ask lots of questions on the methods and materials used. The Gallery contains more information and some pictures.
November 2006
A very successful Regional, attended by Chapters 72 First Australian, 104 First Queensland, 122 Melbourne, Sydney Clockmakers and organised by Chapter 182 Canberra with Bairnsdale clock Museum.  About 100 attended the 3 day event and enjoyed visiting the East Gippsland town of Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance.  There was a full program of tours of the museum and clock workshop, mart, lectures, dinners, craft show, mechanical music and a trip into the past at Glen's shed.
October 2006
Richard Fawdry took us on a virtual tour of the British Museum at our bi-monthly meeting.  An excellent PowerPoint presentation covered 500 years of clock history.  We all thought that Richard had travelled to London to get this information, but all was revealed at the end when he held up the book on the "Clocks of the British Museum"  Had us fooled he did!  Well done.

The Torsion Clock meeting studied a Badische clock for restoration and a Wurthner with a moon dial.  The theory behind pivot polishing and bushing was covered in the practical session.
September 2006
Our annual auction for members to buy and sell for Chapter fundraising was very successful as usual, proving that the hard work put in by volunteer members over the months leading up to the event pays off.   It's always a fun day with snacks and plenty of advice available on what to buy.  All go home with new treasures of some sort, be it a complete clock or "restorer's delights."  

The September workshop was a full day going through the theory of calculating and designing missing clock parts, from case adornments to missing wheels and pendulums.

Teas and lunches are served, all at a modest cost for an informative day workshop. 
© 2011 NAWCC First Australian Chapter 72 inc - Sydney Clock Club. All rights reserved.