Samuel Watson (c1650 – 1740)

Little is known about this early clock and watchmaker except from his surviving works, which entitle him to be ranked among the great makers of his day. He was born around 1650, and married in Coventry in 1672 where he was sheriff by 1680.

Watson probably came to London in about 1690 and settled in Long Acre (Covent Garden). He was admitted to the Clockmakers Company, as a Brother on September 29th, 1692. The last recorded date for him, relating to the proposed sale of a mathematical instrument to the Clockmakers’ Company, is 3rd November, 1712.

Watson was ‘Mathematician in Ordinary’ to King Charles II, and in 1683 commenced upon a famous table clock which was to be his masterpiece. He produced less elaborate astronomical clocks and his watches included an early example of a watch with a seconds hand (physicians pulse watch), made around 1690. He also invented the 5 minute repeating watch, first made in 1710.

Watson returned to Coventry in 1717 and died in 1740.

References :


Brian Loomes. Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World (NAG Press, 2006).

H. Alan Lloyd. Antiquarian Horology Journal , Vol 1, p60.