MAJESTIC TIME: THOMAS TOMPION EXHIBIT
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Thread: MAJESTIC TIME: THOMAS TOMPION EXHIBIT

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  1. #1
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    MAJESTIC TIME: THOMAS TOMPION EXHIBIT

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    COLUMBIA, PA: Join us for Majestic Time, a once-in-a-lifetime exhibit of the largest collection ever assembled of Thomas Tompion’s clocks, watches, and sundials, just in time to commemorate the 300th anniversary of his death (1639-1713). Tompion made precision clocks for the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, ornate clocks and repeating pocket watches for seventeenth-century aristocrats, and tower clocks.


    Thomas Tompion is known as the founder of English clockmaking; every timepiece he signed shouts quality. Though little is known about the clockmaker’s personal history, Tompion first traveled to London at age 32 in 1671, where he would eventually become a highly successful watch and clockmaker, making 700 clocks and ten times as many watches. Although a much smaller percentage of his watches have endured, many examples of his magnificent clocks have survived. Tompion also produced precision sundials to ensure that customers who commissioned one of his clocks could always set the clock accurately according to correct solar time.


    In 1671 Tompion joined the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers as a “Great Clockmaker.” In 1674 he bought his full freedom and began enrolling apprentices of his own, becoming a master in 1703. In 1713 Tompion was the first clockmaker granted the honor of burial in London’s Westminster Abbey.


    Majestic Time, at the National Watch and Clock Museum, is a truly unparalleled collection: never before have so many Tompion creations been on public display in one place—a singular occurrence that may never be repeated again in North America.


    The collection’s owner, an eminent British gentleman and avid collector, was determined that the 300th anniversary of Tompion’s death merited a special exhibition. After considering several European options, he decided to bring his collection overseas for a brief appearance at the 2013 NAWCC “Time For Everyone” Ward Francillon Time Symposium in Pasadena, CA. That exhibition has now been transplanted to the National Watch & Clock Museum in Columbia, PA, for a limited two-month engagement.


    “I felt strongly that this collection be seen not only by those who attended the Symposium, but while in America be accessible to everyone. What better place, more fitting could there be for this special exhibition than the National Watch and Clock Museum!” shared the collection’s owner.


    “The National Watch & Clock Museum is honored to be able to host a collection of this significance. Thomas Tompion was one of, if not the, foremost clockmakers of his era and to be able to display so many examples of his work at one time is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” stated Museum Director Noel Poirier.


    Majestic Time will be on display for a limited time, from November 22 through January 19, 2014.

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    (All images copyright © 2013 Majestic Time)
    Last edited by Markus Harris; November 22nd, 2013 at 16:54.
    Emre and John MS like this.

  2. #2
    Member Emre's Avatar
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    Re: MAJESTIC TIME: THOMAS TOMPION EXHIBIT

    Wish I would be in N.America to see these beautiful timepieces in real, thank you for sharing.

    That silver pocket watch looks very interesting with date function at the outer dial ring. Couldn't figure out though how that works and if the inner 1-12 dial is months and the pointer will read month and date by the rotating disc where the watch is signed? Or is it single hour hands to track two time zones?

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    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: MAJESTIC TIME: THOMAS TOMPION EXHIBIT

    Quote Originally Posted by Emre View Post
    Wish I would be in N.America to see these beautiful timepieces in real, thank you for sharing.

    That silver pocket watch looks very interesting with date function at the outer dial ring. Couldn't figure out though how that works and if the inner 1-12 dial is months and the pointer will read month and date by the rotating disc where the watch is signed? Or is it single hour hands to track two time zones?
    it is an ULTRA complicated movement.
    One of the first (1685) using a coiled spring, with verge escapement still.
    it has a single hour hand only. The centre dial is an alarm function.
    The movement is as complicated as hell.
    The second piece is even more elaborate and beautiful and this is a gold repeater (quarter)
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

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    Re: MAJESTIC TIME: THOMAS TOMPION EXHIBIT

    I would add
    That all the photographs are the ownership of the Museum or possible others, and should not be used without authorization of the Museum.
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

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    Re: MAJESTIC TIME: THOMAS TOMPION EXHIBIT

    Also, those are just a selection of the total items. There are 18 Tompion creations in this exhibit, including two tower clocks.

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    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: MAJESTIC TIME: THOMAS TOMPION EXHIBIT

    It is really a chance of a lifetime. We visited the NAWCC museum in early October and are now planning another before that exhibit closes.

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    Re: MAJESTIC TIME: THOMAS TOMPION EXHIBIT

    Quote Originally Posted by HOROLOGIST007 View Post
    it is an ULTRA complicated movement.
    One of the first (1685) using a coiled spring, with verge escapement still.
    it has a single hour hand only. The centre dial is an alarm function.
    The movement is as complicated as hell.
    The second piece is even more elaborate and beautiful and this is a gold repeater (quarter)
    Are there any pics of the movement?

    Will I be able to take pics when I show up in Dec?

    I assume you are traveling this week... At least you will immediately appreciate how relatively warm this 'cold' season is in Spain
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: MAJESTIC TIME: THOMAS TOMPION EXHIBIT

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeeb View Post
    Are there any pics of the movement?

    Will I be able to take pics when I show up in Dec?

    I assume you are traveling this week... At least you will immediately appreciate how relatively warm this 'cold' season is in Spain
    I think no current poctures
    You can take some 'distance pics'

    Arrived back after 3 months and some 750 hours of work

    A
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  10. #9
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: MAJESTIC TIME: THOMAS TOMPION EXHIBIT

    The folks at Hodinkee got some good pics... I assume there was no glass at the Pasadena showing.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  11. #10
    Vintage & NAWCC Forum moderator Ben_hutcherson's Avatar
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    Re: MAJESTIC TIME: THOMAS TOMPION EXHIBIT

    I'm going to need to try and make it to the museum while this is still up...thanks for writing it up and posting about it, Jim!
    Member National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors
    Member, NAWCC Chapter 149. Vice President and Secretary NAWCC Chapter 140. Member, NAWCC Convention Committee.
    Serious collector of American pocket watches-Waltham(and the predecessor companies) is my specialty.

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