Friday, September 23, 2011

Watchmaker Derek Pratt Honored at Memorial Seminar

Upton Hall may possibly not mean significantly to these on the west facet in the Atlantic. Nonetheless, for Anglophile observe fanatics it's the revered stately house from the British Horological Institute (BHI). The Swiss-based English master watchmaker Derek Pratt, who handed away late 2009, could also be unidentified to most, but he was a actually gifted and proficient watchmaker in the really maximum caliber.

The British Horological Institute last weekend honored his achievements using a Derek Pratt Memorial Symposium.

Even though Derek had an extremely eclectic variety of interests, among his many horological achievements certainly are a sequence of beautiful pocket watches for City Jurgensen featuring superbly executed tourbillons and constant power escapements and an correct reproduction of John Harrison's legendary H4, the first correct marine chronometer and also the clock that won the British Admiralty's Longitude Prize.

On the symposium, guest lecturers gave talks on a number of tasks Derek had been involved with including: "The Remontoire Tourbillons " by Andrew Crisford, Master in the Worshipful Organization of Clockmakers; "The Double Wheel Remontoire Tourbillon" by Roger Stevenson, head watchmaker of Charles Frodsham & Co.; "Watches for City Jurgensen" by Dr. Helmut Crott, CEO of Urban Jurgensen; "A Wrist Remontoire designed by Derek Pratt" by Stewart Lesermann, independent watchmaker (this is a really small collection of wristwatches that are just likely into production).

In addition attendees heard "A proposed Tensator Spring Watch" by Anthony Randall, nicely known for the first double-axis tourbillon; "John Harrison's Sea Observe - Derek Pratt's H4" by Philip Whyte and Roger Stevenson of Charles Frodsham & Co. ; and "The History with the Chronometer" by Jonathan Betts, Senior Curator of Horology on the Royal Observatory Greeenwich. Jenny Haller-Pratt, Derek's widow, presented the BHI having a large view clock Derek has been working on.

It gives an indication in the esteem Derek Pratt was held in by his peers to read the list of sponsors with the celebration as these included Bonhams, Greubel Forsey, F.P. Journe, Omega (Derek worked on George Daniel's co-axial escapement), Roger Smith, Patek Philippe and City Jurgensen.

The quality of the speakers along with the incredible insights they brought to their topics made this one of my most memorial horological events in the year and it was a fitting tribute to one with the world's best watchmakers, Derek Pratt.

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