Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Thomas Earnshaw - Observatory Collection

The Observatory Collection of watches made by modern watchmakers Thomas Earnshaw attribute their fitting name to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich which is grandly situated on a hill overlooking the River Thames in London.

As watchmakers whose creations and timepieces are inspired by the eventful British maritime history and the dramatic search for longitude in the eighteenth century, the importance of The Royal Observatory, Greenwich’s role in watchmaking and maritime history is of much significance.

Commissioned by King Charles II in 1675, the Royal Observatory, Greenwich was built to observe the night skies and make recordings in relation to time; and to find out about longitude in order to perfect the art of navigation. More than 200 years later, the basis of longitude, the Prime Meridian was established and it was agreed at an international conference in 1884 to pass through the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, at which point it was marked by a brass strip in the courtyard. Before this, almost every town in the world kept its own local time.

The line in Greenwich represents the Prime Meridian of the World which Longitude 0º. Every place on earth is measured in terms of its distance east or west from this line. The very line divides the eastern and western hemispheres of the earth and thus the Prime Meridian at Greenwich became the centre of world time, and at the end of December 1999, it was the official starting point for the new Millennium.

And so a watch collection that befits the very centre of world time and the legacy of the search for longitude has been created by contemporary watchmakers Thomas Earnshaw.

The Observatory Collection is a very grand collection of watches that are evocative of an old-time elegance and grandeur. The delicate styling is alludes to the eighteenth century fashion itself with a beautifully rounded bezel framing the dial with fine steel hands gracefully ticking by the minutes and seconds.
Exquisitely placed roman numerals are laid as markers while the centre of the dial is resplendent with understated guilloche work.

An exposed double barrel balance wheel displays the intricate mechanics of the Observatory and at the same time hints at the east west divide held by the Prime Meridian at Royal Observatory, Greenwich. The self-winding automatic skeleton offers watch enthusiasts a watch that heralds the prestige of the Royal Observatory and the resounding success of the establishment of longitude.

With superb fine detailing such as the hand placement of 40 jewels, and simplicity of the dome-shaped crown that makes it a joy to wind, this splendid timepiece will appeal to the classic man whose interests in life extend to finer pleasures.

Crafted by top watchmakers, the Observatory Collections not only honours the establishment at the centre of time, but is also well suited to mark time in the modern world. Encased in stainless steel, and available in 18k gold plating, 18k yellow gold plating or two tone plating, the Observatory is finished with a genuine leather strap and hardened mineral case.

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