These days, timepieces are usually evocative of ones we wear on our wrists but when we trace back the long-winded history of watches, there was and always has been of course the clock.
Made in Britain, Thomas Mercer offer the world’s finest chronometers. Their philosophy is truly quite straightforward to the point that it is a wonderfully simple testament of their finest hours:
“We believe that our duty is to design and manufacture the world’s finest chronometers.”
The master craftsmen behind each clock each in their own right bear the sealing stamp of what makes these pieces of art truly magnificent and unique. The best of British design and craftsmanship delivers an impeccable style and perfection in performance. With each tick of the hand, Thomas Mercer magically turns the accurate measurement of time into an enduring passion that has been ticking along unfalteringly since 1858.
While Thomas Mercer respects the past, they flawlessly continuously reinvent the future while remaining loyal to their heritage and particularities.
A Unique Moment
Homage to the association of clocks and the world at sea, with over 31,000 marine chronometers produced since late 1890s, Thomas Mercer certainly understands what it is that makes sailors and horological collectors tick.
Mirroring the delights of the sea with their adventure-seeking clients, the Thomas Mercer marine chronometers have played a vital role in many a maritime expedition. Sir Ernest Shackleton relied on a Thomas Mercer instrument during his epic journey across the Weddell Sea in 1916 and the expert time makers even made the chronometer used by Sir Francis Chichester during the 1970 Atlantic Challenge.
The Art of Sailing Greets the Art of Timekeeping
A more recent link to the aficionado yachtsmen and women was the stellar collaboration with world renowned designer, Andrew Winch for the ‘Classis’ piece in 2012. The name Classis, from the Latin word for fleet, heralds the next dynasty of chronometers from Thomas Mercer.
Navigated by Thomas Mercer chronometers, Andrew Winch designs yachts that cruise and travel to the furthest coasts of the sea. For the two names to come together therefore, the partnership was natural, given the exclusivity, excellence and Britishness between the two. The result was a redefinition of the marine chronometer for yachtsmen and women of the 21st century. A combination of mechanical perfection and heritage matched with superb design and innovation.
Alessandro Quintavelle, CEO at Thomas Mercer beautifully encapsulated the idea: “Once the timepiece that enabled adventurers to explore and map the World, today the marine chronometer becomes an objet d’art of revolutionary design, desired and anticipated by the owners of the world’s finest yachts.”
Their masterpiece, produced in a limited series of 10 units and inspired by the shape of a winch, recounts the most important voyages of discovery in the history of navigation. The departure year, the coordinates of the most significant points reached during the trip and the image of each ship are engraved on the case, and the twelve names are made of satinwood inlaid on a fine ebony Macassar body. In addition to this, the dozen achievements are symbolically united in the Mercator Map standing out from the dial.
The unique style and beauty of the exterior of Classis is also found in the mechanism. The escapement, truly the beating heart of the mechanism, comes in its par excellence Spring Detent form, and, in a masterstroke of originality, is visible on the dial to thus display its extraordinary grace.
The movement marks the occasion with a stunning bi-colour selective finish: a beautiful combination of polished and grenel effects.
Another distinction of this chronometer is the gimbals’ suspension that allows the movement to remain horizontal regardless of the motion of the ship – ideal for achieving maximum accuracy.
The design, while featuring the traditional elements of a pure chronometer, has in addition transformed the movement itself into an objet d’art, bearing witness to the revival of a sophisticated art form that today can be brought back to life only with great difficulty; only by Thomas Mercer.
The science of timekeeping is encompassed by Thomas Mercer in a mechanical delight. Each one carefully crafted to deliver complete accuracy and rewarding aesthetics. Celebrating the beauty of engineering, the intricate mechanisms are often on show. It goes so far even to say that the instruments have since the Thomas Mercer inception succeeded in several Greenwich Trials, the ultimate test of chronometry, and have been acquired by the British Admiralty. They say that past glories should be matched by future achievements, of course, and thus they maintain to relish every opportunity to develop innovative instruments and new mechanisms.
A feast for the eye and certainly the epitome of classic matched with unparalleled expertise and precision.