Description: A 1920s pocket watch from Sir John Bennett Ltd.
John Bennett (1814 – 1897) was one of the most controversial characters in British horology and, in many aspects one of the most advanced. He was educated to become a pastor, but after the death of his father he entered the family antique clock and watch business, which was established by his grandfather in Greenwich. He was one of a small number of British watchmakers who saw the need for modernization of the current methods of manufacturing he employed many machine tools and lectured about them, advocating Swiss production methods and interchangeability of parts, which put him in conflict with many of his colleagues. It was even said that the establishment of the British Horological Institute was designed to protect decent watchmakers from “new brooms” like Bennett. He was probably the first British watchmaker to employ modern methods of business with lavish advertising and with use of political influences. In 1872 he received a knighthood. Bennett took part in many World Exhibits and received many awards and prizes. He became a Maker to the Royal Observatory, to the Admiralty and to the Queen. After his retirement in 1889 the firm became a limited company producing in the Bennett tradition until 1940.
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