Duty Free – perfect timing

Thomas Earnshaw timepieces are engineered with  the same precision and pioneering spirit that characterised the legendary 18th-century horologist himself

Thomas Earnshaw is revered as a legend and pioneer in the field of horology. Born in Manchester, England in 1749, he was celebrated for his work in refining and improving upon the marine chronometers of the era.

Those marine chronometers were crucial to the journeys taken by the ships of the Royal Navy as they circled the globe during a golden era in the history of science and exploration. Earnshaw’s Chronometer no. 506 was used on the HMS Beagle during the historic journey that inspired Charles Darwins’ groundbreaking study of evolution On The Origin of Species.

Lauded for his work with marine chronometers, Earnshaw also embraced the challenge of developing clocks for use in observatories such as those in Greenwich and Armagh, and examples of his exquisite work can be seen in museums and auction houses around the world.

It is this pioneering spirit to further the science of horology, coupled with a drive for excellence in craftsmanship, that is at the heart of the Earnshaw timepiece, which is available for the watch connoisseur and enthusiast alike.

Thomas Earnshaw timepieces are imbued with the same spirit of perfection, adventure and precision that are heralded in the history of the times. Each timepiece is hand-made and comprised of hundreds of parts that are crafted together in a complex yet robust symphony of engineering and artistry.

The FLINDERS series of timepieces from Thomas Earnshaw is designed and dedicated to Captain Matthew Flinders. Matthew Flinders was a distinguished navigator and sailor who was the first to circumnavigate Australia and identify it as a continent. Flinders is widely regarded as one of the most significant mariners of his era.

In June 1801 Matthew Flinders’ ship, HMS Investigator, carried two boxed timekeepers by Earnshaw – the E520 and E543, at a cost of 100 Guineas each – on the first circumnavigation and mapping of the coastline of Australia. The chronometer, E520, was mounted in a wooden box with gimbals to compensate for the ship’s motion.

The Flinders timepiece is an extraordinary creation featuring an exposed flywheel and sub-seconds display – coupled with a power reserve indicator at the 12 o’clock position.

This power reserve feature is testament to the watch-making skills of the craftsmen behind each Earnshaw timepiece, as well as being a useful feature to indicate to the wearer how much power remains in the automatically-powered mechanical movements running the watch’s timekeeping.

The Flinders timepiece is shaped out of solid stainless steel with an 18 ct Rose Gold plating and a see-through exhibition caseback. It is strapped in a supple yet luxurious genuine leather strap that attaches with a custom-designed solid stainless steel buckle.

A sapphire-coated, hardened mineral lens gives maximum protection, visibility and beauty to this timepiece, which is water resistant to 5 atmospheres.