Mechanisms, Time, and Sound the Focus of Skinner Auction of Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments on April 12

BOSTON, MA – March 27, 2019 – Skinner will hold an auction on April 12, 2019, in Marlborough of Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments. With over 450 lots on offer, the sale features a fine array of scientific instruments, timepieces, American and European wristwatches, pocket watches and mechanical music boxes.


Offering 70 lots of classics and curiosities related to mechanics and the history of watches acquired throughout Bernhard Stoeber’s long career perfecting the creation, service, and quality control surrounding watches and their technicians. Stoeber worked for notable firms such as NAWC (today the Movado Group), Omega, Tissot, and Rolex. Examples include an Omega Speedmaster Reference 2998-3, c. 1962 (Lot 103, Estimate $8,000-12,000), and a Rare and Unusual Pocket Chronograph (Lot 104, Estimate $2,000-2,500). Also on offer is the remaining portion of the John F. Gelson Hamilton Watch Co. collection, which includes some tooling and miscellany from the Hamilton factory, as well as additional model and sample movements. Timepieces on offer also include a Gawen Brown Mahogany Tall Clock, Boston, c. 1760 (Lot 185, Estimate: $3,000-5,000) and a small collection of mantel and wall clocks and regulators.

Omega Speedmaster Reference 2998-3, c. 1962 (Lot 103, Estimate: $8,000-12,000)

Surveying Instruments

Skinner is proud to be presenting two significant collections of early surveying instruments: The Collection of the Late William H. Skerritt, Part I, focusing on his historical collection of Troy’s instrument makers’ work, as well as documents and archive material relating to instruments made in Troy, New York, and the surrounding area by Hanks, Meneely, and Gurley Precision Instrument Company, and rare surveying instruments and early manuals and catalogs including William Gurley’s 1873 personal copy of American Engineers and Surveyors Instruments. On offer is a “Burt’s Solar” Compass Prototype by William J. Young, c. 1840 (Lot 390, Estimate: $4,000-6,000) and a Julius Hanks Bow Compass, Troy, New York, c. 1834-45 (Lot 324, Estimate: $2,000-4,000). Part II of the Robert Miller Collection of Pennsylvania Surveying Instruments includes a Benjamin Rittenhouse Surveyor’s Compass, c. 1786 (Lot 370, Estimate: $2,500-3,000).

Rare “Burt’s Solar” Compass Prototype by William J. Young, c. 1840
(Lot 390, Estimate $4,000-6,000)

Cameras, Medical Apparatus, Fountain Pens and more

Other auction highlights include a small group of rare and early examples of European and Asian photographic instruments collected over the last 40 years for their mechanical rarity such as an H.J. Redding & Gyles “Luzo” Box Camera, c. 1899 (Lot 303, Estimate: $5,000-6,000), and an Early Nikon M Rangefinder Camera and Lenses (Lot 311, Estimate: $25,000-30,000). The sale also includes an array of cylinder and disc musical boxes, a small collection of 19th century European steam engines, medical apparatus, microscopes, and fountain pens.

Early Nikon M Rangefinder Camera and Lenses (Lot 311, Estimate: $25,000-30,000)

Previews, Catalogs & Events

Previews for the auction will be held on April 10, from 12PM-5PM and April 11, from 12PM-7PM. Free and open to the public, specialists will be on hand to answer questions. Join us on April 11, for a talk with Bernhard Stoeber on the Speedmaster: The Evolution of Calibers 321 and 861. Advance reservations requested: RSVP

About Skinner

Skinner attracts top consignments and commands record-breaking prices in the international auction marketplace. With renowned expertise and extraordinary service, Skinner is the place for buyers, sellers and the passionately curious. Skinner appraisers are familiar faces on PBS’s 16-time Emmy Award-nominated ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. Visit us in Boston, Marlborough, New York or Florida, or online at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *