Saturday

A Conspectus of Gents' Clock Products

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Colin Reynolds, the author, worked for Gents for many years and is an expert on its history, archives and products.

At 8.25" x 11.5" [208 x 292mm] with soft covers and 239 pages, this book is literally packed with many completely unique B&W illustrations and historical photographs. Copyright precludes my posting example images here. Though the cover will give an indication of what to expect.

This book is an absolute 'must have' for any electric clock collector. Or horological enthusiast's library. It is meant to be read, studied and enjoyed in all its detail. Not as some "arty" colourful, coffee table decoration. Usually to be left out, in a vain attempt to impress the horologically or technically unwashed. With huge, colour images and cursory captions.

Colin Reynolds descriptive detail, of the Gent timekeeping products and their evolution, is mind boggling. Fascinating from start to finish. The author has access to a unique collection of original material. His descriptive skills are such that any interested enthusiast can follow the "workings" and evolution of any particular item under discussion. Without having seen this book no Gents' admirer has a clue to the enormous range of items manufactured. Who would ever have believed how many different slave mechanisms and cases were produced?

Gents must have enjoyed many mechanical and electrical geniuses in its workforce during its long manufacturing period. From the late 1800s to the late 1900s represents 100 years of excellence. Striving to provide a huge number of items which fulfilled a particular need. Always built to the highest possible standards at affordable prices for the world of commerce, industry, the church, local and national government. They even provided timekeeping to the sea faring. Constant reiteration and improvement helped to provide a consistently better product. With even greater reliability and longer life.

In the end it was rapidly changing lifestyles and new technology which finally brought an end to Gents domination of electro-mechanical timekeeping. The microchip was cheap enough to dominate our lives in other, countless, unforeseen ways.

Gents' timekeeping products are now avidly sought and collected by admirers right around the world. Where complete impulse time systems, in all their complexity, from master clock to striking, are established with beautifully restored examples. Many of which only became available through demolition of a nation's industrial heritage. Or massive redundancy to the advancing tide of cheap, computer technology.

Colin Reynold's amazingly affordable work is a unique history of the cutting edge of commercial, electromechanical timekeeping from the first tentative steps. Gents' early designers should really be household names in Britain such was their importance to people's lives. Gents' remarkable insights and technical brilliance placed them in so many different environments that the technology itself often went completely unnoticed. From schools, to hospitals, to factories and church they kept many generations uniformly informed of the time with remarkable accuracy and reliability. It is a shame that their remarkable inventions and inventors remain largely unknown outside narrow, horological circles. While their main competitor, Hope-Jones, of Synchronome fame, was the master of self-publicity.

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4 comments:

donald said...

Thanks for the heads up on that book, I had been looking for a book on Gents but had been unable to find the title.

Took a little while to track a copy down though.

Chrisbee said...

Hi Donald

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I do. It is packed with fascinating and probably unique illustrations.

Formby is out of stock as of this date.
AbeBooks has 3 copies at present.
Biblio.uk also lists the book.

Regards
Chris

donald said...

Ha! I was misled, by Abe books. The three they claim were from Formby, so I shall have to wait til they re-stock.

Chrisbee said...

Hi Donald

That is bad news.

One can usually obtain his books direct from the author.

I presume you are member of the relevant Yahoo electric clock groups?

A membership search will provide a direct means of contact.

Regards
Chris