Jump to content

Clifford Norman Bowler, Watchmaker


Recommended Posts

Shot for Channel 4 in 1991, The Watchmaker, is a 10 minute documentary which glances at the life of Clifford Norman Bowler (1899-1993) a long-standing English watchmaker and definitely someone many of us would have liked to meet.

 

post-1450-0-99328100-1448830147_thumb.jp

 

Mr. Bowler belonged to the precise profession for over 70 years until his death at 93. Initially working for others in Manchester after he left the army, he set up his own repair shop at 54 Mill Lane, West Hamsptead, which he acquired for 100 pounds and run for over 67 years. Today there is a plate commemorating him at the entrance of his former premises.

 
post-1450-0-87196900-1448823211_thumb.jp
 
In the film he can be seen at his work bench smoking a pipe or inspecting watches with an eye loupe and at the counter taking several orders from customers (cleaning a pocket watch, changing a strap or a pin). He recounts for the camera his beginnings and how he moved to London, as well as remembering relatives. When asked about the secret of his longevity, he confesses this to owe to a contented mind, regular habits and a peaceful life.

 

Sadly he did not leave any followers: 'All the knowledge that I have obtained and learned during over sixty years that I have been here, it all comes to nothing. I can't pass my knowledge on which I'd like to'.

 

His shop, still vacant more than a decade later after his disappearance, symbolises the emptiness left by an irreplaceable man.

 

There is more info about him in this article: http://westhampsteadlife.com/2014/01/15/a-moment-in-time-on-mill-lane/9921

 

If you ever met this man or heard about him, your comments could help to honour his memory.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Shot for Channel 4 in 1991, The Watchmaker, is a 10 minute documentary which glances at the life of Clifford Norman Bowler (1899-1993) a long-standing English watchmaker and definitely someone many of us would have liked to meet.

 

attachicon.gifClifford Bowler.jpg

 

Mr. Bowler belonged to the precise profession for over 70 years until his death at 93. Initially working for others in Manchester after he left the army, he set up his own repair shop at 54 Mill Lane, West Hamsptead, which he acquired for 100 pounds and run for over 67 years. Today there is a plate commemorating him at the entrance of his former premises.

 

attachicon.gifmill_lane_watchmaker_plaque.jpg

 

In the film he can be seen at his work bench smoking a pipe or inspecting watches with an eye loupe and at the counter taking several orders from customers (cleaning a pocket watch, changing a strap or a pin). He recounts for the camera his beginnings and how he moved to London, as well as remembering relatives. When asked about the secret of his longevity, he confesses this to owe to a contented mind, regular habits and a peaceful life.

 

Sadly he did not leave any followers: 'All the knowledge that I have obtained and learned during over sixty years that I have been here, it all comes to nothing. I can't pass my knowledge on which I'd like to'.

 

His shop, still vacant more than a decade later after his disappearance, symbolises the emptiness left by an irreplaceable man.

 

There is more info about him in this article: http://westhampsteadlife.com/2014/01/15/a-moment-in-time-on-mill-lane/9921

 

If you ever met this man or heard about him, your comments could help to honour his memory.

Great vid. He must have accumulated a vast amount of knowledge with 60 years of watch/clock repair. Working with no finger cots & smoking  a pipe while he worked amazing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great post Edmund, and loved the video. Brings back memories of an almost identical shop when I was a kid in Ireland. Bit sad when he talked about the loss of knowledge. Really makes you appreciate what Mark does in his videos, as this is my only form of any training, the rest is trial and error.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 years later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Similar Content

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • How did this project eventually go? The GMT-MASTER does not have an independently adjustable GMT hand. Basically, it points straight-up at midnight and straight down at noon. The bezel is rotated to use that GMT hand to indicate the second time zone. (you can pull the GMT setting gear from an ETA to simulate this lack of function) The GMT-MASTER II does have an independent GMT hand, which can be set. This allows three time zones to be possibly set. The Rolex 1655 has the same movement as the GMT-MASTER and the bezel is fixed. Purpose was to indicate day and night while in the darkness of a cave. I worked on a (crappy) replica of a 1655 which had the "quick-set" GMT hand. I think the dial is way to busy and difficult to read as well, but that's another story...
    • Welcome to the forum.
    • Turns out (accidentally) dropping it on the floor opens it allright:) Verzonden vanaf mijn iPhone met Tapatalk
    • Hi Tom,   Mine machine is working fine but slightly out of sync (I still didnt figured out why as in the biggining it was completly fine, no issues), so I use manual overide button to move between cycles, its abit tricky as I have to watch metal disks which turns things on/off if not it will jump to another cycle (it cause a bit of an issue as it wont spin long enough to remove fluid between jars).   Regarding documentation - one Ive scanned for you was received from Elma after I contacted them, they told me that they dont have any shcemtics for this machines, I only got electronic schema for RM-90 if I recall correctly which is much more advanced and newer. Because machine is not working as I would like it, Im thinking to create a new electronic system for it based on arduino or something like that, Im not a programmer so it might be too diffcoult for me. If mainboard replacement for RM-90 would be cheaper I could use that for my machine - just got that idea  right now :). Still some parts are the same between those two machines - jars, possibly motors, heating plate etc.   Im mostly interested in American pocket watches, actually South Bend only :).   Regards,    Rafal
×
×
  • Create New...