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Arts & Culture T


o mark her Golden Jubilee last year, Her Majesty the Queen was presented with a clock befitting such a momentous occasion. As was the


maker’s intention, the Greenwich Regulator, as the clock is known, now resides permanently in Buckingham Palace, amongst a throng of treasures from around the world. Te Greenwich Regulator, named in honour of the Greenwich Observatory founded by Charles II, was a year in the making, and brought together the finest British craftsmen. Te striking creation was the result of a


partnership between Comitti – one of the most distinguished British clockmakers – and Zone Creations – who were responsible for the clock’s unique polymer cabinet. Te finished product heralds a sumptuous


marriage of traditional craftsmanship and modern innovation. Historically, clocks such as this, with its Long Case Regulator design, would have been housed in wood cabinets with a door glazed from the bezel to the base of the pendulum. But due to the use of the crystal clear cast polymer it has been possible to create a design that reveals the stunning 30 day regulator movement in a way never before seen.


As Royal Warrant holders Zone Creations


will display the Greenwich Regulator at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace in July. During the design process, a team from Zone toured Buckingham Palace, and were inspired by its Palladian architectural style. Kevin Self, Managing Director of Zone Creations, said: “As the Diamond Jubilee was only the second such anniversary in British history we wanted something that would blend traditional and modern sensibilities, ensuring that the finished piece would be fit to grace the halls of Buckingham Palace.” Comitti has been in the clock making business since 1850, with the company now in its fifth generation of family ownership. Early Comitti clocks are now highly sought-after, with the company benefitting from an international reputation for fine English craftsmanship and the manufacture of luxury timepieces. Comitti says the Greenwich Regulator possesses the finest regulator movement manufactured by a British clockmaker since Victorian times. Simon Barker, Managing Director of Comitti, said: “Each of the clock’s 345 parts is precision-machined from solid brass and steel, then finished, polished, assembled and calibrated by skilled clockmakers. With burnished pivots to ensure unsurpassed longevity, silver-plated solid brass dials, polished blue steel hands, elegant Roman numerals and the choice of rhodium or gold plated finishes, this superior clock movement is as beautiful as it is precise.” Simon was personally involved in the


installation of the clock in Buckingham Palace, in a private entrance leading to the gardens. He even had to move the Corgi’s food bowls to make way for the timepiece. Simon told us: “It’s a fantastic timepiece. It’s what we would call a precision time keeper. I think it’s a wonderful way to mark such a landmark event in British history. Nothing like it has been made in Britain for more than 50 years.” A limited edition of 120 pieces have now been made available for the sum of £39,950. With every sale, a donation will be made to Te Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, established in 1990 to mark its 150th anniversary and the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. QEST provides scholarships to preserve rare


skills and enable talented craftsmen with promise and a long-held passion for their craft to achieve greater levels of excellence through study with masters of their craft around the world. Te final flourishes to the Greenwich Regulator


have been applied by QEST alumni, with the Silver panel on the front of each individual piece being created by renowned engraver and 2008 QEST Craft Scholar Ruth Anthony. Ruth’s QEST Scholarship enabled her to study the fine art of engraving at the redoubtable gunmaking firms of Purdey and Holland &Holland, both of


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which hold the Royal Warrant. Fellow QEST scholar Sally Mangum also holds a Royal Warrant to Te Queen for calligraphy. Now a QEST trustee, she has created the calligraphy for the Certificates of Authenticity that will accompany each one of the Greenwich Regulators. Nick Farrow, Chairman of QEST says; “Te


Greenwich Regulator Clock created by Zone Creations and incorporating the renowned Comitti movement is an example of the finest traditions of British craftsmanship, a superb example of the art of the British clockmaker. We are highly delighted to be involved with this project, to have some QEST scholars’ work included in the making of the clock and of course to be a beneficiary of the outcome. I wholeheartedly recommend anyone to seek out and view these gorgeous clocks before they are snapped up.”


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