Seth has many years’ experience of restoring antique watches. Changes in technology over the centuries mean escapements and other mechanisms vary considerably and he has developed specialist knowledge to care for all types of watch movement be it verge, cylinder, duplex, chronometer or anything else. This includes watches made in England, Europe (primarily France and Switzerland) and America.
Antiquarian Horologist & Watch Case Maker
Seth Kennedy is an antiquarian horologist who specialises in work on antique pocket watches. He covers all aspects of servicing and restoration of watches dating between the 17th and mid 20th century, repairing the movements and complicated mechanisms to function as they would have when first made. This work often requires Seth to make individual watch components to replace damaged or missing originals. He also restores pocket watch cases and makes bespoke new cases in styles contemporary to the movements they contain.
He is an accredited member of the British Horological Institute and has worked for clients across the world. Seth has also presented lectures focusing on pocket watch cases and their manufacture and also covering the more general history of English and London watchmaking.
Antique Pocket Watch Restoration
Complicated watch servicing and repair
From 17th century bell striking clock-watches through to 20th century minute repeaters, calendars and chronographs, there is a whole range of complications that were developed to add to the function and desirability of a watch. All types fall under Seth’s remit.
Antique Watch Preservation
Seth can advise and care for antique watches that are in need of preservation rather than restoration, sensitively dealing with original pieces and ensuring any repairs are marked as modern and/or finished to match the patina of the original piece.
Watch Case Restoration
Damaged silver or gold cases are repaired, dents removed and finally polished to a high standard (when appropriate). Case repairs may also include manufacture of replacement bows or bezels in the correct material, glass fitting and case springs.
Pocket Watch Case Making
Complete new pocket watch cases are hand made in a bespoke manner to suit high quality original watch movements. These vary from pair cases to for a movement from circa 1700 to a full hunter case appropriate to an early 20th century watch. Many of the case making processes he uses are traditional, dating back centuries, preserving this rarely practiced element of horology.
The subject of his QEST scholarship, Seth is undertaking training in order to preserve and continue the craft of Engine Turning which is at risk of dying out in the UK. It is a hand powered, semi mechanised process that was frequently used to decorate watch cases from the late 18th century on. It was often combined with translucent enamelling to result in beautiful coloured guilloche objects.