Kearney & Swart Watchmakers' Lathe
Other Lathes for Watchmakers
Of the Webster Whitcombe (WW) type, was this watchmakers' lathe really made by a company called "Kearney & Swart"? The only evidence - slight those it is - is the hand engraving of crude letters into the front surface of the bed. Lathes like this were often sold unbranded, from well-known makers, for sale by larger distributors who put their own identification on them. Cloning and re-badging of machines was common in the watch-lathe world, a prime example being the wide variety offered by the London dealer (and Pittler agent) George Adams whose range included straightforward copies of watch lathes by Lorch, G.Boley and Wolf Jahn together with several larger machines, mostly from Germany, and all suitably disguised as to their origin. Some G.Boley lathes of the "bevelled-bed" type have been found marketed as the British Telco, T.C.& M. Co. Ltd. and Rawco, though again if they were copies (possibly made during WW1) or purchased from Boley and re-branded, is not known. Other examples include Satif, BTM, Lanco, Swartchild, Telco, T.C. & M. Ltd., Rawco and Clerkenwell". These lathes - when of better-than-average quality - were usually stamped "All Hard", this indicating a headstock spindle made of glass-hard steel and running in hardened-steel bearings; the "Kearney & Swart" appears to be bereft of such an indication.