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F.Lorch, Lorch Schmidt, L.S. & Co.
Watchmakers' Lathes
Lorch Home Page
More information about Lorch Lathes is contained in various Manuals, Parts Lists
and well-illustrated Sales & Technical Specification
Brochures and can be purchased on-line here
       

Lorch made a wide range of high-quality watchmakers' lathes in both Geneva and WW pattern  branding them Lorch, Lorch Schmidt and L.S. & Co. However, like most other manufacturers in the field, they were also content to market models under other names with corners cut in material quality and cosmetic finish - one of the most popular lower-cost models being the Geneva-pattern Triumph.
Lathes were available individually or in boxed sets, these being listed from No. 1 to No. 12 (and possibly higher); however, as boxes were offered separately for owners to mount their own collection of accessories, it is not always possible to categorise them exactly.
A typical set would have been the No. 2, an outfit that provided the typical watch repairer with all the basic equipment he needed. Sets 3 and upwards included such luxuries as a compound slide rest, two types of tailstock (with a sliding spindle and a lever-feed spindle), drive plate, screwcutting attachment and changewheels, vertical milling slide, pivot polisher, milling and grinding spindle, 3-jaw self-centring chuck (sometimes called a "Universal Chuck"), 4-jaw independent chuck, drill chuck for headstock or tailstock use, wheel-cutting attachment with division plate (to cut what the laymen would call gears but which are known to the watchmaker as "wheels"), a "Mandrel" - in effect a spare headstock with a "faceplate" attached used for super-precision work, a headstock that could be swung with an overhung drive pulley - and numerous smaller accessories including a single or double roller rest, fixed steady, saw table, Jacot Drum. pivoting attachment, lapping attachment, wax chucks, button or crown chucks, wood screw chuck, wood turning chuck, emery wheel chucks, lantern chucks in bronze and steel, circular saw chuck, carrier chuck, balance chuck, micrometer-adjustable boring head, adjustable eye glass and a self-centring drilling attachment, etc..

A comprehensively equipped Lorch light Geneva-pattern watchmaker's lathe set - probably catalogued as the No. 10.  Both 6 mm and 8 mm headstocks are included and only a few items from the maker's extensive accessory range are not present. The next set, the No. 11 was built with a drawer to hold a vast range of collets. The designations of the boxed sets changed over the years and, as Lorch also made the boxes available separately for fitting out by owners, it is not always possible to identify sets exactly

Rare and desirable Lorch Geneva-pattern 3-lathe set in the maker's fitted case. Three headstocks were provided: a standard unit, a type able to be swivelled (with an overhung pulley) and one with a permanently-fitted faceplate with clamps.

Another view of the Lorch 3-lathe Geneva-pattern boxed set

Very occasionally a late-model Geneva-patter lathe is found mounted on a motorised base. This assembly was also available as a boxed set with a choice of headstock and bed units, or all three together

Geneva pattern lathe from a 3-lathe set mounted on the drive base and fitted with the headstock that, for absolute accuracy, used a permanently-mounted spindle and faceplate assembly

Boxed Lorch WW watchmaker's lathe. This much heavier type (in comparison with the Geneva-pattern models) is rare. Beautifully made and with a splendid plated finish this would, originally, have been an expensive though highly effective purchase.

A beautifully preserved early-type  6 mm Lorch Schmidt watchmakers' lathe with a hand-cranked drive unit

Another Lorch Geneva-pattern 3-lathe set in the maker's fitted case. Again, three headstocks were provided: a standard unit, a type able to be swivelled (with an overhung pulley) and one with a permanently-fitted faceplate with clamps. The three types are shown below carried on the bench mount.

Swivel headstock with over-hung drive pulley. An overhung pulley might be considered a bold move and it was not until after-WW2 that it was taken up by a number of makers including Pultra and IME in the UK. The arrangement, allowed for a much simpler, cheaper - and yet just as effective construction

A rare Lorch WW-type watchmaker's lathe as a boxed set. Compared with the Geneva-pattern machines these originally very expensive lathes are in short supply.

Lorch Schmidt Type WW lathe from 1910. Based on the heavier-pattern watchmakers' lathes invented in America this model, the "Kosmo",  had a 50mm centre height and could be specified with 300, 400 or 500 mm between centres. Intended for production use, the 8 mm collets were closed by a quick-action, spring-loaded  lever. Price: 50ff

A screwcutting Lorch Type LL1 (circa 1905) of heavier construction and intended for clock and similar larger precision jobs. 65 mm centre height by 500 mm between centres  to take 10 mm collets. In comparison to the basic WW lathe above this was very much more expensive at 515ff

A lighter "Geneva" pattern Lorch Schmidt with a round bed flattened on the back. This model was also available in a boxed set complete with a wide range of accessories.

Probably marketed as "Set No. 2" this outfit would have provided the watch repairer with all the basic equipment. Sets 3 and upwards would have included such luxuries as a compound slide rest, two types of tailstock (with a sliding spindle and a lever-feed spindle), drive plate, screwcutting attachment and changewheels, vertical milling slide, pivot polisher, milling and grinding spindle, 3-jaw self-centring chuck (sometimes called a "Universal Chuck"), 4-jaw independent chuck, drill chuck for headstock or tailstock use, wheel-cutting attachment with division plate (to cut what the laymen would call gears but which are known to the watchmaker as "wheels"), a "Mandrel" - in effect a spare headstock with a "faceplate" attached used for super-precision work - and numerous smaller accessories including a single or double roller rest, fixed steady, saw table, Jacot Drum. pivoting attachment, lapping attachment, wax chucks, button or crown chucks, wood screw chuck, wood turning chuck, emery wheel chucks, lantern chucks in bronze and steel, circular saw chuck, carrier chuck, balance chuck, micrometer-adjustable boring head, adjustable eye glass and a self-centring drilling attachment.

Very early (circa 1890) Lorch Schmidt "Triumph" watchmakers' lathe with its outboard drive pulley and hand-turned driving unit. A version was also made with a swivelling headstock

A Lorch Schmidt watchmaker's lathe of the 1930s that has seen better days but readily identifiable (in addition to the maker's name engraved on the front face) by the large "grooved" ring against the left-hand face of the pulley and the long nose taper of the spindle end.

E-Mail Tony@lathes.co.uk 
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F.Lorch, Lorch Schmidt, L.S. & Co.
Watchmakers' Lathes
Lorch Home Page
More information about Lorch Lathes is contained in various Manuals, Parts Lists
and well-illustrated Sales & Technical Specification
Brochures and can be purchased on-line here