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R.W.Roberts of Newcastle on Tyne
Watchmaker's Lathe

Other lathes for watchmakers

Previously unrecorded until 2018, what might be an R.W.Roberts watchmaker's lathe is marked, on its box, as being made in Newcastle on Tyne, in England. Of the round-bed Geneva pattern, the lathe was, most unusually, sold in a fitted box complete with a second lathe, mounted in front of it - a German-made Lorch of the traditional type (some items in the box also bear the inscription L.S. & Co. (Lorch Schmidt). However, the "R.W.Roberts" - possibly by R.W.Roberts himself - is entirely different and unique in its design and execution. Fitted with a bronze headstock casting that appears to have been carried on a swivelling base, the Roberts' lathe had a tailstock with an enormously long spindle - leading one to speculate this this might have been some sort of special-purpose machine and not intended for general-purpose use. Whatever the truth of the matter, its origins will, almost certainly, remain a mystery..
Watch and other precision lathes with bronze headstocks and other major components include a long series of English Mandrel and Swiss Universal types from numerous makers during the 1800s, the more recent Bolein, CLH and, possibly, the American Stehman, Jenks & Stehman.
If you similar lathe, the writer would be interested to know.