Fusee Chain Making

The art of making Fusee chains probably dates back to 1660 in London and is generally credited to Gruet of Geneva for their use in Clocks and watches. Tools for the manufacture of chains were very simple, consisting of Punches and dies, Hammers and anvils, a time consuming process requiring good hand eye coordination in candlelit conditions.

In the 1980’s, Jim Habgood, Chief Horological engineer for Smiths Clock and Watch resurrected the art of making chains based on the techniques of the workers from that bygone age. It was handed on to Mavis and David Hutchins in the late 1990’s who worked from their home in Devon keeping the skills and tradition alive. In December of 2013 they finally decided to retire passing on their well-honed skills to Sinclair Harding. After months of tapping and punching with quite a few false starts the process remains as time consuming and labour intensive as ever but the efforts have resulted in chains that maintain the highest quality standards set by Sinclair Harding.

We are able to make Fusee chains to order to any length required, the size of chains we are able to produce are No. 2 (0.73mm w x 2.35mm h), No 3 (0.83mm w x 2.35mm h), No 4 (1.3mm w x 2.8mm h) and No 5 (2.2mm w x 2.8mm h). If you would like a quote for a new Fusee chain or a repair then please contact us.

The chain making process

Start of the chain - Each inner and outer link is hand pressed.  The inner links are hardened and tempered.

Each pin is then loaded (pip side up) and pressed to form a sub.

Each sub is placed into a block where an outer link is placed between each sub. The outer link is placed on top of each sub until the chain is built up.

Gently press down to crimp the chain sub.

To work the chain in sets of two. Clean all the 16 sets using the ultra sonic tank, then dry.

Each pin is individually riveted.

File grain using 400g wet and dry.

The chain is built up set by set, 16 sets of chain are made to complete our standard chain, a total of 510 pins, 765 inner and outer links.

Work completed chain to check for loose rivets, inspect, clean and dry. Oil the finished chain and test to 30kgs.

The first chain!

YouTube Channel

Pre-war Petermann making Pins for our Fusee Chains

General enquiries

Contact info

SINCLAIR HARDING (UK) LIMITED
Phillips House,
Chapel Lane,
Emley,
West Yorkshire,
HD8 9ST,
England

Tel: +44 (0) 1924 840 666
Email: info@clockmakers.com

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