History of Sinclair Harding (UK) Ltd
Sinclair Harding was originally founded by William Sinclair and Mike Harding (1967-1995) based in Cheltenham, England. During this time over 700 clocks were produced. In 1976 William Sinclair left the business but continued his passion for clock making and repair until his death in 2004. Mike Harding continued to work and developed the Longcase clock, Perpetual Calendar and the popular Sea clock.
In 1975 Mike Harding worked alongside Tim Bazley in the development of the chiming movement followed by the Bracket clock and Three Train Fusee movement. Sinclair Harding engaged in a variety of public commissions including the Wishing Fish Clock in Cheltenham and a 7 Ages of Man Congreve Clock.
In 1995, looking for a new challenge, Robert Bray (Bob) was introduced to Mike Harding, by his Uncle Brian Kitson, also an engineer and clock enthusiast. The company was one week away from closing, with no orders and no workforce. Bob had four young children and no knowledge of clockmaking the challenge was daunting, undeterred it was then that he decided to take on the company and to redirect his skills to the art clock making – or as Bob described it to the BHI, – the Gearbox that works backwards.
From the start Bob’s simple goal was to be totally independent and capable of making every part for each clock. His aim was to make clocks that would bring a smile to his customers and be a joy to service by clock repairers in the future. The goal of making every part was realised in 2017, his customers always smile when seeing their clock for the first time, and only time will tell if the third aim will be achieved.
In 26 years and over 1000 clocks later, Bob has been personally involved in or overseen the introduction of all the in-house capabilities:
Precious metal plating, Fusee chain making, manufacturing and hand tuning bells, French polishing, engraving and hand silvering of dials, Bluing of screws and hands, even mainspring manufacture – to name but a few.
Today, Sinclair Harding’s team are 9 strong (mainly family) and are all involved in many processes throughout the manufacturing. With our flexible team we continue to improve our efficiency and standards. With this intense process of craftsmanship results in a clock, which is aesthetically pleasing and reliable, with real soul and character that hopefully goes some way to ensuring a more certain future for English horology.