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Wren Display: Richard Bentley’s Watch

Watch presented by Isaac Newton to Richard Bentley

c. 1717

Bentley (Master of Trinity, 1700-1742), was a man of great intellect, but something of an autocrat, and made many enemies on account of his arrogance. However, he enjoyed an unbroken friendship with Isaac Newton, whose works he promoted with enthusiasm and for whom he created an observatory on top of the Great Gate.

The watch was presented by Newton to Bentley in 1717. The movement-maker’s and the case-maker’s marks suggest a date of manufacture in the early 1700s. The workmanship is very fine, and it keeps time to one half minute in twenty-four hours when kept upright.

Given on permanent loan by Timothy W. Brodrick, Esq.

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