In the early 1890s, Danish watchmaker Bahne Bonniksen, working in Coventry, England, developed the karrusel revolving carriage for the escapement in order to eliminate errors of rate in vertical positions. Patented in 1893 (English Patent No. 21421), Bonniksen described his invention as: "a watch as robust as any ordinary English watch and nearly as precise as an atmospheric regulator or marine chronometer."
The following year, 1894, saw the entry of karrusel watches at the Kew Observatory timing trials for the first time, significantly, all achieved marks above 80 out of 100. And in 1896, karrusels came top both at Kew and at the Royal Observatory's Admiralty Deck watch trials [see research by C. Woodward reported by S. B. de Save for Antiquarian Horology
, No. 6, Vol. 29, December 2006]. Andrew Taylor was working in Coventry and clearly saw the potential of the karrusel and patented his 'annular' tourbillon in September 1895. The name 'annular' is derived from the patentee's description in which he refers to the ring of the interior cut teeth fitted to the pillar plate as an 'annular wheel'. Although based on similar principles, the annular tourbillon was more expensive to produce than its rival, the karrusel, and was not a commercial success. Nevertheless, clearly the Admiralty were impressed by the performance of Taylor's movements, our research suggests that the few that survive were all marked with the Admiralty broad arrow and include:
No. 51609 - hallmarked 1903, singed by Carley & Clemence, formerly in the George Daniels collection - sold, Sotheby's London, 6th November 2012, lot 111
No. 51612 - sequentially the number preceding the present watch, but signed by George Rossiter. Illustrated in Antiquarian Horology, Malcolm Gardner advertisement, No. 6, Vol. 6, March 1970, p. 329.
No. 51619 - signed by Carley & Clemence, residing at the British Museum. Illustrated in Anthony Randall and Richard Good, Catalogue of Watches in the British Museum, Vol. VI (1990). Mentioned in the Admiralty trials at the Royal Observatory in 1912
No. 51620 - mentioned in the Admiralty trials at the Royal Observatory in 1912
Carley & Clemence was a business partnership between George Carley and Josef Auguste Clemence and the firm supplied a variety of different watches to the Admiralty.