The following information is a précis of the serial numbers used by Charles Frodsham, to aid in the dating of clocks, watches and chronometers.

THEY ARE FOR CHARLES FRODSHAM ONLY.

We do not unfortunately hold any records for items made & retailed by PARKINSON & FRODSHAM, HENRY FRODSHAM, GEORGE EDWARD FRODSHAM, WILLIAM FRODSHAM or FRODSHAM & BAKER, so are unable to answer enquiries regarding the history of pieces made by these makers.

Anomalies do occur within the numbering sequences, as some of the movements were finished later in date than the serial number would suggest. In addition there are a number of special series that do not correlate in date with the main series’.

Watches:

Arnold & Frodsham
Pre 1844 Some watches with serial numbers under 6500 (probably old Arnold stock)
1844 – 1850 from approximately No. 6500 – 7000
1850 – 1855 from approximately No. 7000 – 8400
1855 – 1858 from approximately No. 8400 – 9999
After 1858 Some watches with the Charles Frodsham serial numbering sequence beginning 01000 – 02000.

Charles Frodsham
The coded letters AD Fmsz can be seen on the dials and the movements of the majority of Frodsham watches. This cryptogram corresponds to 1850, the year Charles produced his new caliper watch, and was used thereafter as a sign of high quality.

1858 – 1862 from approximately No. 01000 – 02000
1862 – 1865 from approximately No. 02000 – 03000
1865 – 1870 from approximately No. 03000 – 04000
1870 – 1875 from approximately No. 04000 – 05250
1875 – 1880 from approximately No. 05250 – 06000
1880 – 1885 from approximately No. 06000 – 07000
1885 – 1890 from approximately No. 07000 – 08000
1890 – 1895 from approximately No. 08000 – 08500
1895 – 1900 from approximately No. 08500 – 08750
1900 – 1905 from approximately No. 08750 – 09100
1905 – 1912 from approximately No. 09100 – 09400
1912 – 1915 from approximately No. 09400 – 09600
1915 – 1930 from approximately No. 09600 – 09999
1890 – 1900 from approximately No. 010000 – 010200 ‘Bridgeman Caliper movement’

In addition there is a serial number sequence running from approximately No.10,000 – 35,000. The majority of these watches are later finished movements, specials, or Swiss-made watches retailed or ‘examined’ by Frodshams from 1850 – 1950.

Marine Chronometers:

Between 1830 and 1835, Charles submitted a small number of marine chronometers to the Premium Trials at Greenwich, No. 2 taking the Premium prize in 1831. By 1840 he had established himself as one of the leading chronometer makers in London producing pieces that regularly performed well at trial and were subsequently bought by The Admiralty and the U.S. Navy. Again anomalies occur in the numbering sequence as some chronometers were updated, finished, rated or sold at a later date.

2-Day Chronometers
1834 – 1844 from approximately No. 1400 – 2000
1844 – 1860 from approximately No. 2000 – 3000
1860 – 1870 from approximately No. 3000 – 3400
1870 – 1885 from approximately No. 3400 – 3600
1885 – 1925 The majority of chronometers with numbers in the low 10,000’s
1895 – 1900 Separate series beginning No. 0001 – 0042

8-Day Chronometers
The majority with serial numbers in the low 5000’s

Clocks:

Charles Frodsham have made and retailed many different types of clock including regulators for observatory and domestic use, mantel chronometer and carriage clocks, table and bracket clocks, decorative clocks and lever carriage clocks as well as one-off pieces and limited editions. The serial numbers below are only a guideline as the sequences are too numerous to list.

Arnold & Frodsham
1844 – 1858 from approximately No. 600 – 900

Charles Frodsham
1850 – 1865 from approximately No. 750 – 1000
1865 – 1880 from approximately No. 1000 – 1500
1880 – 1895 from approximately No. 1500 – 2000
1895 – 1915 from approximately No. 2000 – 2300
1915 – 1930 from approximately No. 2300 – 2500
1930 – Present, limited editions with separate or no serial/reference No.’s

In addition there is a serial number sequence running from approximately No.18,000 – 21,000. The majority of these clocks are later finished movements, specials, or French/Swiss-made clocks retailed or examined by Frodshams between 1870 and 1915.

By far the largest group within this sequence are the French manufactured carriage clocks (mostly by Drocourt, Jacot etc.). They vary in complexity from simple timepieces to repeating grande-sonnerie striking with alarm.