Outtakes, Part 1: The Chronometer

As we researched the history of the chronometer recovered from the wreck of the Titanic (Artifact No. 96/0026), we discovered that finding hard data on its condition before restoration and display to the public was very difficult. We knew that the time shown on the chronometer when on display (such as in the popular AP photo) was meaningless, because the hands were completely loose, not attached to any mechanism; however, we wanted to know if it had read anything before restoration. Just when we were about to give up, a collector approached us and shared with us a photo of an information booklet that they had acquired from the 1998 Zurich, Switzerland exhibit. Although the chronometer had not been on display there, a photo of it (with caption) was reproduced in the booklet. The condition of the hands as shown in this photo made undeniable what we had suspected all along: that the hands were dismounted long before restoration, and could not be used to help support any time difference between Titanic’s ATS and New York / London times. Below you will find a snippet of a photo taken of the actual brochure, open to the correct page that showed the photo of the chronometer. We have retained the caption that accompanied it. This photo of the brochure is being shared here (although we chose not to reproduce it in the article) for research purposes only, and to show that we really did have a hard photo to go on when we wrote Section 10 of our new article, lest some attempt to cast doubt on that. The caption, when translated, roughly reads: “A chronometer from the wreck of the Titanic. It was recovered during the dive trips in the summer of 1996.”

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