Submitted by jays on 28 January 2014 - 3:46pm

This is a late 18th century gold pocket watch with a movement made by the renowned English watchmaker Paul Philip Barraud (1752-1820) set in a case crafted by London watchcase maker Valentine Walker. It belonged to Governor Lachlan Macquarie and is engraved with the Macquarie coat of arms and motto Turris fortis mihi Deus [God is my tower of strength]. In January 1819 Macquarie presented the watch to his former aide-de-camp Lieutenant John Cliffe Watts (1786-1873) of the 46th Regiment, on the eve of Watts’ departure from New South Wales. Watts had lived at Government House Sydney with the Macquaries and had become a close family friend.  Macquarie publicly acknowledged Watts’ service, describing him as ‘combining the utmost correctness of military duty with every kind and grateful interest of family regard and private friendship’.  He was also commended for his ‘important extra service…voluntarily rendered to the Colony at large’ including his architectural designs for public buildings such as the Military Hospital on Flagstaff Hill and several buildings at Parramatta.  Watts returned to Australia in 1841, this time to South Australia where he was appointed Postmaster General, a position he held until his retirement in 1861. 

Photograph: Brenton McGeachie, 2005
Museum of Sydney
Pocket watch, c1784 Pocket watch, c1784 Pocket watch, c1784
Caroline Simpson Collection