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The BHI Barrett Silver Medal

A Short History

In 1872 the Turner’s Company in London offered to sponsor an annual award for BHI students. The ‘Turner’ Silver Medal, as it became known, was first awarded for ‘horological turning in metal’ and later for ‘excellence in mechanical drawing’ but awards were temporarily suspended in 1914 for the duration of the First World War, and again in 1940 for the duration of the Second World War. Thereafter, the award seems to have been forgotten. Certainly by the mid-1980s it had become a distant memory and its principal purpose, as an award for students, had been usurped by the BHI Bronze Medal.

The ‘new’ BHI Silver Medal was introduced in 1986 – and first awarded in 1987 – to fill a perceived gap between the Bronze Medal, which was for people starting out on their horological careers, and the Gold Medal, which had always been awarded infrequently in recognition of extraordinary achievements in horology. The catalyst had been the Institute’s failure to recognise the work of Cecil Clifford on the frictionless magnetic escapement with the award of the BHI Gold Medal.

In 1991 the silver medal was re-designated the ‘Barratt’ Silver Medal, in honour of the late D.W.Barrett, Managing Director of Smiths’ Industries Clock and Watch Division.

The 2005 (revised) criteria

The criteria for the award have been reviewed on three occasions, the last being in 2005, following work done on behalf of the Council by Dr K. Lloyd-Jones.

The Standard
The award is for outstanding, but not necessarily extraordinary, development or achievement in any field of horology, or related to horology.

The award may be made only to members of the Institute.

The Authority to Award
The authority to award the Medal lies with the Council of the Institute.

The Decision to Award
An award need not necessarily be made each year but the possibility of making an award should be considered annually.



Alan Midleton FBHI
Contribution to research and publications, leadership and curatorial work at the BHI


Jim Arnfield FBHI
Contribution to horological invention and construction, and education


David Thompson FBHI
Service to the history of horology and curatorial work at the British Museum


Roger W. Smith FBHI
Dedication to and successfully continuing the finest traditions of English watchmaking


Robert Bray FBHI
Innovative design and successful use of modern manufacturing techniques


Jonathan Betts FBHI
Historical research and curatorial care and conservation of horological artefacts


Project 150 Clock
The medal was awarded for the design and construction of the 150 clock. The contribution of the members of the 150 team was recognised by the award of individual certificates


Dr John Robey PhD
Horological historical writing and research. Support for horological publication


Don J. Unwin
Construction of replicas of famous clocks and support for amateur clockmakers


Ron Rose FBHI
Services to horology and to the South London Skeleton Clocks Project


John Wilding FBHI
Contributions to horology and stimulus to amateur clockmakers


David Poole FBHI
Horological excellence and services to horological education


Michael Harding FBHI
Known world-wide for manufacture of high quality clocks of unusual design


Remy Waelchli FBHI (Switzerland)
Improving standards of watch repair. Responsible for the ETA training programme


David Penney FBHI
Horological illustrator. Formerly editor of Antiquarian Horology


Dr Philip Woodward DSc FBHI
Contributions to precision horology


Theodore (Ted) Crom FBHI (USA)
Author and historian. Collector of horological tools


Derek Pratt FBHI (Switzerland)

Restoration and construction of precision and complicated mechanical watches


Anthony G. Randall BSc FBHI
Work on the détente escapement


Henry B. Fried FBHI (USA)
Author. Instigator of horological teaching in New York


Richard Good FBHI
Writer, historian and designer


Peter B. Wills FBHI
Development of the dynadromic pendulum


Martin Burgess FBHI
For his many achievements in horology


Peter Haward FBHI
For his many achievements in horology


Cecil F. Clifford BSc FBHI MIEE
Recognition of his invention (in 1938) of the frictionless magnetic escapement