‘E.R. Watts & Son’ Transit Theodolite #9170

‘E.R. Watts & Son’ Transit Theodolite #9170

A vernier transit from the late 1890’s or early 1900’s. With circular compass signed: “E. R. WATTS & SON, LONDON, No. 2803’. With four foot-screws and original striding level. Optional tripod. An interesting and highly collectable variation of the English theodolite pattern.  See full details below.



ITEM 9170

‘E.R. Watts & Son’ Transit Theodolite #9170

Edwin Richard Watts (1833-1901) commenced instrument making in London in 1856. Around 1886 the first of three sons joined the firm, and it became E. R. Watts & Son. In 1919 it was incorporated as E. R. Watts & Son Ltd. We estimate this vernier transit dates from the late 1890’s or early 1900’s, and it is signed on the silvered compass face:

“E. R. WATTS & SON, LONDON, No. 2803’.

It has four foot-screws and comes with the original striding level (seen in one photograph only) which lacks a handling knob, and the spigot used to secure it vertically is also lacking. The circles are both 5” diameter and are engraved on silver. This example is rare in having all its vernier reading lenses present. The plate bubble is intact but the long bubble glass is absent. The provision to index the vertical circle is present on one side only. Focal length of the telescope is about 10”. The compass is in good condition with a working needle lock. Weathered brass finish. Without case. Note the shape of the trunnion supports which have been elegantly curved at their base to accommodate the circular compass.

An optional tripod is available for this instrument. It has red and white painted mahogany round legs, with a centering head and cast brass cap. The tripod is signed ‘W. LITTLEJOHN & SON, OPTICIANS, WELLINGTON’. This firm was an importer of British optical instruments.

An interesting and highly collectable variation of the English theodolite pattern.

Approximate Dimensions

Instrument: 370 mm high

Tripod: 1.4 m long

Approximate Weights

Instrument: 6.8 kg

Tripod: 6 kg



Freight is extra. Refer to the ‘Ordering’ and ‘Terms and Conditions’ pages on this website.

© Akrona Instruments