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Mercer British

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Martin Faulkner31/07/2018 20:14:02
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What ever happened to Mercer British? As I understand, Mercer is a Swiss company. Did they purchase Mercer from the UK? The reason I ask is that I am looking for a new cover for my old Mercer back plunge dti.

On the rear of the dti, it has k1915 stamped. Does anyone know what this means? Thanks in advance
Michael Gilligan31/07/2018 21:09:32
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14131 forum posts
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What ever happened to Mercer British? : **LINK**

https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Thomas_Mercer

MichaelG.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 31/07/2018 21:10:22

Martin Faulkner31/07/2018 23:21:56
85 forum posts
32 photos

Michael,

An interesting read, thank you very much for that. I had no idea it was Thomas Mercer. As it closed over 30 years ago, I don't think I will find a cover for it. If anyone can recommend someone who could repair it it would be appreciated.

JohnF31/07/2018 23:31:20
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874 forum posts
103 photos

Try Verdict they offer a repair service for their own and other quality makes **LINK**

Hopper31/07/2018 23:31:21
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3741 forum posts
76 photos

You might try these guys **LINK**

Lot of good info on their site. You might be able to fix it yourself, depending on what the problem is.

Marcus Bowman01/08/2018 07:45:14
162 forum posts

Can you post a photo of the instrument and the damaged/missing part?

Michael Gilligan01/08/2018 07:59:47
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14131 forum posts
614 photos

Martin,

It doesn't help with your dti I'm afraid ... but you may be interested some 'local history' pages: **LINK**

http://www.sopwellmemories.org.uk/ashwood-mews-and-the-brambles/

I remember visiting the 'Power House' building [probably in the late 1970s] when it was still operational: There was a small horological team on the top floor, working traditionally, on Chronometer restorations ... and some newer machinery downstairs, which was batch-producing wheels for [I think] the dti mechanisms.

MichaelG.

SillyOldDuffer01/08/2018 10:26:28
4783 forum posts
1011 photos

There must be a story behind the relationship between Mercer( England ) and Mercer ( Switzerland )

The website of Long Island Indicator Service Inc (a US repairer) is always worth a look. Try searching on it for "Mercer". Results say things like:

'Mercer indicators, marketed for the UK, are no longer available. They were made in Swizerland and were identical to the Compac indicators except for the brand name on the dial. The dial often, erroneously, read "England" which can lead to confusion.

The older-style Mercer indicators, pre-2001, were made in England. All subsequent Swiss models carry the suffix -1 on the model number. They were a big improvement over the old ones.'

and

'The new generation of Mercer dial indicators are made in Switzerland. These are some of the best inch-reading as well as metric dial indicators available. Many of them are now in stock, and others can be had in about 3 weeks. We present here the most popular models, but please don't hesitate to contact us regarding any indicator with the Mercer name.

One caveat: the old-style Mercer indicators were made in England. Those are no longer available, but you can substitute the new models with confidence. They're a dramatic improvement over the old ones.

Mercer indicators have 8 mm diameter stems and use 2.5 mm contact point threads. The 8 mm stem can be changed to 3/8" using an optional adapter sleeve. They are identical to Compac indicators, using the same stainless steel racks which give these a long useful life. While Compac has discontinued most of its inch reading models, you can find the equivalent still available with the Mercer name.'

The site also has a 'where are they made' list for current production brand-names:

  • Alina (Switzerland, discontinued)
  • Compac (Tesa) - Switzerland
  • Girodtast (Girod) - Switzerland
  • Interapid (Tesa) - Switzerland
  • Kafer - Germany
  • MarTest - Germany
  • Mercer (Tesa) - Switzerland
  • Mitutoyo - Japan
  • Roctest (Tesa) - Switzerland
  • SISO-tast (Girod) - Switzerland
  • SPI brand - China
  • Starrett - USA
  • Swisstast (Tesa) - Switzerland
  • Teclock - Japan
  • Tesatast (Tesa) - Switzerland

The Compac, Interrapid, Mercer, Roctest, Swisstast and Tesatast brands are all made by the same company.

My interpretation is that the original British Mercer company started making DTI's that weren't particularly successful. Like Moore and Wright buying into micrometer technology, Mercer looked to some kind of arrangement with an established Swiss maker, perhaps buying tooling, expertise, parts, and patent licenses. Or even entire movements for re-badging.

This kind of commercial arrangement first seems to have swept clockmaking in the 19th century, with little relationship between the name on the clock-face, and where the parts where made. Dials, hands, movements, and springs tended to be mass produced by specialists, and then assembled by a 'local' clockmaker. Now pretty much everybody does it: manufacturing has ceased to be a national sport. Modern cars are a good example - see thread where a Vauxhall is fitted with a BMW engine. I used to drive a Rover which had a British engine inside a Japanese body with British interior styling. The battery was German and the radio was full of parts marked 'Indonesia', 'Mexico' and 'Philippines'.

I think, over a period 80 years, Mercer first made their own DTI's in England, then upgraded them using Swiss technology, then for a few years sold rebadged swiss-made DTI's, before finishing by selling the brand-name and goodwill to Tesa. Mercer-brand DTI's today are pure Swiss. Will that last? Probably not - sooner or later expect manufacturing to move from Switzerland to any country prepared to do the same job cheaper...

Dave

Circlip01/08/2018 10:31:20
980 forum posts

" The reason I ask is that I am looking for a new cover for my old Mercer back plunge dti. "

If you're looking for the clear dial cover, Horological supplies sites can supply watch cover "Crystals in sizes which vary by .1mm (4 Thou) in diameter and various other Fori describe how to dismantle, clean and reassemble these including crystal replacement.

 

Regards Ian.

Edited By Circlip on 01/08/2018 10:31:40

Michael Gilligan01/08/2018 10:44:49
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14131 forum posts
614 photos

"My interpretation is that the original British Mercer company started making DTI's that weren't particularly successful."

Dave,

From what I've seen, there was not much wrong with Mercer DTI's

... except that, by modern standards, they were using 'cottage industry' production.

The 'newer machinery' that I mentioned was hobbing or planing [sorry, I don't remember which] the wheels in stacks of maybe 20.

MichaelG.

Circlip01/08/2018 11:07:39
980 forum posts

Adding this as my original post mod time has timed out.

**LINK**

Regards Ian.

SillyOldDuffer01/08/2018 11:42:02
4783 forum posts
1011 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 01/08/2018 10:44:49:

"My interpretation is that the original British Mercer company started making DTI's that weren't particularly successful."

Dave,

From what I've seen, there was not much wrong with Mercer DTI's

... except that, by modern standards, they were using 'cottage industry' production.

The 'newer machinery' that I mentioned was hobbing or planing [sorry, I don't remember which] the wheels in stacks of maybe 20.

MichaelG.

I wouldn't disagree with that Michael. They may have had the same problem as my late-model Rover, which impressed the socks of a visiting American. Good build quality, solid feel, reliable, comfortable, fitted into my garage, good performance and MPG - I was very happy with it.

Problem was the car was too expensive to make compared with the competition and Rover couldn't make any profit on them. Rather than fix the production problem (requiring costly retooling and difficult labour discussions), the management buy-out chose to asset strip and bankrupt the company.

Not an uncommon fate for many long-established British firms who - for reasons good and bad - failed to move with the times. It's not enough to make 'quality', you have to profit from it as well. Better, I think, to look at British industry today. What survived is typically high-end, world-class and economically viable. Their business model and markets are unlikely to be traditional, unless they're deliberately targetting a niche.

Dave

Michael Gilligan01/08/2018 11:46:58
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14131 forum posts
614 photos

yes

KWIL01/08/2018 11:59:56
3127 forum posts
57 photos

SOD, No, the real problem was that the owners, BMW, did not want to compete with themselves and chose not to slot the models into an interlinked and progressive pricing policy. The 75 competed directly with the more expensive BMW 5 series ( and used many of the same components in its assembly).

Edited By KWIL on 01/08/2018 12:00:39

KWIL01/08/2018 14:03:44
3127 forum posts
57 photos

A p.s.. to my earlier post, the assets had already been stripped by BMW, namely the Mini and Land Rover 4 wheel drive technology.

SillyOldDuffer01/08/2018 16:32:58
4783 forum posts
1011 photos

Yes, but we're talking about two different phases in Rover's 40 year decline and fall.

My 'Rover', based on the Honda Civic, was a product of the final act. The Phoenix Consortia were trading as MG Rover Group, which was formed from part of the original Rover Group (itself descended from the Rover Company) after BMW broke them up in 2000. (BMW got Rover from British Aerospace, who got them from British Leyland, itself formed from a complicated mix of struggling companies by voluntary and forced mergers.)

MG Rover Group was under British management - apart from licensing the Rover brand from BMW it had little to do with them.

After MG Rover Group went into administration the MG part was bought by the Nanjing Automobile Group who have since merged with the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation. At about the same time the Rover brand was sold by BMW to Ford, who sold it to Tata in 2008.

A sad story, rather more complicated than my summary.

Dave


Martin Faulkner01/08/2018 18:31:51
85 forum posts
32 photos
20180801_153843.jpgPosted by Marcus Bowman on 01/08/2018 07:45:14:

Can you post a photo of the instrument and the damaged/missing part?

Martin Faulkner01/08/2018 18:32:38
85 forum posts
32 photos
20180801_153909.jpgPosted by Marcus Bowman on 01/08/2018 07:45:14:

Can you post a photo of the instrument and the damaged/missing part?

Martin Faulkner01/08/2018 18:33:07
85 forum posts
32 photos
20180801_154003.jpgPosted by Marcus Bowman on 01/08/2018 07:45:14:

Can you post a photo of the instrument and the damaged/missing part?

Martin Faulkner01/08/2018 19:51:09
85 forum posts
32 photos

Thank you for all your comments, some interesting things to read through. Slightly off topic, i do feel that a lot of the engineering industry has gone from this country and we have become a nation of "throw aways" with the introduction of off shore items flooding the uk. Please dont get me wrong, i am currently typing on one and have no issues with it but I have restored a few Rovers (P4,s) many years ago and from what i remember of them, i can see why they did not last. However before i start to ramble and start to hit the political side of things, its best i get back on subject.

Marcus, i have added some pictures of the DTi in question, please forgive my guesstermaters, they were to hand and may be out a few thou. I would like to resore it and get it fully working again.

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