Classic Lightweights UK
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Terry's stop-watch clip 

Peter Underwood

Watch holder 1The serious and more affluent time-trialler in the years following WWII would be seen sporting on his handlebars, opposite the obligatory bell, a stop-watch mounted in a Terry's watch clip.  The most common stop-watch used would be Smiths, in the style of a pocket watch, which would have a simple start and stop action controlled by pressing down on the winder, with a single sweep second hand and a smaller dial for the minutes.

On the right is a Terry's advert used in 1952.  I think the printing block must have run over from pre-war as no racing cyclist in that year would have been riding without any extension to the stem. Again, most riders would have mounted the watch on the front of the bars as in the position illustrated the knees would have hit the watch when 'honking' (riding out of the saddle). Assuming this was a pre-war clip it would probably have been used by a tourist to hold a conventional watch for telling the time as the two hands on the face show.

By 1952 most sales would have been to racing cyclists wanting a stop-watch to check their progress during a time-trial.  The reason that few watches are seen in photographs of the time is that in those days they were expensive commodities in comparison with earnings, especially for younger riders who were often on apprenticeship rates.

Tightening the knurled nut seen in the image below would tighten the clip around the bars and also secure the watch in the 'prongs'.

Nowadays the keen racer can use a cycling-specific sports watch which can be strapped to the bars.  The watch indicates time, speed and distance, cadence, heart-beat, calories used, duration of hills climbed and at what gradient plus altimeter.  At the end of the ride the watch can send the data stored to your computer which produces detailed graphs for all functions and adds appropriate information to your training schedule! 

Watch clip 2
Above: Component parts of the watch clip

Right: Stop watch mounted in forward  position
as opposed to the image in the advert above
Watch clip 1