Benzie was founded by Simpson Benzie, Esq. in 1862. From the outset, Simpson Benzie maintained the “Benzie Ball” on top of the building. It was dropped at the stroke of 1200hrs. GMT and was for many years the chief time-keeper for the Royal Navy in the Eastern Solent. This ball was lost - possibly as a result of enemy action during the Second World War.
The firm was established in 1862 by the late Mr. Simpson Benzie. Through his artistic application of nautical subjects to jewellery, the founder of the business gained a world-wide reputation. He was the first to design a clock to strike the ship’s bells. Since he died in 1915, his son took an active interest in the concern since 1891, to follow on similar working lines. The Royal Warrants held by the establishment are: H. M. King George V., in 1910; H. M. the Queen, 1912; H. M. King Edward, 1901; H. M. Queen Alexandra, 1901; H. M. Queen Victoria, 1885; H. R. H. the Prince of Wales, 1884; H. M. King of Greece, 1886.”
Benzie has served the cream of society for more than 130 years. At various times during this period it has proudly held no fewer than eight Royal Warrants. A Benzie clock hung on a bulkhead on the Royal Yacht, Britannia.