Skip to content

Twisting Flat Bolt Latch on Wood & Metal – Heathrow Airport in London

I took this photo on Wednesday, September 18th, 2019. These were taken in Terminal 5 of Heathrow International Airport in London, in the UK. Only about 10% of my restroom lock collection is international so far, but I hope to increase that percentage soon.

This lock is really special and unique, so let’s not waste any more time!

Twisting Flat Bolt Latch on Wood & Metal - Heathrow Airport in London Twisting Flat Bolt Latch on Wood & Metal - Heathrow Airport in London Twisting Flat Bolt Latch on Wood & Metal - Heathrow Airport in London

Take a look at this structure. It’s a really interesting mechanism, and one that I’ve never seen in the same way here in the USA. Sure, I’ve seen my fair share of the usual twist bolts, but this is a flat latch that’s fully exposed against the keeper. So behind that knob, there must be some gear arrangement that turns the rotational movement of your hand and the knob into the lateral extraction and retraction movements of the flat latch. I love it!

Speaking of the knob, check out the shape. It’s not just an oval – it’s an ellipse with a rounded point on one side, like a stretched out egg or smoothed teardrop shape! That took some design. It’s a fascinating choice to go with an intentional shape like this and not just a rectangle or a symmetrical ellipse.

Not only that, but look at these colors. It’s so good. The knob is black with silver trim, while the gear housing is silver with black trim. It’s a stunning look. And to make it even more impressive, the latch housing is all silver, while the keeper is all black. This is spectacular design and I have to applaud the artists who came up with it. We’re really looking at something special here, folks.

Let’s get into the screw placement, too – I know you were waiting for it. The housing mechanism has two screws, both positioned very nicely, and they line up exactly with the screw holes in the keeper. The screws themselves are hex-shaped with a point in the middle, which is a very unique design. And there’s a very satisfying flat area between the curved part of the screw and the indent. The screws and their integration into the whole lockset is masterful. And you’ll note from the top photo that there are no screws behind the handle, keeping the design completely symmetrical and smooth. Wow!!

From above it’s easy to see that the housing sits in front of a black thicker layer, and that the keeper is positioned a centimeter from the door frame, allowing the latch plenty of space. The keeper has an interesting shape too, sort of a slanted trapezoid with no one side parallel to any other. That’s rare. There’s also a bit cut out for the curve of the doorframe, and it’s a little off-the-wall to allow for the curve too. Note the dust on top too; an interesting arrangement.

The door is a nice modest wood pattern and the frame is good solid metal that doesn’t allow for even the possibility of a gap.

This was a great find; it’s always a thrill to find something so splendid and unique out in the wild. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!