Category Archives: Time

Was there high-quality, wholesale, clock movement manufacture in seventeenth-century London?

There is a fascinating article in the latest edition of Antiquarian Horology, just starting to arrive through people’s letterboxes, setting out a remarkable research question which cries out for some crowdsourcing of data—hence this blog post. For those who don’t … Continue reading

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The Unexpected Visitor

Jonathan Betts. Almost exactly ten years ago I had John Harrison’s magnificent first marine timekeeper H1 in my workshop at the Royal Observatory. It was being dismantled for study, cataloguing and conservation for the new chronometer catalogue. I had a film crew with me … Continue reading

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The Wittnauer ‘2000’ Time Machine: perpetual calendar or not?

I am fascinated by gimmicks used by past watch manufacturers to make their products stand out in a crowded marketplace and this post is the first in a short series on some attention seeking watches that have piqued my interest. … Continue reading

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Changing times in Germany

  We call it British summer time, but the first country to advance its clocks during the summer was Germany, which inaugurated a daylight-saving scheme in April 1916. A letter, written 100 years ago this week and found buried in … Continue reading

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Keeping in touch with time

          A common feature of watches and clocks of the 16th century are touch-pins. These are raised studs located at each hour position on the dial, with that at the 12 o’clock position typically being longer … Continue reading

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A second in one-hundred days: insanity or genius?

In 1775 John Harrison made a critical remark about Graham’s dead beat escapement, saying, of George Graham, that “…either he must be out of his Senses, or I must be so!”  Later in the same publication he stated of his … Continue reading

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Of mice and clocks

  In his most recent blog, Oliver Cooke discussed watches and clocks without hands as indicators. Another example is the Mouse Clock, in which a mouse making its way up against a wooden board serves as time indicator. Its designer … Continue reading

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Time in Old Bohemia

  Many thousands of people today have stood amazed in front of the Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Hall Square in Prague, but I wonder just how many have managed to make sense of the dial. In modern times, … Continue reading

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Stopping the clock after death

In a previous post I included an opera scene, in which a woman mentions (sings!) that at times she stops all the clocks in her house. She dreads getting old and wants time to stand still. One reader told me … Continue reading

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