Category Archives: Clocks

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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Can bonded solid lubricants preserve the teeth of running clocks?

  Antiquarian clocks are still in widespread use.  However, like any machine, mechanical clocks wear out as they run and, to keep them running, repairs will inevitably be necessary.     The image above shows a three century old longcase clock … Continue reading

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Harrison decoded: towards a perfect pendulum clock

In July 2014 the NMM hosted on one-day conference, entitled Decoding Harrison, which presented the story of around forty years of collaborative research into John Harrison’s complex and surprising pendulum clock theory. During the conference the exciting result of a … Continue reading

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New lease of life for a distinguished old gent

    Featured in James Bond’s Skyfall in 2012, the former Port of London Authority building near London’s Tower Hill is undergoing significant change, to become luxury apartments and a hotel, badged 10 Trinity Square. The building was opened in … Continue reading

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A 68 minute weight – with verisimilitude!

Thie post was written by Jon Colombo, as a student at West Dean College   At West Dean College first year clock students make a hoop and spur wall clock, from scratch. As far as practicable we use techniques available … Continue reading

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Unreliable public clocks

  You only have to walk around in your own town to observe that of all the public clocks you pass by, only a few tell the correct time. Many show just any time, others have stopped working altogether. Last … 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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There’s never been a better time for reform!

    A gauntlet has been laid down. Across Europe, thoughtful people are busy working up ingenious ideas for a competition devised over an extraordinary April weekend in southern Germany. Each year, several dozen of the electro-horo-cognoscenti gather in Mannheim-Seckenheim … Continue reading

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