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The History and Evolution of the Timepiece Part 1

Posted on June 01 2020

The History and Evolution of the Timepiece Part 1

 

Coming from the ancient times when the sundials of Europe and the candle and water clocks of the Far East were used to track the time of the day, the Old World saw the rise of clocks before wristwatches came about. The early clocks in Europe were first used for religious purposes and subsequently, when migrant clockmakers entered Switzerland in the Middle Ages, sometime in the 14th Century, the farmers and carpenters in the region began to produce parts for these clockmakers, thus setting up the foundations of what is the be the most famous watch and clock producing region in the world.

(Photo: Harrison's first timekeeper)

Consequently, during the period of the Age of Discovery from the 15th to the 17th Centuries, an accurate timepiece became an essential tool in navigation. Without them, many ships were lost at sea due to navigational errors as clocks had to be used in conjunction with maps in order to safely bring ships to their destinations. It was in 1730, that Englishman John Harrison, invented the first Marine Chronometre. By that time, he had already improved the design and performance of the pendulum clock. He used this knowhow to create the Chronometre, a clock that was, at the time, the most accurate of its kind in the world, in order to allow ships to finally navigate the seas in a much less error prone manner.

(Photo: Marine Chronometer 6MX by Sturmanskie)

However, the Marine Chronometre, while being most useful out in the open sea, could not match the convenience of the pocket watch due to its dimensions. 

It was after all the era when the pocket watch, first making its appearance in the 1500s, found its way into the hands of the gentleman…

 

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