A Brief Retrospective of The Evolution of Clocks

By | April 20, 2022

When the human discovered that time is the only thing that he can not control, he invented ways in which time can be measured. From the earliest human history, the calculation of time is a goal and a passion for people. The earliest sundials are the first success in this regard. Comparable with the history and evolution of humanity, the history and development of clocks is also remarkable. Covering a long way the clocks nowadays are not so much a tool for displaying the time, but masterpieces and works of art that complement every style, taste, and personality.

Of the interesting history of clocks is important the period from 1500 to 1575, which is considered the years of progress and innovation in this area. Clocks at that time are large structures because they were driven by weights. However, in 1524 was made ​​the first portable clock. This is considered to be the earliest documented date of occurrence of the clock. Subsequently, other watches appear around 1548 that was mostly with German or French origin, and in 1575 appeared and English and Swiss watches. From 1600 to 1675 the clocks mark a very low rate of technical innovation, but they were used more as an ornament. They were made ​​of precious metals and stones. Since the clocks at that time were very inaccurate, they were mainly used as a decorative element. The still unpopular wristwatch was preceded by watches for the neck worn as a pendant, and with the introduction of the vest were worn in the pockets. After 1675 was increased the accuracy due to the addition of a new function – the minute hand and the separation of the display in minutes. The time was marked in Roman numerals and the minutes in Arabic numerals. While at the beginning the clocks must have been wounded on every 12 hours, the addition of the fourth gear, allowed winding in every 24 hours.

The watches continued their stable progress in the 18th century. In 1704 two English watchmakers – Facio de Duillier and J. See Debaufre introduced the use of precious stones as a joint between the components of the mechanism in order to prevent the wearing off of the parts with constant friction. Then, for almost a century, this innovative application was limited only to the English watchmakers. The first watch for measuring length was invented in 1761. It was invented by John Harrison, but because it was very complex, it did not enjoy great success.

Later, various watchmakers create and improve the practical stopwatch and up to the 19th century, it achieved an enviable perfection. During this period is added and the second hand of the clocks. The progress in metallurgy has a huge influence on the further development of the clocks. After 1900 various errors due to temperature and balance have been eliminated through the use of bimetallic alloys. This period is also crucial in the history of watchmaking, with the birth of wristwatches since the end of World War II, which completely replace the pocket ones.

After 1945 the clocks are already produced with complex mechanisms such as automatic winding, date, alarm, etc., and since 1950 appeared the first clocks, battery operated. Is born and a revolutionary concept for an electronic clock with 2.5 million beats per second, and for a very short period to 1970 the digital watches with battery forever take precedence over the mechanical.

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