Timeline of Clocks and Watches
- Wendy Weng
- Issue Time
Being a watch fans, we need to know the timeline of the watch. This artical is to introduce the timeline of the watch and clock.
· 3500 BC – First sundials build in ancient Egypt after they were imported from Babylon, with many ancient structures were built to mark the passage of time and determine arrival of planting seasons and harvest times.
· 2000 BC – Creation of Stonehenge.
· 1400 BC – Some cultures mark the passage of time by measuring time it takes to burn oil, incense and candles.
· 742 BC – First archeological proof of sun dial existence.
· 300 BC – First simple transmission gears created by Archimedes.
300 AD – Introduction of sand glass clocks.
· 885 – Candles with time markings introduced to the medieval Europe.
· 1092 – First mechanical water clock created by Chinese innovator Su Sung.
· 1368 – First mechanical clock makers appeared in England.
· 1490 – Locksmith Peter Hele invented first mainspring in Nurnburg.
· Early 1500s – Appearance of first small domestic (table) clocks.
· 1510 – First mechanical watch created in German cities of Nuremberg by Peter Henlein. These models were either fastened to belts or carried around the neck and they measured only passage of hours.
· 1530 – The oldest surviving mechanical clock.
· 1540 – Screws became used for clocks, enabling much smaller designs that kept time much better than first models.
· 1541 – First public tower clock fixed on one of the towers in Hampton Court Palace, England.
· 1577 - Jost Burgi invented the minute hand, even though 16th century clocks were very inaccurate.
· 1581 – Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo discovered the properties of pendulum.
· 1587 – Geneva became home to the thriving watchmaking industry.
· 1610 – Introduction of protection glass on watches. This finally enabled reliable protection of time dials on the portable small watches.
· 1635 – French inventor and clockmaker Paul Viet of Blois introduced first enamel dials.
· 1657 – Famous Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens created first pendulum controlled clock.
· 1671 – Pendulum clocks received important upgrade with the introduction of pendulum suspension spring introduced by William Clement.
· 1676 – Famous London watchmaker Daniel Quare introduced to the public concentric minute hand for watches. He also worked on creating repeating watches.
1704 - Nicholas Facio managed to pierce rubies and sapphires, using them as a jeweled bearing for balance staff pivots.
· 1720s – Several important watch inventions - George Graham invented mercurial compensation pendulum and dead-beat escapement for clocks, John Harrison invented grid-iron compensation pendulum and George Graham invented the cylinder escapement.
1760s – Enlightenment era in Europe brought many advances to clock mechanisms. Need for accurate maritime chronometers soon enabled ordinary and cheap watches to become very accurate. This accuracy can be attributed to the inventions of Pierre Le Roy and Thomas Earnshaw who introduced to the public temperature compensated balance wheel.