horology

The Ingenious Watches of Abraham-Louis Bréguet

The Ingenious Watches of Abraham-Louis Bréguet

On January 10, 1747, Swiss horologist Abraham-Louis Breguet was born. In his lifetime he was considered the leading watchmaker of his day because of his artistic as well as technical skill. His innovations included a self-winding or “perpétuelle” watch (1780), the gong spring which decreased the size of repeater watches, and the first anti-shock device or “pare-chute“, which improved the reliability of his watches while making them less fragile. Of course Swiss watches…
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Ferdinand Berthoud and the Chronometer

Ferdinand Berthoud and the Chronometer

On March 19 1727, French horologist Ferdinand Berthoud was born. Together with his great rival, Pierre Le Roy, Berthoud contributed to the development of the chronometer in the attempt to solve the problem of determining longitude at sea. Berthoud‘s improvements to the chronometer have been largely retained in present-day designs. Becoming a Master Watch Maker Ferdinand Berthoud was born in in Plancemont, Val-de-Travers, in the Canton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, into a distinguished…
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The Chronometers of Thomas Earnshaw

The Chronometers of Thomas Earnshaw

On February 4, 1749, English watchmaker Thomas Earnshaw was born. Earnshaw further simplified the process of marine chronometer production, making them available to the general public. He is also known for his improvements to the transit clock at the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London and his invention of a chronometer escapement and a form of bimetallic compensation balance. Improving Marine Timekeepers Thomas Earnshaw was born at Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire. He became…
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Christiaan Huygens and the Pocket Watch

Christiaan Huygens and the Pocket Watch

On October 4, 1675, prominent Dutch mathematician and scientist Christiaan Huygens patented a pocket watch. Huygens was a leading scientist of his time, who established the wave theory of light and made outstanding astronomical discoveries. He also patented the first pendulum clock in 1656, which he has developed to meet his need for exact time measurement while observing the heavens. Youth and Education Christiaan Huygens was born on 14 April 1629 in…
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David Rittenhouse and the Transit of Venus

David Rittenhouse and the Transit of Venus

On April 8, 1732, American astronomer David Rittenhouse was born. He was an early observer of the atmosphere of Venus. For observations for the transit of Venus on 3 June 1769, he constructed a high precision pendulum clock, an astronomical quadrant, an equal altitude instrument, and an astronomical transit. Besides being an astronomer, he was also inventor, clockmaker, mathematician, surveyor, scientific instrument craftsman and public official as first director of the United States Mint.…
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Daniel Quare and the Repeating Watch Movement

Daniel Quare and the Repeating Watch Movement

On March 21, 1724, English clockmaker and instrument maker Daniel Quare passed away. He is best known for his invention of a repeating watch movement in 1680 and a portable barometer in 1695. Daniel Quare – A Brother of the Clockmaker’s Company Daniel Quare was probably born in 1648, but the sources differ. He was admitted a brother of the Clockmakers’ Company in April 1671. When Quare started his career, the pendulum…
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