ponedjeljak, 9. lipnja 2008.




ANTIQUE POCKET WATCHES



HISTORY





THE BEGININGS



A document in the Nuremberg records says that H. Henlein was paid 15 florins in 1524 for a gilt musk apple with a watch ("fur 1 vergulten pyan Appfel fur ali Ding mit einem Oaiologium").

Thirteen years earlier, in 1511, the German historian Johannes Cocclaeus (1479-1552) wrote in Brevis Germaniae Descriptio: "More and more wonderful discoveries are made from day to day; a young man, Petrus Hele, makes things that amaze the most learned mathematitians, that is to say, he makes watches (horologia) with many wheels from small amounts of iron. This watches show and strike the right time for 40 hours in any position and without weights (monstrat et pulsat XL horas), even when carried one's chest or in a bag".

This frequently quoted passage was the first specific mention of what we call a pocket watch, to be more precise, a watch that was carried on the person hanging from a chain around the neck or in a bag around the waist. These so-called self-driven watches (oralogia selbgeend), that is watches driven by a spring, became highly valued about ten years later and between 1521 and 1525 the Nuremberg Town Council gave seven of them away as gifts to important foreigners (three of these were made by Peter Henlein). In the next fifteen years only two or three such watches were given away as presents, which means that they had by this time become available to a wider circle of people, and were no longer considered as special gifts.

It is not surprising that the first watch was probably made in Nuremberg.In the 16th centuary this German town, together with Augsburg, was the leading goldsmiths' and clockmakers' center. Sundials were made there, and so were a great number of table clocks, often also used as travelling clocks. We mention this because the watch probably originated by reducing the dimensions of the table clock so that it could be worn on a chain around the neck or at the waist.

Peter Henlein was the only clockmaker we are certain made watches in the first half of the 16th century. Archival documents even refer to him as locksmith. However, when he died in 1542 he was called Vhrmacher.
In the 16th century clockmakers were divided into Grossuhrmacher and Kleinuhrmacher. The first made town and tower clocks, the second house clocks and watches. It is therefore difficult to say which of the Kleinuhrmacher actually made watches

1 komentar:

Vladislava kaže...

Very nice and interesting blog theme, I'm not so close with pocket watches but I like history so I want to congratulate xwatcmaker for collecting all those facts.