British Museum Clocks and Watches Room
1a and 1b. masterpiece clock, 1620
Thomas Starck, Augsburg, Germany
This clock not only displayed the time and the day of the week, but also included saints’ days, feast days, the length of day and night at different times of the year, and the likely times of eclipses.
2. gilt-brass clock-watch, 1580s
Hans Schniep, Speyer, Germany
3. astronomical watch, 1600-1610
H. Roberts, London, England
This watch shows the positions of the sun and moon in the zodiac and the time of high tide at London Bridge.
4. hexagonal clock, 1450s
unknown maker, Burgundy
The oldest clock on display at the British Museum, this table clock is designed to reflect the architectural style of the day.
5. silver and gilt-brass watch, 1620-1630
Jean Vallier, Lyon, France
This watch has an alarm, and in addition to the time, it displays the date, the phase of the moon, the month, the season, and the day of the week.
6. planispheric astrolabic clock, 1560s
maker’s mark ‘M’, France
This astrolabe is driven by a clockwork mechanism and shows the positions of the sun, moon, and stars.
7. silver coach watch, 1650s
Jean Baptiste Duboule, Geneva, Switzerland
This watch displays the month and day, the age and phase of the moon, the season, and the zodiac, as well as the time.
8. marine chronometer, 1800
Thomas Earnshaw, London, England
This chronometer was designed for the purpose of determining longitude at sea. Marine chronometers had to keep extremely accurate time under adverse conditions, allowing for the calculation of longitude based on the difference between Greenwich Mean Time and the time on board ship. This particular example was carried on the HMS Beagle during its famous voyage of 1831 to 1836.