Clock and Watchmaking

The construction of devices to measure time have a long history, the Sumerian evolved a base 60 system 4000 years ago and other ancient civilizations devised methods such as shadow clocks, hour glasses and clepsydra (water clocks).

Pope Sylvester II is often credited with the invention of the mechanical clock but they are generally thought to have first appeared in Europe around 1350.

Pendulum clocks evolved in the 17th century and are attributed to Christian Huygens who, along with Robert Hooke developed the spiral balance which greatly improved the accuracy of pocket watches.

For a period London dominated the market but they were soon overtaken by Switzerland who benefited from from the influx from France of Hugenot Craftsmen and today the country is renowned for the manufacture of high quality timepieces. The first clock makers emerged from the locksmith and jewellers guilds.