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Just Because: This Pendulum Watch From 1680 Is A Terrible Idea, Beautifully Executed

Just Because: This Pendulum Watch From 1680 Is A Terrible Idea, Beautifully Executed

This sort of thing is very much of its time, in terms of overall conception. The first pendulum clock, by Huygens, had come out only a few decades prior, in 1657, and the first watch with a balance spring was probably made by Hooke, in 1670 but balance springs as a technology were only beginning to become more widely known in 1680 – Huygens published his treatise on balance springs in 1675, and in 1680, given the slow speed at which information traveled in the 17th century, as well as the inherent conservativism of watch and clockmakers, it is hardly suprising that Hallaÿcher made this attempt. In more ways than one it is reminiscent of some of this century’s experiments with improving on the lever, which have produced much of interest but so far, little in terms of widely produced innovations (with the exception of the co-axial escapement, of course). It remains, in any event, a beautiful curio, and, flanked as it is in the catalogue by so much German precision horology, a wonderful breath of fresh air.

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