Timeless inventions: Self-winding watches and pedometers

Abraham-Louis Perrelet (1729-1826)

Abraham-Louis Perrelet           (born 1729, died 1826)

In today’s blog post, we take a look at the life of the man responsible for bringing us self-winding pocket watches and pedometers. A master watchmaker and brilliant inventor, Abraham-Louis Perrelet.

Watchmaker Perrelet was born in Switzerland in 1729 and was the inventor of a self-winding pocket-watch mechanism, which is still used in modern wristwatches.

Designed to wind itself, an oscillating weight inside the watch would move up and down as the owner moved, winding the mainspring and turning the gears to move the hands.

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The Clock That’s Never Been Wound…

Beverly Clock

The Beverly Clock

Wrist watches powered by the conversion of kinetic motion to electrical energy have been around for nearly 30 years, but did you know that clocks powered by the atmosphere itself have been around for significantly longer?

In today’s blog post, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of atmospheric clocks and find out just how they can keep on ticking!

The original ‘Beverly’ Clock can be found on the 3rd floor of the Department of Physics at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

Remarkably, the clock is still running although it’s never been wound since it was first made by Arthur Beverly in 1864!

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Linnaeus’ Flower Clock

Here’s a novel way to create your own timepiece – if you have a garden!

Four O'Clocks

Mirabilis jalapa – The Four O’Clock flower

In 1751, Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus suggested that by planting flowers which open and close at different times of the day in a particular pattern, you could tell the time just by observing the petals.

Plants have biological clocks which are linked to the circadian rhythm that regulates processes such as metabolism, release of fragrances and movement – which is roughly based on 24-hour intervals.

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The First Stopwatches in Space

This post was updated 14th April 2014.

Speedmaster Stopwatch

Did You Know?

The Omega Speedmaster wristwatch picks up the honour of being one of the first stopwatches in space? 

In fact, it was also the first stopwatch on the moon and even now this model is still used in spaceflight by NASA. 

Today, we’ll look at the fascinating history of the Omega Speedmaster – one of the first stopwatches in space and first on the moon!

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Origins: Days of the Week

Have you ever wondered why the days of the week are named as they are?

If so, today’s blog post is for you, as we’re taking a peek at the history of the days of the week.

The days of the week as we now know them were originally named after the sun, moon and five planets of our solar system:

February CalendarSunday — Sun’s day (“day of the Sun”)
Monday — Moon’s day (“day of the Moon”)
Tuesday — Tiu’s day (“day of Mars”)
Wednesday — Woden’s day (“day of Mercury”)
Thursday — Thor’s day (“day of Jupiter”)
Friday — Freya’s day (“day of Venus”)
Saturday — Saturn’s day (“day of Saturn”)

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New! Rechargeable Stopwatches and Speed Trackers!

Great news! We now stock a new range of rechargeable stopwatches and speed trackers!

Rechargeable Stopwatches - Designed for schools - Set of 12 - 3 Timing Modes

Designed specifically for school/classroom use, the new Rechargeable Stopwatches, Rechargeable Ultimate Stopwatches and Rechargeable Speed Tracker sets are an excellent way to get groups of school children familiar with the basic principles of timing and the calculation of average speed. Ideal for use in mathematics, science and PE lessons.

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Was Galileo the father of time?

In today’s blog post, we’ve decided to take a trip through time and look back at perhaps the father of time himself – Galileo – and his magnificent contribution to the measurement and our understanding of time.

Galileo Galilei - Father of Time?

Galileo Galilei – Father of Time?

Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher.

At just 20 years of age, while studying medicine, Galileo noticed a lamp swinging overhead while he was in a cathedral. He was curious to know how long it took the lamp to swing back and forth – so he used his pulse to time the swings.

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