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Different types of clocks

Clocks are considered to be essential in households all over the world and are very common due to their practical usage. In this article, we will touch on the history of clocks as well as diversifying them by some characteristics.

Egyptians were the first to invent a timekeeping device using water movement to measure time. Albeit inaccurate, that was a revolutionary invention at the time. Later on, Saxons invented candle clocks, dividing candles into several segments that would indicate time passage after burning out. The first instance of mechanical clocks dates back to middle age, specifically to churches in Europe. Makers of those clocks are unknown but it is considered that they were first invented in the 14th century. Moving forward, clocks were still highly inaccurate until the pendulum introduction in the later years of the 17th century. During the years that followed, many iterations of clocks were made such as the cuckoo clocks, grandfather clocks and many more. By the mid-1800s, almost every town in Britain had its own clock built upon a tower or a tall building. Further technological development impacted clocks as well, with the invention of quartz oscillators and atomic clocks that are still used to this day.

Types of Clocks

There are 13 types of clocks that see modern usage and in the following section, we will dissect every one of them.

There are many styles and types of clocks and in this segment, we will individually analyze every one of them.

Firstly, there is the standard wall clock, the most commonly used clock in almost every room. Oversized wall clocks are very unique in their usage and design, being commonly found in schools, eye-doctor offices or in very large rooms. Next up is the mantel and tabletop clock, which is very specific due to it’s very antique and traditional design. Moving forward we have maritime and weather station clocks, clocks that measure humidity and weather as well as time. Just as important as wall clocks are alarm clocks, mostly used by people who want something that can efficiently wake them up in the morning. Grandfather clocks are the clocks that preserve the old-school design and are commonly passed from older to younger generations as a sign of family tradition. However, their exclusive design and size make them quite expensive. Next up are cuckoo clocks which are very entertaining to use because of their mechanic in which a tiny bird figure pops out with every passing hour. Outdoor clocks are placed in the street so passengers can be aware of the time while floor clocks are mounted clocks that rarely see usage nowadays. Pendulum clocks and anniversary clocks are very unique because they use the “tick-tock” mechanism and are still used as a decoration. Sun clocks and water clocks are devices that have been used in the past to calculate time but are obsolete due to their impracticability.

Unique Features

Every clock has unique features that make it special, we will discuss them in the following section.

Digital clocks display their time digitally while analog clocks use a traditional clock dial. Additionally, large display clocks are digital clocks that have a significantly larger display. Adopting the traditional style is the roman numeral clock, using roman numbers instead of Arabic ones. Calendar clocks display the day and date and time while musical and auditory clocks signal the time of day with a certain musical composition. Automatic Chime Shutoff clocks are traditional alarm clocks that use pendulums and cuckoo calls to signal the time. Battery-powered clocks use batteries in order to function while radio clocks use longwave radio transmitted codes. Light sensor clocks are a variation of alarm clocks that react and alarm us when they are exposed to daylight.

Shape and Mechanism

Clocks can be categorized by shape and mechanism as well

When we categorize them by shape, clocks can be round, rectangle and square, with round clocks being the most common ones as most wall clocks are round-shaped. Novelty clocks include a certain image or a specific design which brings more life to an ordinary-shaped clock. Clocks can be divided by mechanism as well, with atomic clocks being the most precise ones, using electromagnetic signals to measure time. Mechanical clocks use oscillating mechanisms and gears while quartz movement clocks use quartz crystals as their main mechanism. Finally, we have electric clocks that are simply powered by electrical wires.

Hopefully, you have learned something about clocks, as they are truly one of the most useful and unique devices that surround us.

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Lonville “Railwayman” Oversize Pocket Watch–Dwarfing the Competition

Here is a pocket watch that may even catch the eye of Flavor Flav, the era of the Swiss oversize pocket watch. There doesn’t seem to be much information about why they were made so much larger than even the 18 size pocket watches that were commonplace in the 1900-1910 era. The aforementioned time period is when the short-lived behemoths came to compete. In size comparison, even the large 18 size pocket watch cases were about 55 to 58mm in diameter. The Lonville “Railwayman” oversize pocket watch has a case that measures 67mm in diameter. A nine to twelve millimeter difference, no big deal right?

 

Here is a size comparison with an 18s Hamilton and a 16 size Elgin BW Raymond. The Lonville dwarves them both.

The two typical “working man’s” pocket watches of the early 20th century, the 16 size and 18 size, were only about 4mm in difference (in comparing similar style cases). To a novice, the 16 and 18 size differences are sometimes not even noticed, especially when the movements are out of their cases. When a novice sees the oversize Swiss types, the oversize watch appears like a giant. A modern time analogy would be a comparison of the Samsung Galaxy to the Galaxy Note or the Iphone 6 compared to the 6 plus.

Why were they made and why did the style go out? I would guess that Swiss were attempting to gain a foothold in the US pocket watch market and were trying to get in by making a very noticeable item. Everyone can recognize size differences, but not everyone can see the differences (or cares for that matter) about things like how many jewels, how many adjustments, or other nuances that a watch may have had. I would also venture that the Swiss were so far behind, and the US companies were so entrenched and trusted, that the Swiss companies couldn’t keep making and exporting their products only to have to cut prices to be the price leaders in a US dominated market.

The short life of the Swiss oversize pocket watch is an interesting phenomena. The one that I added in the pictures keeps good time, but the movement appears cheap! The dial has gold minute markers, which is cool. The watch is a pin lever set.