Innovations In Watchmaking In The 19th Century
In the 19th century, watchmaking flourished, especially in Switzerland. After being overtaken by the mechanization of the United States, Switzerland will, in turn, take the path of large-scale watchmaking production. It will then produce more than 50% of the world’s watchmaking. But it does not stop there. Watchmakers and scientists driven by economic growth and the advancement of knowledge are bringing spectacular innovations to watchmaking like the Rolex deep sea.
The Creation Of The Clock, Emblematic Of 19th-Century Watchmaking
It is mainly in Switzerland that the clock is developed. This new type of watch is composed of another hand that can be stopped at will. This is used to measure a time interval with high precision. Over the century, several inventors and watchmakers added their contribution to it until its advent in 1860. This type of watch is still used and appreciated today.
The First Electric Clocks
Another element that is now an integral part of our daily lives is the subject of new inventions. After creating the battery and the electromagnet, which paves the way for electromagnetism, many objects using it are created. The first scientist to create an electric clock was physicist Giuseppe Zamboni. He developed a pendulum system that was attracted and repelled by the poles of a battery.
In 1840, the Scottish watchmaker Alexander Bain developed what was to be the first electromagnetic clock. Thanks to the energy of a battery supplying an electromagnet, the pendulum oscillates. This clock is slightly more precise than purely mechanical clocks.
In 1856, the grandson of the famous Abraham-Louis Breguet, Louis-François, designed the first mechanical clock with an electric winder. Finally, the watchmaker and inventor Mathias Hipp developed the first electric clocks in 1860, in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, where the Astronomical and Chronometric Observatory is located.
At that time, electricity was still not very present in everyday life. It was not until 1900 to see this fabulous discovery democratize and use the electric clock in homes.