A hand-carved wooden clock that scribes the time on a magnetic board

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Amazing! I particularly love the pendulum weights - does anybody remember what they do?

the weights are just weights - they store potential energy, and as they descend they power the clock

the regular swing of a pendulum regulates the time increments - if there’s a pendulum in this clock, i’m not seeing it, so that means it has a balance wheel instead

clock geeks, please chime in


Oh I know. I just haven’t seen a clock with real weights in forever. Although it needs daily or weekly maintenance, it’s a pretty brilliant technology.

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if you’re ever in London, i can’t recommend the Greenwich Observatory museum highly enough - designing an accurate portable clock was one of those grand challenges that literally changed the world - the exhibits showing the process of miniaturization leading up to the modern mechanical watch are a completely amazing display of engineering evolution in action - you’ll never be happy with a quartz watch again, except maybe a bulova spaceview

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You see the lousy handwriting on that 8 and 9? I’ve carved 400-piece clocks with better handwriting out of a bar of soap!

(disclaimer: no, I have not)

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This is quite an impressive machine. It takes a lot of work to draw good-looking numbers with machinery. I’ve only ever done it with an oscilloscope tube, using a Lissajous circle drawer.

I imagine the timekeeping and digit control mechanism to be very similar to that in a Teletype printer, but implemented in wood.

My favorite other mechanical clock that writes the time, the Industrious Clock:



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