Early Balance Spring Pocket Watch by Thomas Tompion with Regulator Type Dial, 1675-1679

Made:
1675-1679
maker:
Thomas Tompion

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Early balance spring watch by Thomas Tompion with 'Regulator' type dial, in silver case, London, England, 1675-79.

This watch by Thomas Tompion (1639-1713) is one of the earliest surviving watches with a balance spring. It has an unusual regulator type dial with a large minute hand and two subsidiary dials for seconds and hours, the latter reading up to six hours. When Christiaan Huygens (1629-1693) applied the spiral spring to the balance of a watch in 1675 it brought about an improvement in timekeeping comparable to that produced by the application of the pendulum to the clock. Robert Hooke (1635-1703) strongly contested Huygens' claim to this invention and later in that year Thomas Tompion made several watches with balance springs under his direction.

Details

Category:
Time Measurement
Object Number:
1985-1537
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), glass, silver (metal), steel (metal)
type:
pocket watch
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • measuring device - instrument
  • timepiece
  • watch
status:
Permanent collection

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