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.
- Time Measurement
- Object Number:
- pocket watch
- furnishing and equipment
- measuring device - instrument
- Permanent collection
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