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72 division chapter ring, one full rotation in 30 secs

novicetimekeeper

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Jul 26, 2015
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Have just seen a pendulum clock with this dial, also has a subsidiary standard two hand dial.

The question is, what is it for? The only thing I can imagine is a metronome with a clock. Quite a lot of music is 144 beats to the minute. Can't think what else it is for.
 

Chris Radano

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Feb 18, 2004
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I am watching that one. We have seen a couple late 18th c. interesting examples of pseudo table regulators. I think basically it is a novelty, perhaps a stylish embodiment of the era of it's inception, later in the "Age of Enlightenment". To show the owner's awareness of science?
BTW there were many examples of that "candlestick" or portico form of Continental small table clocks, from the contemporary time. Not necessarily with a regulator type dial, but displaying the movement under a dome, an unusual or precision escapement, etc. My guess would be to enhance the curiosity of a mechanical clock, as a novelty or conversation piece.
I know we are being vague without pics of an active auction listing.
 

Jevan

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Jul 31, 2014
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As the clock stands I believe there's a winding square on both front & back of the fusee, if using the front position winding would need to be safely completed in under thirty second or the centre hand would hit the key, not impossible but not ideal.

I did wonder if the case may be a later adaption & originally the pendulum was longer but that doesn't really help with any explanation & would also mean the gearing driving the smaller subsidiary minutes/hours dial has been altered, just a thought as really I have no idea!
 

novicetimekeeper

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It's not uncommon to have longcase with centre seconds, they need to be stopped for winding, I don't see why you can't stop this for winding.
 

zedric

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Usually with items like this they are said to be for astronomical observations or something similar, but I have no idea what measurement would need to be recorded in 0.4167ths of a second..
 

zedric

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Having thought about it, my guess would be that it is some kind of very precise interval timer, where you want to measure something long-term to a good level of precision, so you wanted the hours and minutes as well as the seconds and fractions. This makes sense to me of the fact that the hour and minute dial is small, but present. To measure the interval, I assume you would start the clock with a swing, and stop the clock by grabbing the pendulum (which is why the pendulum is open and accessible), at which point the device would show the interval precisely by reading off the fractions of seconds, minutes and hour.

But I could be totally wrong, and quite why they chose 144ths of a minute as the interval, I don't know.
 

novicetimekeeper

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No it is for sale, however questions about the particular clock are not really necessary.

The question still remains, what purpose is a 72 division chapter ring swept every 30 seconds, so 144 beats per minute.

Even if the one for sale has been altered the dial was made with 72 divisions.
 

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