Matthias Hipp Neuchâtel Precision clock Glass, brass, steel, mercury Height: 120 cm. Diameter: 21 cm. Circa 1880 Constructed for the Neuchâtel Observatory, this clock won its inventor a gold medal at the 1881 International Electricity Exhibition in Paris. It consists of a pendulum beating seconds, whose movement is maintained according to the Hipp principle. At each oscillation, the pendulum sends the current from a special battery to one or several secondary clocks beating seconds, located in various rooms in the observatory. A large hermetically-sealed glass cylinder envelops the mechanism and protects it from the effects of atmospheric pressure. The pendulum has two parallel rods and contains, on one and the same plane (that in which the pendulum oscillates), all the moving parts that influence the running of the clock. These are as follows: at the top, near the pendulum’s suspension, the seconds contact which transmits electrical impluses by remote control to the electrochronometric counters; in the middle, Hipp’s modified electric escapement and the electromagnetic impulser with its armature; and, at the bottom, the steel vase containing the mercury which compensates for temperature variations. Matthias Hipp obtained a remarkable degree of precision with this clock. Over long periods, Adolphe Hirsch, the director of the Neuchâtel Observatory, registered average daily rates that did not exceed three hundredths of a second. History: Around 1978 (donated by the Neuchâtel Observatory). Presented at the 1881 International Electricity Exhibition in Paris (gold medal) Exhibition: 1978, La Chaux-de-Fonds, p. 11, illus. Bibliography: A. Hirsch, Communication faite à la Société des Sciences naturelles de Neuchâtel, 1884 and 1891. Favarger, 1892, pp. 63-68, illus.; 1924, pp. 238-246, illus.