Renaissance clocks were not primarily intended to measure time. Both clocks and watches were very rare objects – hence nobody had any necessity to know the exact time: it is rather boring to be the only one who is ‚on time’...
These objects rather showed that their owners were ‚modern’ – comparable to the coolness-factor of a new iPhone.
The revolutionary implications of the 'at-handedness of time' took decades to manifest themselves - as an integral
aspect of the Renaissance.
This website contains information on the earliest portable clocks and watches. A separate section has general information on Renaissance clocks.
This website wants to put forward a scientific opinion. Since very little is known about these watches, it is rather brief. In particular there is little substantiated evidence on the famous Peter Henlein of Nuremberg – who has been credited with the ‚invention’ of the watch. Instead of speculating, we rather refer to the scientific project by the Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg (Nuremberg, Germany).
In addition, a further section describes Renaissance clocks. The selection is rather limited at present and hence it is not representative. The focus is on special clocks: specialty due to material (wood, iron and silver instead of the typical brass) as well as indications – world machines instead of the standard dials.