Pocket watches

Pocket watches

Pocket watches

The digital tour in the Saarland Clock Museum was made possible by the support of:

Peter Henlein

The pocket watch

Around 1505, Peter Henlein used a torsion balance in his can clock, which was called the 'spoon balance' because of its shape and whose deflection was elastically limited by pig bristles. It was mainly worn on a cord or chain on the neck and had a spindle escapement.

The edges of the box were rounded off and the hour hand was protected by a multi-perforated sheet metal lid. The shape corresponded to the fragrance cans that were worn in clothing at the time, so that such clocks were called 'muskrat clock'.

The term 'Nürnberger Ei' probably comes from Nürnberger "Ührlein".

Christiaan Huygens

When Christiaan Huygens invented the balance spring in the 17th century, the rate accuracy (see also accuracy ) increased considerably. The rise of the pocket watch (zakhorloge / sack watch) began as a representative accessory and was only ended in the middle of the 20th century by the wristwatch.


Pocket watch from Glashütte

With the exception of the GDR state-owned companies, clocks from Glashütte near Dresden are known worldwide as quality clocks. After the Second World War, many master watchmakers from Glashütte went to Switzerland. After the fall of the Wall in 1989, Swiss companies also financed the restart of the Glashütte watch industry.

The clock of the company "A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte Nr. 38635" was produced in 1904. The case is made of 585 gold. It has an enamel dial, Arabic numerals 1 to 12, small seconds, 10 graduation and gold hands in the Louis XV shape.

Anniversary watch

The first workers who needed a pocket watch were the miners. Some of them still had to cover a long distance to their place of work after they had arrived and had to return on time. The Franz family's cash book contains entries showing how they paid off their pocket watch for months. It was common for deserving miners to receive an anniversary watch. Of course, these were not used underground. The picture shows an anniversary watch from Lip (Besançon).

The clock at the exit of the Waschkaute was important for the exact time. In the picture you can see the clock from the Maybach mine (Friedrichsthal), which was shut down in 1981.

Anniversary watch

The miner was a highly respected profession. Not only because of his hard work, but also because he got the cart out of the mud after the two world wars. But well-earned ironworkers also received an anniversary watch.

In this picture you can see the anniversary watch of the IG Metall from Hans Werner Lermen for 60 years of loyalty. It is made of brass and has an inexpensive quartz movement.

Carriage clock

Carriage clock

Saddle watch with date, striking and alarm mechanism, case made of fire-gilded bronze with flower and leaf ornaments, front bezel with domed glass and also with flower and leaf ornaments, key winding. Shell made of tortoiseshell with floral ornaments made of silver pearls. The clock has a diameter of 14 cm.

The clock was manufactured by the company BALTHAZARD GRANIER in London in the 3rd third of the 18th century for the oriental market and has Turkish numbers and hands.

Service clock

Railway watch

The pocket watch is a service watch for the American or Canadian market. It has a 16-jewel movement with a Breguet hairspring and a monometallic screw balance. A locomotive is depicted on the enamel dial. It has Arabic numerals and a small seconds above six.

Production: 1920s in Switzerland


The windup

The windup is the assembly that tensions the spring of a watch, i.e. it supplies the drive energy. Initially, the spring was wound from the front through the dial with a small square key, which could also be used to adjust the hands. In order to be able to design the dial without the winding hole, the winding and pointer positions were moved to the back of the pocket watch around 1800.

In 1844 the elevator was invented using a knurled wheel. Initially, however, the pointer was set using a key. From 1860 it was also possible to use the crown to adjust the hands by pressing a button (see arrow).

From 1900 the pusher was replaced by pulling out the crown.

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