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How Clocks & Watches Work

How Clocks Work

This animation also appears in the Santa Barbara → animation section, along with further details.

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Thanks to John’s extremely easy to understand video presentation, every visitor to the gallery is able to learn the mechanics behind the ticking, swinging and ringing. The special genius of John’s work lies in making visually clear for lay audiences an understanding and appreciation of a fine instrument of time keeping.

The basic principles of mechanical clock-making have been unchanged for hundreds of years. This short film explains the key points using the Seth Thomas Tower Clock built in 1929 for the Courthouse in Santa Barbara, California.

The animation was created by John Redfern in 2013, almost entirely in an email correspondence with Mostyn Gale, the clock keeper and conservator. John never saw the clock in person. The mechanism is similar to that in Big Ben in London, England.

The video as received in Santa Barbara from John, was originally silent. When it was determined that, as a teaching tool, the film would be more effective accompanied by audio describing what the viewers were seeing, voice description was added, with text and electronics developed by David Bisno, Mostyn Gale and Bryan Mumford.

This animation is reproduced with the kind permission of Dr David Bisno.

For further information at the Bisno Schall Gallery →

How Watches Work

The Caliber 215 manual wristwatch from Patek Philippe is a fine example of Swiss watchmaking. The video uses animation to disassemble the watch to show its construction, before showing in detail the powertrain, the escapement and the complexities of the winding mechanism.

This animation also appears in the Patek Philippe → animation section, along with further details; it forms part of a DVD released by the Patek Philippe Museum.

The most impressive demonstration of the power of the Redfern technique is in its portrayal of a simple manual wound wristwatch mechanism, the Caliber 215.

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Patek Philippe Caliber 215 Manual Winding Watch Movement, 1998

©Patek Philippe Museum

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