Chronophage Corpus Clock with Grasshopper Escapement
The £1 million timepiece, known as The Corpus Clock, has been commissioned and designed to honor the John Harrison, who was famously the pioneer of Longitude and inventor of the esoteric clock mechanism known as a grasshopper escapement.
The clock has been designed by the inventor and horologist Dr John Taylor and makes ingenious use of the grasshopper escapement, moving it from the inside of the clock to the outside and refashioning it as a Chronophage, or time-eater, which literally devours time.
The Corpus Clock does not use hands or digital numbers. Instead it uses a series of 60 slits cut into the face, each six degrees apart, which light up to show the time. The seconds are counted down by each step of the mechanical insect who crawls around the disc edged like a lizard's spine. Its movement triggers blue flashing lights which dart across the clock-face, running in concentric circles to mark passing seconds before pausing at the correct hour and minute. (See video below)
The Corpus Clock has been invented and designed by Dr John Taylor for Corpus Christi College Cambridge for the exterior of the college's new library building.
It was unveiled on 19 September by Prof Stephen Hawking, cosmologist and author of the global bestseller, A Brief History of Time.
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