Watchismo Times | category: escapements


Watchismo Times

THE WATCHISMO TIMES WATCH BLOG A reliquary of obscure timepieces from bygone eras as well as the cutting-edge watch designs of today.

1940 Puja Thermo-Pneumatic Clock

1940 Puja Thermo-Pneumatic Clock

1940 Puja Thermo-Pneumatic ClockSimple looking clock, right?

Now look inside and see the thermo-pneumatic tube movement!

1940 Puja Thermo-Pneumatic Clock

"At the lower left, shielded by a translucent housing, is a carbon rod resistance that heats the colored alcohol in the glass vessel just above it. This causes some of the alcohol to vaporize, the pressure pushing the liquid up the connecting pipe to the vessel at top right. As the latter gets heavier the wheel bearing the four vessels experiences a torque that rewinds a remontoire spring driving a conventional gear train and escapement. This clock has a pendulum-controlled escapement, but models with balance wheel escapements also existed."

The firm of Jauch and Schmid was registered in 1930.

1940 Puja Thermo-Pneumatic ClockThe back of a Puja clock from German firm of Jauch and Schmid.

1940 Puja Thermo-Pneumatic ClockOriginal advertisement for a 1940 Puja Clock


And thanks to Greg Blonder of Genuine Ideas and his similarly conceived thermoscopic solar motor inventions-->LINK

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Helicoidal Timepieces of Philip Lütolf

Helicoidal Timepieces of Philip LütolfThe watch design has yet to be unveiled but Philip Lutolf, has just introduced a powerful new watch movement which uses helicoidal rather than spiral springs for power- thus generating unprecedented torque.

I just hope he'll push the technology to equally unprecidented design and functions. Time will tell...

Helicoidal Timepieces of Philip Lütolf
CAD preview of movement

Helicoidal Timepieces of Philip Lütolf
Lutolf recently wrote to Horomundi;

"I would like to tell you that with this movement we will have a new approach about horological mechanics. With the H-Power movement we talk now for the first time about “power”. The first question which crossed my mind, when I started to think about a new movement in horology was: “why does the watch industry never talk about power?” After some research about the history of movement mechanism, I find out that since 1475, all the movements were based on spiral spring. Why because this spring has a great advantage compared to the other springs: it has a relatively low constant torque. So this means that the spring is ideal to make tic-tac, but not so ideal to power complex mechanism. This is why I use a helicoïdal spring instead. The springs that I use in my prototypes deliver an impressive 10kg. So this watch is not about power reserve (even though it is over average), but about power. What is incredible when I go back through the innovation process of the last 3 years, is that when you are faced with raw power, you have to find logical (the turbo) and technical (Strongnium, bearing wheels) solutions to cope with the laws of physics. This is why this movement became so complex. You can also do an analogy with cars. To make a Ferrari the technical requirements (because of the consequences of the speed at 350 km/h) are far more advanced than a normal Fiat or Opel car. For the H-Power movement it’s the same. And like Pirelli said in it's famous advertising campaign: "whithout control, power is nothing". We are now in a process to finish our prototype phase. We hope to be through until the beginning of next year. This is why; you won’t see any dial or case yet (although the case and the dial is already finished). But if you want to be the first to see it when it is released you can subscribe to my newsletter on my website"

via Horomundi
Philip Lütolf Website

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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.

Article 1-->Link Article 2-->Link Article 3-->Link Article 4-->Link

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Ignatz Flying Pendulum Clocks of 1883 and 1965 - Powered by a Tetherball Escapement

Watch the video above to see the unusual way this watch powers itself (or this->link)

The original flying pendulum clock (shown above) was invented, and patented, by Christian Clausen of Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1883. Clausen described it as "the craziest clock in the world" due to the motion of the tetherball style escapement with a ball and string. It was originally sold by the New Haven Clock Company (under the Jerome & Co. name) for about a year (1884-1885). It is reported that these clocks were sold to Jewelry stores to display in their windows to attract the attention of passing shoppers.

It got the name "Ignatz" from Dr. Rowell (a noted clock collector) in 1935. Dr. Rowell felt this clock had the personality of Ignatz, the mouse in the old Krazy Kat comic strip. The name stuck as it is still called this today. The original New Haven Flying Pendulum clocks are quite rare. This reproduction was manufactured by the Horolovar Company between 1965 and 1975. The movement was made in Germany and was cased at Horolovar in Bronxville, NY.

Shots of the Horolvar reproductions of 1965-1975
(some of these can be found online for around $200-300)

The tetherball escapement

Videos of other flying pendulum clocks (above; an Italian reproduction - below; a homemade wood clock)

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1940 Puja Thermo-Pneumatic ClockHelicoidal Timepieces of Philip LütolfChronophage Corpus Clock with Grasshopper EscapementIgnatz Flying Pendulum Clocks of 1883 and 1965 - Powered by a Tetherball Escapement

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