A Brief History of Time Keeping

Between 500 CE to 1500 CE in Europe technological advancement almost ceased. During this period, sundials placed above doorways were used to identify midday and four "tides" (important times or periods) of the sunlit day. Then, in the first half of the 14th century, large mechanical clocks began to appear in the towers of several large Italian cities. There is no record of the working models preceding these public clocks, which were weight-driven and regulated by a verge-and-foliot type escapement. Variations of this system were used for more than 300 years, until Peter Henlein invented the ‘mainspring’ around 1500-1510 CE. This was a giant leap forward for clock making. His invention replaced the cumbersome weights allowing for smaller portable clocks and watches.

In 1656 a Dutch scientist by the name of Christiaan Huygens constructed the first pendulum clock, but Galileo Galilei is credited with developing the pendulum-clock concept. Huygens pendulum clock had an error of less than 1 minute a day, which was a great achievement for this time. His later clocks had errors less than 10 seconds a day.Around 1675, Huygens developed the balance wheel and spring assembly, still found in some of today's wristwatches. This improvement allowed portable 17th century watches to keep time to 10 minutes a day. In 1721, George Graham improved the pendulum clock's accuracy to 1 second per day by compensating for changes in the pendulum's length due to temperature variations. John Harrison, a carpenter and self-taught clock-maker, refined Graham's temperature compensation techniques and developed new methods for reducing friction. By 1761, he had built a marine chronometer with a spring and balance wheel escapement that won the British government's 1714 prize for a means of determining longitude to within one-half degree after a voyage to the West Indies. Over the next century further refinements led to highly sophisticated timepieces capable of keeping extremely accurate time. Thanks to these true pioneers we have come a long way in the art of time keeping.

A few words about myself I am a third generation ‘Clockmaker’. Mechanical devices have fascinated me since I was a small child. Every time I received a present the first thing I would do was take the toy apart and see what makes it work, little did I know this would lead to a professional career in clock making, one that has lasted over 25 years. My abilities grew under the watchful eyes of my grandfather, who challenged me almost daily to acquire knowledge and develop new skills.

After finishing college I opened my own service center, now we have two beautiful stores in the heart of Orange County, California, with thousands of satisfied costumers. We service and restore a large variety of clock and watches from modern timepieces to antiques pieces dating as far back as the 1700’s. We have a large selection of antique clocks, completely serviced and restored and all of our timepieces come with a one-year warranty. We are committed to excellence and every clock and watch that comes from our stores is treated with great care and dedication. Our goal is to return your clock or watch in perfect aesthetic and working condition.

What gives me the most pleasure is the look in a customer’s eye when he or she picks up their clocks. It is a great feeling to take an old clock and bring it back to life. I don’t ever see myself doing anything else other than being a clockmaker. I am proud and honored to be a part of Ruby Lane and I will keep the high standards set by this great community.

Eddy Tohikian

Clock Master


2734 E Chapman Ave. Orange Ca. 92869


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