From the first water watch or clepsydra to smartwatches capable of monitoring the quality of our sleep, there have been many and progressive advances in this field, motivated by the needs of the society of the time. In general, we are referring above all to functionality and style, two concepts inherent to how we understand watches today, and which change over time.
For example, pocket watches initially represented a technical revolution, meeting the needs for precision and portability that the advances of the time in other fields (such as navigation) required. Over time, however, and with wristwatches now on the market, they became a personal object whose value and significance transcended their time-measuring function: they became a symbol of elegance, status and style; à la Peaky Blinder.
But if there are any clocks whose significance has remained relatively stable over the years, combining functionality and decoration, those are wall clocks.
Initially, clocks were an institutional instrument and, with questionable accuracy, they stood out on the top of community buildings, church walls or town hall facades. In a world marked by agriculture, the crowing of the cock was a sufficient alarm, and the ringing of bells an effective reminder. At the time, clocks had only one hand: it was under this philosophy that it was not necessary to measure every second that Meistersinger created his single-hand watches.
However, the mechanistic and urban approach to industrialisation demanded a more precise control of time. So technical improvements were included that improved its accuracy and revolutionised social organisation. For example, the trains were able to keep to the timetables set by the station clock.
These early railway clocks were inspired by the iconic brand Mondaine, the official distributor of Swiss railway clocks. A curiosity of these is that the characteristic red seconds hand takes 58 seconds to complete one minute, then stands still for 2 seconds while the minute hand advances to the next minute, when the train departed. Mondane has incorporated this feature into some of its SBB models with the stop2go mechanism.
Mondaine creates timeless, modern, refined and legible wall clocks to add a subtle touch of originality to any room.
Perhaps the most historically famous wall clocks are the pendulum clocks, created by Huygens in 1657, in which the movement of an oscillating mass provides the kinetic energy needed for the clock to function. The baroque pendulum clocks, like the winding clocks and the Big-bang or carillon clocks, are today a nod to the past, which has given way to quartz mechanisms and the prevailing minimalist and industrial style.
In this regard, we would like to highlight Junghans wall clocks. The most renowned brand in German design creates avant-garde pieces that incorporate mechanisms such as radio-controlled, being faithful to its minimalist essence.
This is how wall clocks have come down to the present day, generally presiding over common places and laying the foundations for the style of the household, so that their evolution is undoubtedly linked to that of the functional and aesthetic needs of consumers.