Tracking Time in Style: French Regulator Clock

2 minute read

French Marble Weight Driven Table Regulator

People have been preoccupied with measuring and recording time since ancient civilizations first relied upon the sun, moon and stars to gauge the passing of days. As each age advances in technology, so does the humble clock, born of the rudimentary sundial and elevated to mechanical and design triumph, as seen in this majestic French regulator clock. Crafted of opulent Carrera marble, and powered by an intricate weight-driven mechanism, this rare regulator clock is noteworthy in its accuracy, which is, amazingly, maintained today. Brosse of Bordeaux designed this complex and beautiful regulator clock around 1820, and its success helped fuel the rise of French clockmakers after years of Dutch domination in the clock industry.

While the exterior is elegant and intriguing, the interior mechanism of this clock is even more interesting.  A steel frame supports the ormolu-spired marble canopy from which the clock descends. These rods also anchor the lines from which two silvered, pear-shaped weights are suspended. These weights, the clock's motive force, propel the mercury jar pendulum that swings above the clock on a spring suspension, triggering the detent escapement with a ruby impulse pallet. Blued steel hands mark the time on the silvered dial with champleve Roman numerals, with a seconds ring at the apex.

Revolutionary for its time, the clock is effortless and complex, straightforward yet fascinating. This piece is as intriguing today as it was when it was first produced.

To see more of our clock collection, click here, or better yet, come to our gallery on Royal street to see them in person! We can promise you will be right on time.



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