Renaissance tower clock, France, Blois around 1538, heigh 97mm (Inv. 4932)
The oldest pocket watch in the world? Henlein watch dispute
An exhibition currently on show at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, Germany takes a closer look at what is reputed to be the first ever watch to use spring technology. Is the legend true that approximately 500 years ago the Nuremberg precision instrument maker, Peter Henlein, created the very first timepieces with a spring mechanism? Unlike the older technology, which used weights as an energy source, the watches with a balance spring could be placed anywhere and even carried around. They were thus the predecessors of the modern-day wristwatch.
Beyer Clock and Watch Museum has contributed to this fascinating exhibition by loaning a small travel clock from France, probably made in Blois around 1538. You can read more about the exhibition at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg here.