Managing Time: The Aesthetics and Engineering of Early Watch Design

Wednesday, 27 February 2002 - 5:30pm7:00pm

Penn Humanities Forum, 3619 Locust Walk

Managing Time: The Aesthetics and Engineering of Early Watch Design

Robert Barchi

Penn's Provost by day, Robert Barchi studies and restores antique watches and clocks in his spare time. Provost Barchi, also Penn Medicine professor of neuroscience and neurology, will discuss the evolution of the pocket watch, particularly in 16th and 17th-century England, with an emphasis on both the decoration and the mechanical design of these fascinating machines.

Links of Interest:

The National Watch and Clock Museum

An on-line museum devoted to clocks and watches from the 19th and 20th centuries.


A Walk through Time: The Evolution of Time Management

A storehouse of knowledge about time and the telling of it, from the National Institute for Standards and Technology.


The History of the Quartz Wrist-watch from the Lemelson Center

The advent of the quartz watch marked a significant advance in the quest to increase the accuracy and availability of timepieces.


Pocket Watch History and Maritime Chronometers

The development of watches did more than allow people to get to meetings on time, it allowed for the advent of modern navigation.


Manor House Museum, Bristol, England

Collections feature the development of timekeeping in Britain, Europe and America

Founded upon collections assembled over more than a century, this museum of art and horology collects, preserves and presents two quite different, but complementary, themes: the changing artistic tastes and achievements of local people and the development of timekeeping in Britain, Europe and America. 


As Time Goes By

Find out a little about the history of pocket watches, and pocket watch companies. 

Event is free and open to the public. Pre-registration required.

Selected Readings:

The Camerer Cuss Book of Antique Watches by TP Camerer Cuss, TA Camerer Cuss, Camerer Cuss

"Pocket Watches: From the Pendant Watch to the Tourbillon", Reinhard Meis Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 1999

Watches: Their History, Decoration and Mechanism. by GH Baillie. London: Methuen, 1929.