John Taylor’s Corpus Clock, aka the Chronophage, or ‘time eater’, is an impressive looking beast of a clock that was made as a tribute to eighteenth-century clockmaker John Harrison’s grasshopper escapement, a low-friction mechanism for converting pendulum motion into rotational motion.
Despite it’s massive size (over 1.5 meters in diameter) the Corpus Clock’s inner workings are all mechanically controlled, including the world’s largest grasshopper escapement that adorns the top. Electricity does power an electric motor, which winds the clock, and blue LEDs which light up the hours, minutes, and seconds, but the blinking eye, moving mouth, swinging hands and everything else you see is all old-school mechanical.
Another interesting element of the clock is that it’s only accurate once every five minutes. The rest of the time, the pendulum can stop, the lights can lag, and then everything can race to catch up, symbolizing life’s “irregularity”. Despite this irregularity though, the clock is expected to stay accurate for the next 200 years or more.
At a cost of over one million pounds, this solid 24-karat gold clock definitely wasn’t cheap, and it took over five years for the two hundred people involved in the making of the clock to get everything put together, but if you’re going to design the world’s strangest clock, no one ever said it was going to be easy.
[Via: BBC News]