John Taylorâ€™s Corpus Clock, aka the Chronophage, or â€˜time eaterâ€™, is an impressive looking beast of a clock that was made as a tribute to eighteenth-century clockmaker John Harrisonâ€™s grasshopper escapement, a low-friction mechanism for converting pendulum motion into rotational motion.
Despite itâ€™s massive size (over 1.5 meters in diameter) the Corpus Clockâ€™s inner workings are all mechanically controlled, including the worldâ€™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 itâ€™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 lifeâ€™s â€œirregularityâ€. 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 wasnâ€™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 youâ€™re going to design the worldâ€™s strangest clock, no one ever said it was going to be easy.
[Via: BBC News]