Learn about Carriage Clocks
Carriage clocks are one of the steps in the development of portable horology, the ability of a person to keep track of time when travelling.
In order to fulfil this function, the clock must keep accurate time, be portable and cased for protection, and allow easy access to the dial for the reading of the time.
Travelling clocks, known in French as "pendule de voyage", have been in use since the 15th century, and remained little changed until the early 19th century. French clock maker Abraham-Louis Breguet developed the first modern travelling clock, known as a "carriage clock" or "officer's clock" in 1796, which he sold to Napoleon several years later. His clock was highly complex. As well as showing the time it also showed the date and temperature.
The carriage clock is rectangular in shape with a carrying handle, and usually has a plain or gilt-brass case set with glass or more rarely enamel or porcelain panels. A feature of carriage clocks is the platform escapement, sometimes visible through a glazed aperture on the top of the case. Carriage clocks use a balance and balance spring for timekeeping and replaced the larger pendulum bracket clock. more...