Horology history in five minutes

When and how were modern watches born?

You can write much more about the history of watchmaking — and I have done it in much more detail in my book, The Watch Manual — but what follows is a 5-minute summary.

The clocks as we conceive them today were born around 1300, and one of the first was an Italian timepiece, the Astrarium, created by Giovanni da Dondi of Padua around 1315.

The Astrarium was an exceptional clock. Not only did it calculate the hours: it also had a hand that counted the minutes (in groups of ten) and a…