Meddelelser 2008 - Ole Rømers Venner

oleroemer.dk

Meddelelser 2008 - Ole Rømers Venner

A Longitude Timekeeper by lsaac Thuret

with the Balance Spring invented by Christiaan Huygens

Reinier Plomp

Figure l. The recently discovered longitude

timekeeper by lsaac Thuret. signed Thuret A

Parfs, 1675-1680.

Summary

The recent discovery of an extremely

interesting clock signed Thuret Å Paris reveals

that this clockmaker was much more closely

involved in the development of a clock to be

lused tbr finding longitudes at sea than has

lly been assumed. lsaac Thuret was the

ockmaker who made for Christiaan Huygens

first watch with a spiral spring regulating

the movements of the balance wheel in l675.The conflict about his contribution to

the invention is usually seen as to have ended their coopenation. However, a closer

study of Huygens' correspondence strongly suggests that this was not the case.

This longitude timekeeper, provided with the pirouen€ as published by Huygens but

abandoned by the makers of pocket watches, supports this view. Its close corespon-

dence in design with the later marine chronometers (no remontoire neither fusee)

confirms that Huygens and Thuret, apart ttom the pirouette, were on the right track.

However, it would take a century before the reliability and accuracy of the mechanic

timekeeper reached the level required for measuring longitudes.

l. Introduction

The recent discovery of an extremely interesting clock signed Thuret A Paris reveals

that this clockmaker was much more closely involved in the development of a clock

l5

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