The 241 year old pendulum clock that’s more accurate than your watch

241 years ago today, John Harrison, one of Britain's finest clockmakers died.  He left behind designs for a clock that makes the accuracy of that quartz watch on your wrist look pretty average. Chances are, your quartz will be be reasonably sharp.  Probably just +/- 15 seconds a month.  Not shabby, given the low price of a... Continue Reading →

Happy Birthday, M. Breguet

Today will pass in most people's diaries with never a thought for the man behind so many elements of the watch on their wrist.  Abraham Louis Breguet was born 270 years ago today in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Automatic winding, tourbillons, gong-repeaters, more accurate escapements, better hairsprings, shock-absorbing escapements, lubrication-free escapements... Breguet was responsible for either inventing or... Continue Reading →

Seiko 7a28 – watchmaking history at pocket money prices

Fancy owning a little piece of horological history? Well, you could head over to Geneva’s Patek Philippe Museum museum with your jemmy, a striped shirt and a ‘swag’ bag and quietly remove their Rieussec Seconds Chronograph.  Feeling even braver?  How about the earliest chronograph yet discovered? The Louis Moinet, in St. Blaise in Switzerland?  Sadly,... Continue Reading →

Splat the rat

Most councils use conflict-based ‘traffic calming’ schemes as speed reduction measures and to discourage drivers from using certain roads.  They call roads like these - the roads people use to get to work, to go shopping and home to their families - ‘rat runs’. In my own village in West Oxfordshire we have had ‘calming’ imposed on each... Continue Reading →

Time to be practical, not ideological, about transport

There's been a lot of fuss in Oxford lately about Oxfordshire County Council taking £4m in bus gate fines.  Even the RAC has waded in to suggest that the system of fining drivers is 'broken'.  The fines are an issue, but the bigger issue is the ideology that drives so much transport policy.  "After all,"... Continue Reading →

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