The astronomical clock of Besancon
July 4, 2006 2:26 PM   Subscribe

The astronomical clock in the French city of Besancon is quite a mechanical marvel. Built in 1860, its inner workings are comprised of more than 30,000 interoperating pieces, driving 37 separate clockface gauges. It is one of the finest intersections between art & mechanics that I've ever come across.
posted by jonson (12 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Heck! I spent 6 months in Besançon a few years ago, and I never heard of this thing. Now I have two reasons to go back (the other being cancoillotte, which I haven't been able to find in the states)
posted by jepler at 2:40 PM on July 4, 2006

So this clock, it vibrates?
posted by c:\awesome at 2:41 PM on July 4, 2006

Wow! That's some serious horology going on there at the purists site. Nice one jonson.
posted by tellurian at 4:16 PM on July 4, 2006

Fascinating. There's something really cool about pushing purely mechanical technology that far. Nice find!
posted by arto at 4:35 PM on July 4, 2006

Damn, if only I could have a wrist watch with that many hands...
This is pretty cool.
posted by c13 at 4:50 PM on July 4, 2006

Thanks. That's a reason to visit Besançon when I'm in the neighbourhood.

Reminds me of this mechanical model of the universe that's a century older.
posted by jouke at 5:59 PM on July 4, 2006

what??!?! reminds you of what for God's sake??!?!?
posted by jonson at 6:05 PM on July 4, 2006

The fixed link for Eise Eisinger's Planetarium (from jouke). The unofficial site has some more photos.

Thanks jonson - that is an amazing piece of craftsmanship.

c:\awesome writes "So this clock, it vibrates?"
The erudition and original pithy humour keep me coming back.
posted by peacay at 7:20 PM on July 4, 2006

Forgive me for being brief, but....OMFG!
posted by aramaic at 7:28 PM on July 4, 2006

all I can say is, somebody sure was overcompensating for something when he built that clock.
posted by crunchland at 7:33 PM on July 4, 2006

crunchland, you should see the number of interoperating pieces in the designer's codpiece!
posted by jonson at 9:10 PM on July 4, 2006

That is just amazing. Wish the pics were more clear. Just frigging amazing.
posted by QIbHom at 8:04 AM on July 5, 2006

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