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Clocks and watches

A clock is an instrument used to indicate, measure, keep and co-ordinate time. The word clock is derived ultimately (via Dutch, Northern French, and Medieval Latin) from the Celtic words clagan and clocca meaning "bell". For horologists and other specialists the term clock continues to mean exclusively a device with a striking mechanism for announcing intervals of time acoustically, by ringing a bell or a set of chimes.  A silent instrument lacking such a mechanism has traditionally been known as a timepiece.  In general usage today a "clock" refers to any device for measuring and displaying the time. Watches and other timepieces that can be carried on one's person are often distinguished from clocks.

The clock is one of the oldest human inventions, meeting the need to consistently measure intervals of time shorter than the natural units - the day, the lunar month and the year. Devices operating on several different physical processes have been used over the millennia, culminating in the clocks of today.

A watch is a timepiece that is made to be worn on a person. It is usually a wristwatch, worn on the wrist with a strap or bracelet. In addition to the time, modern watches often display the day, date, month and year, and electronic watches may have many other functions.

Most inexpensive and medium-priced watches used mainly for timekeeping are electronic watches with quartz movements. Expensive, collectible watches valued more for their workmanship and aesthetic appeal than for simple timekeeping, often have purely mechanical movements and are powered by springs, even though mechanical movements are less accurate than more affordable quartz movements.

Before wristwatches became popular in the 1920s, most watches were pocket watches, which often had covers and were carried in a pocket and attached to a watch chain or watch fob. Watches evolved in the 1600s from spring powered clocks, which appeared in the 1400s.


   
 
 
 
 
 

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