Tag Archives: royal observatory

Thomas Tompion Clock at Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London

A real Thomas Tompion clock!

royal observatory greenwich

Thomas Tompion clock in octagon room at Greenwich

Father of English Horology

Thomas Tompion  (b. 1639 – d. 1713), the ‘father of English watchmaking’, was the best maker of the day and supplied the original Royal Observatory clocks in 1676. He was also the first maker, of any product, to give his items unique serial numbers, a practice common today.

Tompion Clocks at Greenwich

Now, this beautiful Tompion specimen is located in the Octagon Room of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. Incidently, English horology files, this room was also used as set in Longitude, the scenes where they giving audience to the various theories of the time on how to calculate longitude at sea. Stephen Fry has a particularly memorable scene featuring a wounded dog.

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The National Maritime Museum: Royal Observatory Greenwich, London

This is undoubtedly ‘Mecca’ to any serious horologists: the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Royal Observatory Greenwich

It is the home of John Harrison’s marine clocks, generally regarded as the most important time pieces ever made! Four of his masterpieces are on display here: H1, H2, H3, and H4. (H5 is at the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers at Guild Hall.) The museum does not allow photography so I have included publicity photos of each timepiece.

Harrison Chronometers Royal Observatory Greenwich

Harrison Chronometers Royal Observatory Greenwich

Greenwich Mean Time

Greenwich is the location of the Prime Meridian. The Prime Meridian is the meridian (line of longitude) at which longitude is defined to be 0°.

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