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Inside the watch

The pocket watch collection of the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon was badly damaged during the aerial bombing of Dresden in 1945. Amongst those watches affected was no. 1440 by A. Lange. As the inscription on the well-preserved cuvette shows, it was once owned by King Johann of Saxony. On his death he had bequeathed it to Lieutenant General von Prenzel. CT scanning  now offers the only way to see inside, since the damage it suffered means the watch can no longer be opened. 


The English model

Franz Xaver von Zach owned a pocket watch by the London-based Swiss-born watchmaker Josiah Emery. Johann Heinrich Seyffert was allowed to study the extremely valuable watch in great detail. Deeply impressed, he wrote that he had now learned what it was that made precision movements so special. And indeed, Seyffert went on to construct lever escapement watches with double-S compensation balances based on Emery’s design. Because these watches were designed to meet very exacting precision requirements Seyffert referred to them as chronometers. No. 8 was commissioned by Queen Maria Amalie of Saxony. Severely damaged in 1945, it has been brought back to life in the animation shown here.