Watches and Kulibin

In the many-sided creativity of the outstanding inventor Ivan Petrovich Kulibin (1735-1818), the construction and construction of various watches took a prominent place. The watch was one of the important elements of the 18th century technique, a subject of relatively wide application. Very often mechanics and machine builders used individual parts and knots of watches when designing machines. Many of the great inventors of the 18th century started in watchmaking workshops.

In the many-sided creativity of the outstanding inventor Ivan Petrovich Kulibin, the design and construction of various watches

Kulibin devoted many hours to the watchmaking business. Widely known Kulibin created a wonderful egg-shaped clock (now they are stored in the Hermitage). The mechanism of this watch is very complex and consists of 427 parts. He is imprisoned in an artistically decorated case about the size of a goose egg. Instructions on the use of these watches, he wrote already after he had to repair them in 1805. Kulibin's watches aroused the astonishment of contemporaries. Every hour, the casement was opened with folding doors, and a scene was played on a religious theme with the participation of a number of figures. The action was accompanied by music, repeated three times, then the doors closed. Kulibin's watch reproduced several musical tunes, one of them was composed by Kulibin himself. They started the clock once a day and beat every hour, half an hour and a quarter of an hour. The dial in the clock was placed at the bottom of the case. Kulibin constructed a special stand, which made it possible to see the hands of the clock, without turning the clock. Later Kulibin created pocket planetary clocks. These watches also had a luxurious finish. These Kulibin watches are not preserved, they can be imagined only by descriptions, drawings and drawings of Kulibin himself. The dial, with a diameter of 7.5 cm, had six hands. The first with the sign of the Sun turned around the dial for 365 days and was supposed to show the months, they were denoted by the signs of the zodiac. The numbers of the month on the dial were not marked, they had to appear automatically. The second arrow with the sign of the Earth showed the beginning of summer, spring, autumn and winter; the third - the days of the week, indicated by the signs of the heavenly bodies (Sun - Sunday, Moon - Monday, Mars - Tuesday, etc.), the fourth arrow indicated the hours, the fifth - minutes, the sixth - seconds. In addition, Kulibin's pocket planetary clocks were to show the phase of the moon and the hours of sunrise and sunset in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as the time of dawn.

Kulibin also worked on the creation of the "daily ring fingerprints", for wearing in the ring. He worked hard to create "hours with gusli". Kulibin paid a lot of time and repair watches made by other masters. Among them, for example, astronomical hours of high accuracy, installed in the observatory, as well as a complex clock with automatically operating figures. He collected and used the "clock with a peacock" and "clock with an elephant", made by the famous English mechanic J. Cox. No drawings were available to the inventor to repair the watch, some of their parts were lost. The complexity of working on a "clock with a peacock" can be judged at least by the fact that the mechanical part of this watch consists of four clockwork, a large number of automatically operating devices and transmissions that act as bird figures, the raising and disbanding of the peacock's tail, the movement of the peacock's head and his turn, as well as the movement of the head of the cock and the action of the bellows imitating his voice, as well as the movement of the third figure - the owl.