Horology– clocks —
The science of measuring time.
The art of making timepieces.
[Middle English orloge, from Old French, from Latin hõrologium, from Greek hõrologion : hõrã, hour, season; see yêr- in Indo-European Roots + legein, to speak;
leg- Indo-European root + -logy]
I think that there are only a few moments in each of our lives when we viscerally grok something completely, deeply; perhaps akin to the Zen Buddhist term “kensho”, “small enlightenment”. While my love of horology predates the particular a-ha moment I’m about to relate, it grew in leaps and bounds thereafter.
In 1999 I took my family on
(Morocco, Africa). While there we visited the . It can hold 25,000 worshippers inside and another 80,000 outside. Its
210-meter minaret, the tallest in the world, is visible day and night for miles around.
Casablanca is, at best, a second-world city. There are modern bits and pieces, but most of it is disorder barely held at bay. We walked along the barely-paved dirt streets across cracking sidewalks into the immaculate grounds of the mosque, where everything is pristine, clean, and the grounds are absolutely flat and even. And that’s it! Modern civilization is keeping the natural disorder (entropy) at bay. And timepieces are one high expression of that goal. Nothing more – except perhaps extracting nutrition from the land – shows a mastery over the universe than ascertaining ones exact place and time. Agriculture good, architecture better, but applied physics and mathematics are an in-your-face expression of mastery.
Perhaps that’s why I’m enchanted by timepieces. A complex little world all in one tidy package. (Not that I could make or even maintain one, but that’s part of the illusion.) And perhaps that’s why I prefer mechanical timepieces over ones which require batteries.
At left you’ll see links to some favorite timepieces. Enjoy.
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