The First Watch Ever Created

The Henlein Watch

What makes the Henlein watch so unique?

Time recording was possible in the Middle Ages by observing the position of the sun or clock wheels. Because of the heavy draw weights and sensitive “unrest,” they had the disadvantage of not being moved. In the movement of the compact Henlein watch, the gear train components have been modernized and miniaturized.  They ran in such a way that they ran with great accuracy regardless of their storage.

Fact or Myth? The invention of modern timekeeping 500 years ago

Henlein Watch

There is a who can make watches that show the time for 40 hours.  Regardless of whether they are worn on the chest or in a purse. In 1511 the humanist Cochlaeus praised the watchmaker. The Cochlaeus Report is the oldest concrete piece of news about portable pocket watches. From now on, a watch owner could determine the time anywhere: an essential step towards individual “time management.”

What are the Henlein researchers arguing about?

There was a Henlein cult in Germany for a long time, as numerous monuments and feature films about him show. However, it is disputed whether Henlein was the “inventor” of portable mechanical clocks. According to other sources, similar clocks existed in Italy before 1500. The authenticity of the Henlein watch as the world’s oldest pocket watch is also in doubt. Her inscription, giving the date and name, was added later.

Peter Henlein – The First Watches

After centuries and millennia of using analog watch designs that used movement of the celestial bodies and flow of water. To calculate the passage of time, modern human civilization finally achieved the mechanical marvel of today. And the industrial environment in which a precise clock could be made. This invention was fueled by the previous works of many inventors all across the world. Some have been forgotten by history. Some are still known today for their inspiring work (like Su Sung’s masterful water clock from 1092).


Even though pages of history have forgotten about many of the watchmakers and innovators before him. The modern scientific community has accepted that Peter Henlein, is the father of the modern clock. The originator of the entire clock-making industry that we know today.


Peter Henlein was born in 1485, and very little is known about his early life. It is most probable that he became an apprentice as a repairman and locksmith. His appearance in history books started on September 7, 1504. He was involved in a brawl in which his friend and fellow locksmith George Glaser was killed. Peter immediately went to the local Franciscan monastery, where he found safety. Four years later, he returned to Nuremberg, becoming one of the most famous locksmiths.

He was especially praised for his ability to create a small spring-powered brass clock which was then very rare and expensive. With such popularity, it was not strange that local and distant nobility contacted him regularly. They demand more beautiful and smaller clock designs ever. As far as historical records are concerned, Peter’s first clock was made in 1510. By 1541 he was well known for his craft. He was tasked with building small clocks and oversized tower clocks for Lichtenau castle.


Even though his spring designs were not particularly efficient, clocks made by Peter Henlein soon became a sensation in European scientific circles. And later on by the general European population.
Today, Peter Henlein is regarded as the father of modern clocks, even though he was not the first locksmith that made small clock designs. Nor was he responsible for the discovery of crucial clock components –mainspring. He died in 1547, knowing that his invention would live forever.

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