During the early 1800?s, traveling was done by riding a carriage, riding horses, and walking. But the most popular and widely used means of transportation and traveling that time was through carriages. Carriages were used not only in Europe but also in the United States.
Family and friends usually travel to other places through carriages because it was more convenient and comfortable to travel with. What usually troubled them at that time during travel were the rugged trails and rocky roads. But for timekeeping sake, they use the carriage clocks as part of their travel necessities.
Carriage clocks were invented by Abraham Breguet in the year 1810. Breguet was a horologist and he was an expert when it comes to clocks. When he created the carriage clock, he made sure that it could endure the humps and bumps along the road. He used a unique lever escapement movement for this clock and he used wooden and brass frames to house it. He even made ornate designs on the wooden frames making it very aristocratic and an antique collector?s item.
Most of these carriage clocks were made with handles on top for easy carrying and some styles were built with sturdy leather cases for protection against bumpy roads when traveling. Carriage clocks continued to be made and the designs became more complicated. Some of the styles were furnished with enamel and porcelains, while some were created with movements for the moon and stars with gauges for temperature.
Because of the features and aristocratic designs of the carriage clocks, most people collect these as antique clocks. Since most of these designs were from France, Paul Garnier even made a way to promote these clocks, especially to wealthy people. Although the mass-produced clocks were designed simply with brass or other cheaper kinds of metals and decorations, and the costs were not as expensive as the original unique clocks, the efficiency of the clock as timekeeper remained outstanding and the popularity and demands still increased.
Another style of carriage clock, the coach clock as it became known, was first manufactured in Germany. This clock was usually hung on the wall of the carriage, and had the form of a large pendant watch. The mechanism could withstand the rigors of the road; it was heavy, with a pendulum that evolved into a more gimbaled pendant, thus alleviating the bumps and lurches the roadways of the time submitted to the carriage.
You can find carriage clocks in auctions today, and depending on the maker of these fine instruments, you can expect to pay quite a price for them. Antique shops may carry some, and checking them for functionality is vital. They would make a fine addition to any home, especially the mantle piece, or as a center piece on any table. Finding a carriage clock with intact movement would be a find indeed, as that would increase their value.
Carriage clocks are collector’s items, and searching for them may mean a lot of travel. For some people they are merely an old clock, and if you know your history, you may just stumble across something of great value. Know you markings and dates of manufacture. Great finds come with great patience. The day may come when you see the carriage clock of your dreams.