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Science and Time at SIHH

By Roberta Naas of atimelyperspective.com

While we have been busy bringing you brand news and products from SIHH 2014, we take a moment here to bring you an insider’s look at the intriguing exhibition within the 2014 SIHH: Horology : A Child of Astronomy.

Created and presented by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, the exhibition traces the relationship between astronomy and time. Since the dawn of time, man has had an insatiable desire to track time – and began only by tracking the moon, stars and sun to achieve measurement. This exhibition featured astronomical pieces from ancient times though the current day that have influenced man’s measurement of time.  Among them are first examples of tracking the sky, through to the influences on clock making and even current-day watchmaking – where savvy watchmakers convey the mystery of the universe on wristwatch instruments.

Among the highlights of the exhibition was a replica of the Nebra disc, a bronze artifact dating back to 1600 BC. It is considered the oldest representation of the heavens to be found to date, and features thrity-two celestial bodies with the sun, the crescent moon and the Pleiades depicted in gold leaf. Scientists think it could be a representation of the sky from the latitude of Nebra, Germany, where the disk was discovered. It is believed that the local farmers used it to plan the cycles of sowing and harvesting the work fields based on summer and winter solstices.

In addition to this disc, several ancient astronomical clocks, as well as a host of astronomical pocket and wristwatches, were on display – including the entire astronomical trilogy from Ulysse Nardin.  The exhibition will be making future traveling appearances.

Roberta Naas is the founder and editor of  atimelyperspective.com

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