A clockmaker is an artisan who makes and repairs clocks. Since almost all clocks are now factory-made, most modern clockmakers only repair clocks. Modern clockmakers may be employed by jewellers, antique shops, and places devoted strictly to repairing clocks and watches. Clockmakers must be able to read blueprints and instructions for numerous types of clocks and time pieces that vary from antique clocks to modern time pieces in order to fix and make clocks or watches. The trade requires fine motor coordination as clockmakers must frequently work on devices with small gears and fine machinery.
Originally, clockmakers were master craftsmen who designed and built clocks by hand. Since modern clockmakers are required to repair antique, handmade or one-of-a-kind clocks for which parts are not available, they must have some of the design and fabrication abilities of the original craftsmen. A qualified clockmaker can typically design and make a missing piece for a clock without access to the original component.
The earliest use of the term clokkemaker is said to date from 1390, about a century after the first mechanical clocks appeared. From the beginning in the 15th century through the 17th century clockmaking was considered the "leading edge", most technically advanced trade existing. Historically, the best clockmakers often also built scientific instruments, as for a long time they were the only craftsmen around trained in designing precision mechanical apparatus. In one example, the harmonica was invented by a young German clockmaker, which was then mass-produced by another clockmaker, Matthias Hohner.
Prior to 1800 clocks were entirely handmade, including all their parts, in a single shop under a master clockmaker. By the 19th century, clock parts were beginning to be made in small factories, but the skilled work of designing, assembling, and adjusting the clock was still done by clockmaking shops. By the 20th century, interchangeable parts and standardized designs allowed the entire clock to be assembled in factories, and clockmakers specialized in repair of clocks.
Early clockmakers fashioned all the intricate parts and wheelwork of clocks by hand, using hand tools. They developed specialized tools to help them.
The craft of making clocks began around the Babylonian times and the craft of clockmaker is still common. In the past, becoming a clockmaker involved apprenticeship or attendance at a clock making or watchmaking school. Some countries, such as Denmark, require apprenticeship with a master clock or watch maker, which can last up to four years. After attending a clock or watch making school and obtaining an apprenticeship, a written test and bench exam may be required to gain certification.
There are many schools around the world dedicated to teaching people how to make and repair clocks.
Deists often call God the "Clockmaker". The Temple of the Great Clockmaker, in the novel The Case Of The Dead Certainty by Kel Richards, is a temple which represents deism.
The Clock Maker Theory and the watchmaker analogy describe by way of analogy religious, philosophical, and theological opinions about the existence of god(s) that have been expressed over the years.
During the 1800s and 1900s, clocks or watches were carried around as a form of flaunting social status. They were also a way of instilling a sense of time regulation for work in the budding industrial market.
In 2004, Jim Krueger wrote a comic book entitled The Clock Maker, published by German publisher Image Publishing, that focuses on the life of a clock maker.
Artist Tony Troy creates the Illustration titled "The Clockmaker" in 2003 for his Broadway musical "The Fluteplayers Song" http://www.tonytroyillustrations.com/catalog/i2.
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