Peter Henlein was a clockmaker from Nuremberg, Germany. He was living in the 16th century but to this day, his invention is still in use. The clockmaker was the one who invented portable clock.
His invention was the prototype of modern watch we know today. Without his invention, probably we won’t even have small clocks to carry everywhere. To know more about the German clockmaker and inventor, here is his biography.
The early life of the clockmaker is still unknown to this day, as it was very rare to keep record in the 16th century. It is believed that he was born around 1485. He came from a working-class family.
It is unknown as well when it comes to his family’s identity; even the name of his parents is unknown. Probably, Henlein’s families run a lock business as he was reported to learn into becoming a locksmith from early age.
There is a record stating that on September 7th 1504, when Henlein was around 19 years old, he was working with George Glaser, a famous locksmith who was later killed in a brawl.
Life as Locksmith
Peter Henlein was skilful in the world of locks since he was very young. He was learning to become professional locksmith in several places, including during his time in Franciscan monastery.
He was skillful in producing clocks with amazing details. In 1508, his skill brought him to a great career as locksmith.
He was famous for his ability in creating small-sized brass clock powered by spring. This kind of clock was extremely rare, expensive, and considered as valuable belonging.
The Invention of Portable Clock
Because he was very popular for making small-sized clock, a lot of wealthy people, including the nobility started to contact him constantly, asking him to create small-sized clock for them.
The clock for the nobility was designed to be carried around as the way to show off their wealth. This purpose made the clockmaker created special design for the small clock.
He designed the clock so that they could be easier carried on by hands. He also created the small clock to be fit into pocket. Eventually, he created small clocks which were small enough to be worn as pendant.
Success and Popularity
Peter Henlein enjoyed his popularity after his portable watch became populer. He got called to some of the noblest family and they commissioned him to create custom watch for them.
He was so well-known as clockmaker and he was tasked to design not only portable watch but also tower watch. One of the most famous tower clocks created and designed by Henlein is the one in Lichtenau castle.
The clock was massive and powered by then advanced spring technology. Even though spring designs had numerous flaws, the tower clock stood stunning there for centuries.
Death and Legacy
Peter Henlein died in 1547 when he was 62 years old. The cause of his death is unknown but his legacy of portable clock lives on to this day as it is the prototype of modern watch.