The ‘Ship of Water Transport Instrument’ designed by Prime Minister Su Song during the Northern Song Dynasty was hailed as ‘the originator of the world clock’ and ‘the fifth-generation invention of ancient China’, which took 4 years and cost 6 100 million yen, successfully restored the object in Suwa, Nagano. In recent years, Japan Seiko Clock and Seiko Epson have jointly developed a newly-conceived advanced clock DECOR SEIKO ‘long-term’ based on the driving principle of the ‘Water Transport Instrument Observatory’ and have been launched in the Chinese market.
DECOR SEIKO is ‘old’
I took a train from Tokyo for 2 hours and came to the Time Science Museum in Lake Suwa, Nagano Prefecture. In the ‘Yixiangtang’, the reporter and his party visited the restored ‘Yixiangyixiang’. This three-story building was exceptionally open to Chinese journalists from afar and was able to walk into each floor and look closely.
Designed and manufactured by Prime Minister Su Song of the Northern Song Dynasty, the ‘Water Transport Instrument Observatory’ was born in 1094, and the escapement structure appeared more than 200 years ahead of the European mechanical watchmaking industry. It was driven by the natural gift of water, which was a pre-modern technology. The largest precision mechanical instrument created by human beings, the error of 24 hours a day is less than 100 seconds. The British scientist Needham et al. Think that the Watercraft Observatory ‘may be the direct ancestor of the medieval astronomical clock in Europe’.
最早 The earliest Chinese people invented the mechanical clock
学 The academic community has always debated whether the earliest mechanical clock of mankind was invented by Europe or China. In fact, a key point that distinguishes ancient Chinese machinery from European ancient machinery is in driving force. The driving force of China’s Tang Dynasty machinery was water, while Europe in the 13th to 14th centuries was powered by hammers and clockwork.
‘From the rules of the celestial body operation, see the law of heaven and set the political foundation; from the change of the celestial phenomenon, see the will of the sky and correct the political atmosphere’, the Northern Song Dynasty adhered to this idea to implement politics. Therefore, Chinese astronomy is a national science. The observatory located in the capital is an indispensable unit in national institutions. The Observatory shoulders three important tasks: organizing a ‘calendar’ for one year, managing ‘timekeeping’ and observing astronomical phenomena, and predicting the ‘horoscope’ of the future. In order to perform these tasks, astronomical observation instruments and clocks are required.
The large astronomical instrument that combined the armillary sphere, the elephant, and the time-keeping device in the Northern Song Dynasty was completed by the prime minister at the time, which took 7 years. The escapement was a key part of the clock. Appears on the European mechanical clock.
的 Dialogue with Northern Song Dynasty scientists
The ‘Water Transport Instrument Observatory’ is 11.8 meters high and 7 meters square. Its shape is narrow and wide, and it is divided into three floors. At the top is a cabin with armillary spheres. The top cover can be opened freely. One, the third floor is equipped with power driving device and time signal system, its structure and function have reached an unprecedented degree of complexity. The three levels are connected to each other by a transmission device, which is uniformly pushed and controlled by water leakage. Not only can it automatically time, time, and demonstrate the astronomical phenomenon, but it can also drive the turbidity to automatically track a certain celestial body for observation. The timekeeping system is also divided into five layers. In addition to being able to manipulate the puppet to use the bell, drums, and bells as the initial, timely and timely signal, and display the hour and number with a villain license, it can also manipulate the puppet to Mingyu is used as a more time signal at night, and it can display faint, daylight and other moments with seasonal changes. During the Northern Song Dynasty, in order to ensure its normal operation every day, 82 full-time personnel were deployed.
Mr. Tsuchiya Eifu, the first clock technology expert from Seiko Clock Co., Ltd., the predecessor of Japan Seiko Clock Co., Ltd., was selected and entrusted for dynamic display. He spent four years researching and analyzing the literature of the time, ‘The New Instrumental Methodology’, and finally recovered the object in 1997 in Suwa, Nagano Prefecture. The armillary instrument (astronomical telescope without lens), the armillary sphere (celestial globe) and the circadian wheel (timer) can be operated by water. In the past, the Watercraft Instrument Observatory has also been restored, but it is the first time that the restoration design has been carried out with the strict goal of ‘completely restored according to the size of the object, so that the Watercraft Instrument Observatory can run endlessly’.
‘During the process of researching and repairing the Watercraft Observatory, I seemed to be talking to ancient Chinese scientists thousands of years ago. This feeling made me feel satisfied.’ Senior Clock DECOR SEIKO One of the ‘long-time’ inventors, Niu Yuejian Said.
A thousand years of wisdom turned into a ‘long’ clock
Japan Seiko Clock Co., Ltd. and Japan Seiko Epson Co., Ltd., based on the driving principle of the ‘Water Transport Instrument Observatory’, sought to replace water conservancy power, complicated gear calculations, and established precise processing and assembly technology. After repeated experiments and error correction, they finally reached Practical, co-developed a new concept of advanced clock DECOR SEIKO ‘long-term’ in 2005.
EISEIKO DECOR is a new type of clock that can use your eyes and ears to feel the time passing slowly. A high-precision steel ball is used instead of water conservancy. The water wheel is rotated by the power of the falling steel ball, which continuously passes the passage of time. The steel ball lifted by the ‘circling rising structure’ on the left side of the clock advances along the track behind the clock until it reaches the ‘waterwheel’ on the right side of the clock. Then use the weight of the steel ball to drop the ‘waterwheel’ to drive the pointer to move one square. Then the steel ball slid into the track in front of the clock and continued to advance, and finally returned to the entrance of the ‘circling rising structure’ on the left. The entire ‘old’ clock is all gold-plated, in addition to its beautiful appearance, the friction is also minimized.
的 The track that guides the steel ball forward is designed to incline by 0.5 degrees to make the steel ball roll slowly. And the running speed of the steel ball is calculated through rigorous calculations, and it will always return to the entrance of the ‘circling rising structure’ at the appropriate time. This is a ‘long’ journey that loops every 37.5 seconds. The lifting and rolling of the steel balls are repeated, making the flow of time more fun.
Because only two technicians from Seiko Clock Co., Ltd. in the world will assemble “long” clocks, the monthly output is only 3 to 4 units. After the installation is completed, it needs to be tested in the working room for one month, so it usually takes 2 months from the time of booking to obtaining the advanced manual clock. In China, you can book this clock at Tianyi Clock Store