Inside out


Today’s Google Doodle (above) led me down an internet rabbit hole, exploring the work of John Harrison. Harisson built the world’s first acurate marine clock, enabling navigators to accurately determine their longitude at sea (for a thorough explanation of how this works, visit Harrison’s Wikipedia page).

Harrison built beautiful timepieces. Here’s “Sea Watch, №1” (couldn’t find a higher resolution photo — would appreciate it if anyone has a source!):

What really struck me, however, was the clockwork, or the inner mechanism of the clock. Here’s a photo:

See the intricate details? The elegant floral details, punctured in the metal? In an era with no precision tools, it must’ve took dozens of hours just to embellish the invisible inner mechanism of the timepiece. It’s ridiculous!

A similar devotion to the concealed components of things can be found elsewhere. One popular example are the inners of an Apple device. I’m beginning to appreciate that the seemingly futile effort of painstakingly designing every aspect of a device is a hallmark of master craftsmanship.