Saturday, February 25, 2012

The evolution of complexity in watches

Sources: crystal watch, mechanical watch, digital clock.
The photographer Guido Mocafico has taken a series of striking photographs showing the exquisite complexity of mechanical watches. as I considered them I realized that complexity is not often as easy a thing to detect as one might think.  

Above are three main types of time pieces: in the upper left the circuitry for a cheap crystal watch, the upper right is one of Mocafico's photos of a mechanical watch's mechanism, while the bottom shows the components needed to build a digital alarm clock.

Of the three the mechanical watch visually seems to be the most complex, but there is little doubt that the digital clock is actually more complex by orders of magnitude. While the switches, LEDs, capacitors and resistors are simple enough, hidden within the IC chip, and discernible only by microscope, are circuits of immense complexity.

Still, to the scale we easily comprehend, it is the details of the mechanical clock that impress us. Below, and after the jump, are more of Mocafico's photographs. There are also more at his website.

1 comment:

men watches said...

Those look cool!
lovely blog you have! :)