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400-year-old skull & crossbones automaton clock

Andrea Divirgilio / October 28, 2007

skull automaton clock

If you happen to be an antique lover who has a craze for ethereal things, you are going to admire this skull & crossbones automaton clock that is nearly 400 years old. So, what a 400-year-old clock can do? The skull seems to be laughing during the first minute, screaming during the second and when ghostly watch closes its jaws, it seems as the skull clock in trying to bite something to pieces. A snake comes out of the skull’s one eye and at the same time, a snake sinks back down into one of the eye sockets. The watch skull was designed & built in 1610 by Nicolaus Schmidt der Jun as a skull positioned on two crossed shinbones and mounted on a gilt brass tripod. The movements of the automaton jaw and the snakes in the eyes are controlled by two six-spoke cams driven by the fusee and revolving twenty times an hour, thereby making the jaws to take three minutes to open and then close out of the blue while the snakes pop out and sink back into the eye sockets. The movement is fusee with chain, verge escapement, plain steel two-arm balance without spring. The scary watch was recently sold for US $135,000.

via Watchismo

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