Sun and Moon module and orrery finished,
enamel dial work installed -
Buchanan continues to finish up the project. The Sun and Moon module as well
as the orrery are finished.
Sun and Moon module
Various components of
the Sun and Moon module.
The first photo shows
the center of the Sun and Moon module.
Next the completed dial bezel
for the module.
Final assembly of the Sun and Moon assembly. Next a close up of the
The finished dial for the Sun and Moon module. Fifteen readings can be
from this dial. Details can be found in the November 2016 installment. Notice
the blue glass Sun horizon shutters studded with sterling silver stars. Our
presentation is unlike most others in the fact that we chose a transparent
glass for the shutters whereas an opaque metal is normally seen. This as
well as the dial where its footprint is kept to a minimum while maximizing
the number of readings, is in keeping with our primary focus of brining the
components of the machine to the fore; the glass allows one to see those
components behind the shutters.
Side elevation of
the completed Sun and Moon module, 665 parts.
Top, three quarter elevation of the Sun and Moon module.
The finished Sun and Moon module is shown in this video. It is now
ready to be installed into the machine.
The Sun and Moon module mounted to the machine.
Front dial and in second photo close up of the pair of Janvier slant wheel
variable differentials labeled Projection an Great Anomaly.
Orrery module, outer planets, Jupiter and Saturn
In this video the orrery is disassembled, the main thrust is the
center planets gearbox that controls Mercury, Venus, the Earth/Moon system
and Mars. Jupiter is also included, Saturn's outer arm is not seen but
easily removed as the first step. Buchanan has provided a series of videos
that show in detail how the various components and main trains are
disassembled. While I hope to never need these, they will be saved for the
future when such extensive and invasive service may be needed.
The initial components
to be addressed were the Saturn assembly. The first photo shows the entire compliment
of seventy-five parts, next the pair of nested wheels, side elevation.
Three quarter view of
Saturn's twin gear nest, next photo the mockup plastic moon, left, next to the
lustrous pearl, right.
Side elevation of the completed Saturn module. Saturn is made from
opal and moons from lustrous pearls.
These photos show the completed Saturn and Jupiter modules relative
size in the clockmaker’s hand.
Saturn and Jupiter
modules, note the detailed engraved dial work and knurled bezels. We picked a sphere
for Jupiter, right, that reproduced the horizontal bands found in the
The Saturn drive
armature is finished. Look carefully at the construction. This is another
example of “Buchananization,” where he
uses all the available space to fill it with interesting wheel works mounted
to an undulating armature. It
would have been easy to simply use a set of idler wheels on a straight
armature or an arbor with
two pinions on each end as even a master as Janvier had done in his work. He
cleverly offsets the two large wheels so that as the clock runs the spokes will
occasionally align in a parallel pattern but for the most part have an
interesting juxtaposition to each other.
Orrery module, i
gearbox, Mercury, Venus, Earth/Moon, Mars
Parts from the center
gearbox for the inner planets of Mercury, Venus, Earth/Moon, and Mars.
Further photos of the
inner gearbox, first photo the main wheel nest. The second photo contain the
last parts to be polished in the project.
These four photos show
the polishing and assembly of the last parts.
This photo shows the assembly that holds the Earth and Moon system. Notice
the stainless steel bridge which has been painstakingly curved and tapered,
similar to those of the strike fly tourbillon style cages first designed in
December 2010. The design upon
which the orrery was based was made by Philipp Matthäus Hahn in 1780
and is described in the June
2018 installment. His design, however, did not include a rotating
Earth. Buchanan improved upon his design.
This is a milestone photo. Buchanan is holding the very last wheel polished
in the machine.
The colors of the semi-precious stones and pearls pop above the golden wheel
work and polychrome enamel dial. The Earth is made from turquoise and the
continents gold leaf. The full compliment of stones is outlined in the
July 2019 installment.
The orrery is now finished, the last major component of the machine
to be done. There are still some small items to address, the design and
making of all of the dial hands, dedication plate and some technical issues
surrounding the way the clock's base will be supported.
This module has 739 parts and 111 wheels. Not surprisingly this has
the largest wheels to parts ratio.
The finished orrery is shown in this video. It is now complete with
semi-precious stones and pearls for the planets and moons.
This video shows the orrery in full demonstration mode from several
The enamel dial work and
bezels are installed
The clock before installation of the enamel dial work, excepting the
planisphere, installed last month and Sun and Moon module previously
The first photo is the equation of time calendar setting dial, next
the strike selector dial.
In both of these photos the eight-day
winding duration sector dial is located below.
First photo shows the
world time and demonstration dial, the center arbor will have the dial hand
and also serves as the winding square to drive the demonstration. Next the
thermometer delineated in Celsius and Fahrenheit. As seen above, i
both of these photos the eight-day winding duration sector dials are located
The 11.5” (29cm) orrery
of a pair of pendulum beat plate dials.
The second photo shows the
compliment of four enamel dials for the perpetual calendar module, readouts
are for the day, date, month, season, leap year and digital year counter.
The first photo is a view of the main time dial. Three types of time
can be derived from here. In this photo the hands have not yet been installed so the
reading will not be obvious. The outer dial is the regular time, also known
as mean solar time. The two inner dial rings rotate counterclockwise
relative to the fixed outer dial and sidereal time can be discerned, inner
dial for minutes, outer, hours. A
separate hand also indicates the equation of time.
The first photo shows
the left sector dial cluster set; with the calendar and its four enamel dial
set above the main time dial. On the main dial one can read the mean solar time
(clock time), sidereal and the equation of time. Below is the equation of
time calendar setting dial and the partial dial to the right is the world
time dial and demonstration function. The
next photo has the tellurion dial between the Sun and Moon module dial above
and the strike selector dial below, to the left is a partial dial of the
The clock with its full compliment of enamel dial work.