Video – The Türler Clock

From 1986 to 1995, Ludwig Oechslin and Jörg Spöring designed and developed the Türler astronomical clock. The Türler Clock (also called the Mechanical Universe, or Cosmos clock) includes five distinct mechanisms: a planetarium, tellurium, globe, horizon, and perpetual calendar. It has been called the most complicated clock in the world.

The video above, produced by Franz Türler, details the development of the clock and includes quotes from Ludwig Oechslin in several segments.

From the back cover of the DVD:

The Türler Clock is a unique model of the cosmos that surrounds us. It is unequalled in its development, mechanical construction and functional beauty. Five mechanisms (planetarium, tellurion, globe, horizon, and perpetual calendar) drive various graduated displays that make it possible to observe and plot a wealth of cosmic cycles and movements. This film explains how to read the information provided by the Türler Clock in all its fascinating variety. It shows how this intriguing marriage of timepiece and work of art was created and places the Türler Clock in its historical context.

A quote from Oechslin:

If the observer of the clock is keenly interested in studying the different movements and their interrelation, he may perceive the larger picture this astronomical clock is projecting, and hopefully, initiate new personal ideas. If this clock leads to a mental process in the beholder, the object of our task has been achieved.

Two additional details about the clock not in the video: the clock is appropriately enough powered by the sun. There are solar panels installed on the top of the building in Paradeplatz, and the clock’s pendulum is kept in sync to the precise second using magnets and radio signals from the master atomic clock at Germany’s national physics laboratory, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt.


The Türler Clock
Executive Producer: Franz Türler, Zurich
Producer: Hans Eggermann, Lucerne
Script and Director: Hanspeter Bertschy
Production Company: Swiss Film London