Wonders of Watchmaking

London Tit-Bits

Among the treasures of a Swiss museum, inserted in the top of an old-fashioned pencil case, is the tiniest watch ever constructed. It is only three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, and its little dial not only indicates hours, minutes, and seconds, but also the days of the months. So perfectly formed is this liliputian watch that it keeps excellent time and is a marvelous piece of mechanical workmanship.

Two of the most elaborate and curious watches which the world has ever seen belonged to Queen Elizabeth and her unfortunate contemporary, Mary, Queen of Scots. Good Queen Bess had a watch made for her in the form of a duck, with beautifully chased feathers, the lower part of which opened. The face was of silver, with an elaborate gilt design, and the whole was kept in a case of brass, covered with black leather thickly studded with big silver knobs.

The ill-fated Mary was the possessor of a watch in the form of a skull. The dial was introduced where the palate should have been, and the works occupied the place of brains in the cranium. In the hollow of the skull, moreover, was a bell which had works of its own and by means of which a hammer struck the hours upon it.

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The Lectures
May 23, 1901

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