St. Mark's Clocktower

The Clock in St. Mark's Clocktower is an excellent example of the development of clockwork over the years. Inaugurated in 1497, it used weights and a Verge and Foliet escapement, and showed the 24 hours of the day (Italian style), the relative positions of 5 planets, the moon's phases, and the position of the sun in the zodiac. It required a clock-keeper to manage and maintain the clock.

It was rebuilt in 1752, and the verge and foliet escapement was replaced by a Graham dead-beat escapement (a type of anchor escapement) and 4-meter pendulum, while the face of the clock was changed to the 12-hour style, the planetary dials were removed and a rotating moon ball was added.

In 1857 it was restored again, and a digital display was added, using two large wheels behind the doors for the Magi. These had to be reset by the clock-keeper manually. The escapement was changed to a pinwheel and slightly longer pendulum.


Latitude: 45.434738900000
Longitude: 12.338939400000

Timeline of Events Associated with St. Mark's Clocktower

Date Event Manage

St. Mark's Clock

circa. 1480 to circa. 1519

Leonardo da Vinci's Clockworks

Da Vinci drew and developed many components of clocks, and some designs of entire clocks. These include a variety of gears and escapements, a very accurate three-dial clock for his time, and an alarm clock.