June 10, 2010
mechanical clock - Ganzhou clock sets world record
GANZHOU, China -- Workers are this week beginning
to install a giant clock in the unlikely surroundings of Ganzhou,
made in England by the family firm Smith of Derby, measuring
13 metres in diameter, while the minute hand is 7.8 metres
long - setting the new world record for the Largest
Photo: An artist's impression of Ganzhou's
Harmony park which will feature the World's
Largest Mechanical Clock built by Smith of Derby.
Photograph: Smith of Derby
The firm said the last time it built a large
mechanical clock from scratch was in the 1950s, although it
has continued to refurbish and repair them. In recent years
most people have opted for cheaper, lighter electric versions.
A spokesman for the Ganzhou Expressway Company,
which is developing Harmony park, said it chose a mechanical
clock because it wanted a historical feel and turned to the
UK on the advice of experts.
Traditional steel hands would have
weighed around 2 tonnes each. Instead, Smith turned to EPM
Technology, a Derby firm that creates carbon fibre panels
for F1 cars. It used its expertise to make hands weighing
a mere 65 to 70kg (about 150lb). The four giant clock faces
were produced by Yantai, a 95-year-old Chinese firm.
The tower includes a viewing gallery so
visitors can inspect the movement, which is made from hardened
steel with bronze finishing and brass and gold-plated components.
The clock is the largest of its kind in
the world when measured by size of dial and hands and has
taken a year to design and build.
The firm hopes the tower will be morally
improving as well as useful. "Not only will it record the
time, but it will also remind people not to waste time," said
mechanical clock in The World will be unveiled at
the end of the month and the tower opened to the public next
year. The timepiece is accurate to within 30 seconds a month
and uses GPS technology to correct itself. It comes with a
100-year guarantee, though the company says it should last
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June 10, 2010