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This monumental clock, the only one of its kind built by Richard Mille, is a gift from Switzerland and the Canton of Jura for Québec City’s 400th anniversary. Internationally recognized for its state-of-the-art watches, the company has created a work in keeping with the highest standards of fine clock making. This gift therefore symbolizes the bond of friendship between the Republic and Canton of Jura and Québec City.
The clock, which is impressively large yet more accurate than a quartz watch, is a true masterpiece of the clockmaker’s art. Although its components are 300 to 400 times larger than those of a watch, the mechanism’s finish meets the most stringent requirements of the craft.
It took more than 6 years of work and expertise from some hundred specialists in 28 trades to design and manufacture the clock. Its parts are crafted from premium materials such as titanium, ruby, sapphire, and aluminum, and built in collaboration with École des métiers techniques de Porrentruy and Haute-École Arc.
The day weight, the clock’s main motor, takes 24 hours to descend and starts rising again at 12:59 a.m. Jura time (6:59 p.m. Québec City time). The endless chain — the visible part of the remontoire — is a sophisticated mechanism that helps ensure the pendulum swings correctly. The regulator pendulum,weighs nearly 20 kg and its rod is made of Invar, a highly resistant alloy.
Lastly, an ingenious electromagnetic system helps ensure the perpetual calendar’s operation by accounting for leap years.
The hundreds of people who worked on the clock include clockmakers, mechanics, micromechanics, electronics experts, machinists, decorators, and logisticians. To carry out such a unique and extensive project, all specialists involved had to be innovative, dedicated, and creative. The clockmakers, accustomed to working with tiny parts, had to machine the gear wheels—so large that they were handled by cranes—by hand. And the machinists, although familiar with large-scale works, had to adapt to the unprecedented level of precision required to create the clock.
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