The history of time: A luxury obsession

Watches of Switzerland, 27.05.2020

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Time has always been a human obsession. The earliest cultures based their lives and customs on the changes of seasons, and movement of the moon and sun. Our obsession with time has taken many shapes over the millennia and it continues today.

Who first measured time?

The Ancient Egyptians were pioneers of time, as they were with so many innovations. Over 5000 years ago, they divided the daylight into 12 intervals.

The Egyptians measured time with a simple sundial. The Greeks and the Roman further refined the sundial a few centuries later.

But the sundial was only practical when the sun was shining. At night, or on an overcast day, the Romans used a water clock called the clepsydra. It worked like an hourglass but with water, not sand.