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Famous watchmakers

Josias Habrecht

1552 - 1575

Swiss, he was born into a dynasty of some twenty watchmakers, beginning with Joachim Habrecht of Schaffhausen (Switzerland) in the 16th century until Abraham Habrecht IV of Strasbourg in the 18th century.

After building a precision armillary sphere, he and his brother Isaac were hired by Conrad Dasypodius to build the second astronomical clock for Strasbourg Cathedral, which was installed in 1574. He left Strasbourg before completion of the clock, after the Archbishop of Cologne summoned him to build a complex clock to be installed at Kaiserworth Castle. His departure, and that one of his sisters was blind, could have given rise to the legend that the makers of monumental clocks had their eyes gouged to prevent them from producing a similar clock elsewhere.

Key dates

Around 1570

With his brother, Isaac, made the second astronomic clock at Strasbourg cathedral (on the basis of calculations by Conrad Dasypodius).

Unfinished construction of the clock at Kaiserswerth castle.