Famous watchmakers

Auguste Lucien Vérité

1806 - 1887

Auguste Lucien Vérité

Self-taught French watchmaker.

He promoted the synchronisation of clocks using electromagnetic signals.

Key dates


He presented a modified Graham escapement.


He obtained a patent for his constant-force escapement.

Around 1850

He was appointed civil engineer for the Northern railways.


He built his first astronomical clock for Château de Frocourt, near Beauvais. It was destroyed in the Second World War.

Also in 1855, he presented several electric regulators at the Universal Exhibition in Paris.

1858 to 1860

He built the astronomical clock for Besançon Cathedral.

1860 to 1865

He began working on to a system of electric clocks for the Gare du Nord railway station in Paris. Time was transmitted by impulses from a central regulator. The system was fully installed in 1865.


Vérité, Prud’homme and Lesieur filed a patent for a synchronisation mechanism for electric clocks. The patent stated that the process could apply to a circular balance with balance spring: this marked the first step towards the electric watch

1865 to 1868

Vérité spent the years on his masterwork, the astronomical clock for Beauvais Cathedral. It was unveiled at the Palais de l'Industrie in Paris in 1869, and installed in the cathedral in 1873.