Daily Management Review

The Secrets of Claude-Siméon Passemant’s Clock


Claude-Siméon Passemant’s astronomical clock has been entirely taken apart, studied and restored for an autumn exhibition at Versailles featuring Louis XV’s interests and passions.

by Sophie Humann

The Secrets of Claude-Siméon Passemant’s Clock
Painstakingly arranged and numbered circles and spheres—the insides of the crystal ball that ordinarily crowns Passemant’s clock at Versailles—are laid bare on a high table in a workshop at the Museums of France Research and Restoration Center (C2RMF, Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France) in the Louvre. They are the planets of the solar system and their orbits as imagined in the 18th century. “We took an X-ray to make it easier to take it apart,” says Ryma Hatahet, a heritage restorer specializing in metal arts and head of the team of watchmakers working on the restoration. “The planetary system shows the day and night, equinoxes, solstices and even eclipses. This astronomical clock concentrates all the knowledge of the period. It shows the time and the date until 9999... click here to read more.