Home General One of the oldest images of a mechanical watch found in Florence

One of the oldest images of a mechanical watch found in Florence


This charming portrait of Cosimo I de Medici, Duke of Florence, shows a man about town holding his nice new fancy gold watch. Amazingly, however, this portrait was painted in 1574 which means German or northern watchmakers were plying their wares as far as Italy during this period.

The portrait shows the Duke holding up his single-handed watch – it is more like an alarm clock than a watch – in a pose that would signify his power and wealth.

“As Cosimo was a great patron of science and technology, it is entirely likely he would have owned a watch of this kind which he displays here with pride,” he said.
“The picture shows the close linkage between science and art, especially in those days.”

The painting is on display at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Thanks, Lil Tommy!

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  1. Hey, it is no wonder that he had a watch crafted in germany, they were world-leading that time! And of course he is showing it off, because that was the iPhone of these days!!!

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