The Mystery Clock

The so-called Mystery Clock, a masterpiece of design and creation in 2002 through the genius of Heinrich Immanuel PERROT II, is to be found in the Sparkasse (or, Mutual Savings Bank) in PFORZHEIM (Southwestern Germany). It was an order put through by the bank authorities with the renowned local Goldsmiths and Clockmakers College. This special clock carries the name of Mystery Clock.

What then makes this clock so mysterious? It is because the onlooker cannot see how the clock hands are operated. An invisible hand seems to be at work! In reality, the clock hands are attached to two glass panes that are turned by large annular gears located on the outer dial ring. ‘’This mysterious, almost magical movement of the clock hands in empty space directs the thoughts of the observer towards the mystery of the nature of time – ultimately towards metaphysical realms’’, the designer of the clock explains.

On the other hand, the designated expert from the Clockmakers’ College was more concerned with the implementation of the design rather than its other aspects. Therefore, he was very pleased when he could persuade the experienced, competent and renowned PERROT firm to take on the technical development of this special clock. With the requested size of some 200 by 140 centimeters, no other clock worldwide possessed such comparable dimensions. Its realization has been dubbed a true masterpiece of pioneering.

Heinrich Immanuel Perrot II explained it in this way: ‘’because of my extensive work experience, this contract was assigned to me. With regards to the Mystery Clock’s control mechanism, I was able to revert to my experience with electronic systems’’. In addition to the clock’s final design and engineering, other German companies had to be found for the production of the largest parts which were simply too enormous to be handled by PERROT’s own machinery. Fortunately, Heinrich Immanuel Perrot II could count upon reliable business partners who had worked well and faithfully, in some cases, for decades, together with the people at PERROT. As an example, the Wittenstein-Bastian firm from the town of FELLBACH (in the Stuttgart region) handled the manufacturing of the clock’s gearing system.

The company’s senior head man had once worked at PERROT as an apprentice and had been a contemporary of Herman Hesse. His name hence appears in Hesse’s preface to ‘’The Glass Bead Game’’, where the author refers to ‘’the inventor Bastian Perrot’’. After months and months of designing, blueprinting and experimentation and following numerous unsuccessful and ultimate successful test runs, this wonderful result of combined workmanship could finally be mounted in the foyer of the Sparkasse in Pforzheim. A huge success for the PERROT firm and all parties involved!


Delighted and contented with this masterpiece and its success, Heinrich Immanuel Perrot II bestowed the following advice upon his sons following this remarkable experience : ‘’Always embrace challenges like the Mystery Clock, even if no immediate solutions are in sight. They fertilize our work, secure the future continuation of our company and maintain jobs’’.

His resulting motto was: ‘’Do one thing but do not neglect another!’’.



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