The Makkah Clock
In MECCA (Saudi Arabia), one can easily locate the MAKKAH Clock. This is indeed a splendid masterpiece of tower clock making and it remains to this day the crown jewel in PERROT’s list of achievements in this field. Dr. Bodo Rasch, an architect from the town of LEINFELDEN near Stuttgart (Southwestern Germany), had recommended the PERROT firm for the development of the largest tower clock in the world. The clock is situated at 400 meters above ground upon the second highest building in the world, the 600 meters high tower of a large hotel complex which is centrally located in the holy town of Mecca.
The four dials each measure some 43 meters in diameter, thus enabling the public to read the accurate time from all four directions at a distance of up to eight kilometers. Two million green and white LEDs ensure the clock’s visibility and time readability.
The MAKKAH Clock weighs 36,000 metric tons and is mounted on a steel structure reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (France). Its clock hands are 17 and 22 meters long, weigh between 6,000 and 7,500 kilograms and are made from a carbon fiber composite, which is normally used in space flight projects because of its lightweight properties. The clock hands’ interior is accessible for any maintenance work.
Every single one of the four clockworks weighs 21 metric tons; therefore they are the largest and heaviest clockworks ever built. The bronze gear wheels measure over 1,000 millimeters in diameter and require special bearings and drive shafts. They have several redundant control systems, as well as an error detection system. These gear wheels had to be newly developed. They were either custom-built in PERROT factories or then by selected specialists working according to PERROT specifications and know-how.
All four clocks are powered by solar panels and are synchronized by the time signal sent by the MAKKAH-Time Institute. The Institute’s centerpiece is comprised of five atomic clocks which indicate MAKKAH-Time, with all clocks operating within their own time signal.
The MAKKAH Clock also features a lightning protection system. This is the first time that PERROT has installed lightning rods in the firm’s long history.
For us, the MAKKAH Clock has a special significance, the PERROT Management Team explains. We are delighted by the interfaith contacts and the deeper understanding brought about by this project. Mutual, respect, trust and high esteem characterized our contacts, and were often expressed in small and larger gestures alike.
By contributing to this magnificent project, we were able to broaden our intercultural and interfaith competences and then to apply them immediately. We are most grateful for this mind expanding experience. We are well aware that, for any globally operating company, intercultural experience and competence are indispensable.