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Rare Astronomical Clock Returns Home

Dec 31, 2010

The 55-year-old Glashütte Original astronomical clock was returned to the Qingdao Observatory of Purple Mountain Observatory under Chinese Academy of Sciences on Dec. 20, 2010 after it was sent to Germany for repairs a year ago. It has been installed in its original location and is back in operation.

The clock, precise by the second, was installed at the Qingdao Observatory in 1956 and has witnessed the development of contemporary astronomy. But last year, the clock broke and experts in Qingdao felt they were not capable of fixing the “antique.” It was finally returned to the manufacturer in Germany, Glashutte Original, for repairs.

Glashutte Original, a manufacturer of time pieces, was established in the eastern German town of Glashutte in 1845. It organized a group of experienced craftsmen to fix the clock.

It took specialists a year to restore the Qingdao gem. All of the components including wheels, the hands, the dial, the pendulum, and the wooden case were painstakingly repaired or carefully reproduced. They also took into consideration Qingdao’s moist climate and painted some parts of the clock with a special protective chemical. The clock is now capable of functioning for at least another 50 years. The cost, including transportation, exceeded 300,000 Euros.

The company had promised lifetime maintenance for the only clock of its type in China.

(Source: Qingdao Today)

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