British inventor heads to China with rare timepiece invention




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LONDON  |   2015-03-25 23:06:43


British inventor

heads to China

with rare timepiece invention 



By Larry Neild



A British inventor is heading to Shanghai to sell his rare timepiece — a three-meter-high clock priced at around 4.5 million U.S. dollars.

Dr. John Taylor is expecting the clock, Dragon Chronophage, to sell for an estimated 4.5 million U.S. dollars during China’s leading international design event which starts on Friday of March 27.

The multi-millionaire Taylor, who holds 400 patents for his inventions, described his clock as one of his proudest inventions.

Speaking at his workspace on the Isle of Man, a British dependency in the Irish Sea halfway between England and Ireland, Taylor said: “Clocks are boring — all they do is to tell the time. I wanted a clock which was entertaining.”

The Dragon Chronophage, one of three in a series of similar clocks made by the inventor, will be shown in the Collectible Design Hall at Design Shanghai.

Weighing 450 kg, the clock — which translates from Latin as “time eater” — is made of gold-plated stainless steel and formed using a special underwater explosion technique.

Through the use of concentric circles on the face, the seconds, minutes and hours are shown in a way that’s never been seen before. The moving dragon on the clock appears to swallow a pearl each and every minute, seen as a sign of good luck.

Taylor created the clock in tandem with a Chinese university, inspired by Einstein’s theory of relativity as well as the pioneering work of horologist John Harrison who received the first Longitude Prize in 1765 for his Marine Chronometer.

Taylor said his clock combines timeless Western and Eastern culture with staggering attention to detail and jewelry standard quality.

After his journey to Shanghai, Taylor will return to the Isle of Man to continue work on his fourth great chronophage, commissioned by a private buyer, who so far remains anonymous.

Taylor’s most successful invention is the thermostat used in cordless electric kettles that makes its distinctive clicking sound as it switches.

His latest gadget is a solar cooker for developing countries where there are no power supplies.










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