Smith of Derby has been commissioned to create a traditionally weight-driven clock with world’s largest ever dials for the city of Ganzhou, South East China. The Harmony Clock Tower will feature an unprecedented 12.8 metre diameter dial on each of its four faces and will be driven by a unique mechanical movement. An innovative third hand charts the Chinese lunar chapters. Smith of Derby, which boasts a rich heritage in clock making dating back to 1856, will produce one of its iconic Whitehurst timepieces for the prestigious project. The design will break new ground in terms of size, accuracy and aesthetics when it is unveiled at the end of June.
The clock integrates the latest world-class technology, utilising the most energy efficient long lasting materials available today, such as stainless steel faces, carbon fibre hands and toughened steel gears. It will be automatically wound, with a bell striking hourly and to mark sunrise. The final design incorporates the messages that ‘Time is Fair to Everybody’ and ‘Everyone should Treasure Time’ which were taken directly from the Mayor of Ganzhou’s public announcement of the project. Smith of Derby was selected by the Ganzhou Expressway Company following a trade mission to China and briefings to city leadership. It was tasked with creating ‘the world’s most exquisite traditional clock’ which will become the centrepiece of a new business, residential and recreational park.
President Liu of the Ganzhou Expressway Company said: “Smith of Derby has been awarded the design and manufacturing contract for what will become the world’s largest mechanical clock for my company, Ganzhou Expressway Company Ltd. My team selected Smith of Derby following a highly competitive and thoroughly investigated research into their capability and creativity. Their professionalism, flexibility and work are world class. Bob understands the importance of timescale, budgets and quality. I have no hesitation recommending Bob and the team at Smith of Derby for Projects in China, especially prestigious ones that require absolute trust to deliver.”
Bob Betts, Smith of Derby Managing Director, added: “It is fantastic to win such a prestigious project and the excitement surrounding the Harmony Tower Clock in Ganzhou is felt on many levels. The project will be unique, not only for the clock’s size, which according to our research boasts the largest dials ever built for a timepiece of this kind, but also for more emotive reasons. As specialists in this field, this is a dream opportunity because of the client’s vision - to build and create an expression of time. With the passion for time demonstrated in China, we know it is imperative that we deliver an integrated piece of engineering - educational in function, yet magnificent, elegant and beautiful. We have a wonderful opportunity to use our unique experience, combining advanced technology with traditional weight driven mechanics.”
The Harmony Tower itself will contain a café, a rotating restaurant, commercial offices and a specially commissioned Time Gallery – also to be created by Smith of Derby. The exhibition floor will tell the story of timekeeping from the earliest days and how different nations of the world contributed different skills, ideas and pieces of excellence.