Carlos and Maria Fernandez-Ardavin
“We hope we will succeed in keeping this art and small industry from the Middle Ages alive in today's crazy world.”
“Our story as medieval clockmakers started in 1960 when my father made his first wooden wall mounted mechanical clock,” says Maria Fernandez-Ardavin. Her dad, Carlos, was working as a manager in a furniture factory at the time. Since his background is in industrial engineering and he’s always loved mechanics, trying his hand at clockmaking wasn’t too much of a stretch. He’d made his own toys as a teenager, and was always astonishing his family by repairing things and creating fantastic inventions.
After finding photos of antique clocks in an Italian history book, Carlos came up with the idea to make a model clock that would work in the same way early medieval timepieces—the first mechanical inventions to measure time. Carlos received such a positive response to his creation that he quit his job at the factory and began crafting medieval clocks full time.
Eventually, he taught Maria the art, and when she graduated with a degree in archaeological restoration she joined him in his clock making business.
“In our little workshop [in Madrid, Spain], we make all the pieces that go towards producing every clock,” she says. ”On the shelves stand hundreds of drawers containing the smaller pieces. A great number of jars contain different types of nails, screws, nuts...etc., all waiting their turn to take their place on the clock… We hope we will succeed in keeping this art and small industry from the Middle Ages alive in today's crazy world.”