The first medieval European clockmakers were monks, who learned the art of building timepieces to regulate their monastery schedules. They painstakingly crafted mechanisms that chimed on the hour and rung bells to broadcast the time. Like those early timekeeping devices, this Gothic clock relies on intricate handmade parts and attention to detail to count the hours. Father-daughter team Carlos and Maria Fernandez-Ardavin create each of their stunning designs to represent those constructed in the Middle Ages. Using only materials available during the era (no plastic here), they craft each element that goes into every clock. "On the shelves stand hundreds of drawers containing the smaller pieces," says Maria. "A great number of jars contain different types of nails, screws, nuts...etc., all waiting their turn to take their place on the clock."
The authentic design uses a foliot—a metal rod with counterweights that must be balanced—and a charmingly patinaed hammer and bell. Since the minute hand didn't appear until the advent of the pendulum in the 18th century, a lone hour hand points to Roman numerals stamped in the brass dial. Like those medieval monks, you'll want to wind the clock twice daily to ensure accuracy, even if you aren't planning a long day of monkly duties. Handmade in Madrid, Spain.