Photo: Roving Rube
03 January 22


Tourneau Store, 57th Street
Tourneau Time Machine Store, 57th Street 

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Photographer's notes: A significant minority of NYC's street clocks are gathered together here at the Tourneau Store in the base of the IBM building at 57th, adjacent to the similarly razzle-dazzle Niketown and Trump Tower -- they are all connected inside. The two-story "Time Machine" is said to have a museum and climbing wall inside.

Here the clocks are not the best advertisement for Tourneau, being only accurate to within five minutes; Fig. 1 is hopefully the norm.

The big clock (Fig. 2) has the only working second hand the Rube knows of -- the architect's site says it symbolizes "the rush of the city". The day and date dials also work, unlike those on the Tourneau golden watch trio (Fig. 3) which overhang the Tourneau store a couple of blocks south on Madison Avenue.

The Rube at first thought the dial on top told you whether the sun was out or no, and obviously wasn't working. But then he thought it might represent phases of the moon, which might be nice to know when you're on a date; or if you're fighting the urge to go surfing, or if you're a werewolf.

This was confirmed by one of our viewers who sent the following info from the Emperor Clock site:

Moon Dial: A dial usually found at the top of the clock face which tracks the moons phases through the 29 1/2 day lunar month. As the rotating moon dial passes behind representations of the eastern and western hemispheres, the phases of the moon are represented as they appear at each stage of the cycle: new moon; waxing crescent; half moon; gibbous; full moon; gibbous; half moon; waning crescent.

After reading this the Rube decided he would love to go up to the Met and photograph some of the incredible grandfather clocks they have there. As he has said before of NYC, the great thing is that whatever kind of thing you get interested in, you can go right out and find somewhere many wonderful examples of that thing.

Restore Image Accuracy Dials Tourneau on Madison Original