Artifact Title: Puritan Watch

Medium: Object

Creator: Robert Grinkin

Image Credit: Trustees of the British Museum. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ( no changes have been made to the original image.

Year: 1630-1640

TERA Curator: Judith Ellen Brunton

Puritan Watch

What seems to the contemporary eye a universal style of watch is in fact something called the “Puritan Watch”; a watch designed to encourage Protestant values of work. In David Rooney’s book About Time (2021), he explains that–in contrast to other clocks that served different religious communities–the Puritan watch was designed to emphasize the sin of sloth and teach its owner the discipline to accomplish more pious work, ensuring no time was ‘wasted.’ This watch encourages us to consider how time keeping is a technology of religion.