Second half of the XV century. 1404 – Lazar Serbin, a monk, made the first tower clock for the Moscow Kremlin by request of the GreatPrince Vasiliy. Only the words of praise in the Troitskaya chronicle about the mechanism made by the watchmaker remain today. Chronicles mentioned the installation of the first tower clock in Moscow as an event of national importance.
XVI century. Clocks decorated towers of many fortresses and monasteries of the Russian state. In 1539, Semen Solovetskiy, a watchmaker from Novgorod, made a tower clock for the Solovetskiy Monastery. Its striking mechanism beat quarters of an hour, half-hours and hours, day and night hours separately. The mechanism was made with exceptional professionalism, its construction and technical structure was in no way inferior to European samples. This watch worked until the beginning of the XX century. Mechanisms of clocks of the Nickolo-Pervinskiy monastery made by watchmaker Ryazantsev and other clocks have been preserved in museums until today.
XVII century. There was an independent category of craftsmenwatchmakers in Moscow. A “chamber Tzar’s clockmaker and goldsmith“ Moisey Terentiev, who made a finger-ring with a watch for a tsar in 1620, was famous. For the tzar Alexei Mikhailovich, father of Peter the 1st, Russian craftsmen made an original powder-flask with a clock that has survived until now.
First half of the XVIII century. Watchmakers and jewelers of the XVIII were true virtuosos. They spent years in scrupulous work over creation of some unique piece – as a result, clocks cost very much, were regarded as items of luxury and were affordable only for crowned heads and for very rich people. A mantelpiece clock of gilded bronze in the shape of a lyre was made for Katherine the Second decorated by her portrait in a medallion. Its pompous, solemn form underlined significance and grandeur of the august person. A clock made by Ivan Petrovich Kulibin, a self-taught genius, consists of 427 parts, but the whole complicated mechanism fits into a case as big as a goose-egg.
Second half of the XVIII century. The clock “Temple of Glory” made in 1793–1800 according to drawings of a talented mechanic, Mikhail Egorovich Medox, became the pride of Russian mechanics and artists. Medox dedicated his clock to Katherine the Second. This is a big bronze gilded clock with a complicated mechanism. The face is surrounded by crystal twisted tubes, which, when rotating, created an impression of a sunlight aureole. At both sides of the disk, there are columns with figures of female eagles feeding their eaglets. Every two hours doors of the temple opened and an ancient melody sounded. The Bronnikovs, carvers-craftsmen, carved clocks of different wood species: cases – of burl (tumors growing on tree trunks), mechanisms, faces and chains – of boxwood, and hands – of honeysuckle. In the best clock made by the Bronnikovs even the spring is carved out of wood. Clocks made by the clockmaker Mikhail Evlampievich Perkhin – one of the best craftsmen of the Faberge jeweler company – were equally unique. The clocks made by Perkhin, as well as many Easter surprise items, made by the firm, were egg-shaped.
1769–1778. By direction of Katherine the Second, two clock-making factories – in Moscow and Saint Petersburg – were founded. The major part of the products of the Saint Petersburg factory were used for rewards, as gifts for special services and honors. The clocks were made in small quantities in a gold case, with brilliants, with repetition (chimes), coach clocks were also made.
1784–1804. G. A. Potyomkin organized in his estate, Dubrovna, a factory school where 33 pupils from serfs were taught clock-making. The enterprise made clocks “of all sorts”, both pocket watches and wall striking clocks not inferior to West European samples.
First half of the XIX century. 1815 – House of Pavel Bure is founded. Later Bure will be granted the title of “supplier of the Emperor’s Court” and will become estimator of “His Imperial Majesty”. The tsarist government purchased watches for rewards in the army – with engravings on the clocks respective to the combat arm of the rewarded person. 1826 – Henry Mozer, a Swiss, founded in Saint Petersburg a watch-making company. Making of faces and cases and assembly of clocks were effected by Russian craftsmen. Names of individual craftsmen D. Tolstoy, I. Mezgin, I. Nosov etc. are also known.
Second half of the XIX century. 1859 – In accordance with calculations of Petr Vasilievich Khavskiy (1771–1876), a historian, a jurist and a specialist in Russian chronology, a prototype of a modern clock with zone type – “Indicator of time of the whole globe from the side of the North pole” – was made. In a quarter of a century after Khavskiy created his “time indicator”, representatives of 26 states in Washington made a decision about introduction of zone time with a single zero Greenwich meridian. 1867 – production of tower clocks organized by the company “Friedrich Winter”. In 1896, at the All-Russian Exhibition of Industry and Art in Niznhiy Novgorod, the clocks were given the highest reward – the Gold medal. 1868 – Victor Gabu opens a firm (a house of trade), which later became one of the most famous ones. End of the century – clock boom in Russia; since 1875 a clock factory was founded in a village of Sharapovo by V. Platov and G. Afanasiev. The Moscow factory of P. Dmitriev. Faberge orders clock mechanisms from Bure and Mozer. At the end of the XIX century, rates of production of clocks in Russia began to accelerate. Clock factories emerge in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and some other cities and towns. And if at the beginning of the century clocks were assembled from parts brought from abroad, then by that moment factories began to produce everything necessary for clock mechanism assembly by themselves. Clocks became an item of wide consumption and mass production.
First half of the XX century. 1900 – Professor N. Zavadskiy founded the first clock-making educational institution in Saint Petersburg (since 1922 – Leningrad Institute of Precise Mechanics and Engineering).