Henlein watch

unknown, wrongly accredited to Peter Henleinworktype from the 16th century, compilation between 1850 and 1895

Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg

Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg
Nuremberg, Germany

For many years, the famous “Henlein watch” was dubbed the “oldest pocket watch in the world”, the development of which in the 16th century facilitated the epochal step from a place-bound to a mobile measurement of time. However, research in 2013 and 2014 revealed that while parts of the timepiece did indeed come from Peter Henlein’s time, the watch itself was not assembled until the 19th century. Today, though, the combination of old and new parts still gives us an impression of the singular and innovative timepieces of the early modern period.


  • Title: Henlein watch
  • Creator: unknown, wrongly accredited to Peter Henlein
  • Date Created: worktype from the 16th century, compilation between 1850 and 1895
  • Location: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, permanent exhibition "Scientific Instruments"
  • Location Created: Southern Germany
  • Physical Dimensions: H 4,6 cm; D 5,2 cm
  • Provenance: Acquired by Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg
  • Rights: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg (Foto: GNM / Georg Janßen)
  • Medium: iron, brass (painted with gold)
  • Art Movement: Renaissance

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