John Harrison successfully made the world’s first marine clock with an accuracy of plus or minus one second per week. This extraordinary achievement allowed marine navigators to establish their longitude position on the high seas for the first time. An achievement that helped to establish the supremacy of the Royal Navy, the key to building the British Empire.
In the early 18th Century the biggest single problem facing navigators was how to calculate longitude and so determine their true position in the vastness of the oceans. Countless lives were lost as ships were wrecked in uncharted waters and so the British parliament offered a prize of £20,000 for a solution equivalent to £2,770,000 in modern currency.There were two schools of thought for the solving of this problem, the astronomers who believed you could calculate the true longitudinal position using the stars and the horologists who understood that an extremely accurate clock would allow the true east-west position or longitude to be calculated.
Over a period of many years John Harrison a self taught English clockmaker invented the marine chronometer, the most accurate timekeeper ever created which importantly would keep accurate time aboard a pitching ship and in extremes of heat, cold and humidity.The Comitti Navigator is a tribute to the skill, ingenuity and tenacity of one man who changed the course of history.
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