Sonne & Zeit - Sonnenuhrenbau Heierli

A New Star in Sundial Heaven



When I observe the slow motion of a sundial's shadow, I could almost envy the ancestors, because they did not yet have to think in minutes and seconds. (Elena Germesin, Das Beste 8/97, translated)


I ask you, is there a more poetic way to read the time than with a sunbeam?

 

Sundials for the  window sill - modern and precise

Time redicovered again and again

For many generations sundials have set the beat of time and embellished our homes. More than any other clock they embody the ancient tradition of timekeeping.  

The relative motion of the Sun and the Earth in space determines the pace of the sundial. Once set up in a place, it never needs to be readjusted.

A pleasant trait of sundials is their quiet and silent way of counting hours : no nervous ticking, no seconds rushing past.

We build modern sundials for indoor use on your window sill. We employ the law of refraction to shape the hour lines into an image of the Earth.

Every sundial we produce is a one-off piece made for your particular site. Each dial is unique and individually calculated. On demand your sundial is personalized with a date of your choice. 

Sundials are amongst the oldest timekeeping instruments. Some forms go back thousands of  years. The classical dial shown above on the right has adorned the south wall of St. John's church in Schaffhausen for over 500 years.

 Until the middle of the 18th century, sundials were more precise than any other clocks in use. Then mechanical clocks caught up.

Yet, if not periodically readjusted, mechanic and quartz watches will eventually loose the synchronisation with daylight, while sundials will not. The reason : There is no drift to sundials with respect to Earth's rotation as there is to modern watches based on springs or oscillators.

Despite the standard of time being firmly in the hands of atomic clocks since 1972, the universal time reference for everyday life remains in sync with the rotation of Earth - and with sundials.