Title: Transfer of European Clock-Making Technology into China during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Author: Zhang Baichun    
Jounal: Chinese Annals of History of Science and Technology
YEAR: 2020
Vol.: 4
No.: s
Page: 9–25
From the 1580s onwards, Catholic missionaries introduced European mechanical clocks into China as gifts for officials or emperors, with the aim of establishing a good relationship with the Chinese leadership in order to do missionary work. After the seventeenth century, European clock-makers in the imperial palace made complicated clocks according to the emperors’ desires. There were a number of workshops for producing European-style clocks in Guangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing, and other cities during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It was, however, difficult for the experienced craftsmen to innovate new clockwork. The main reasons for the development of European clock technology in China were its technical superiority, the missionaries’ introduction, and the Chinese interest in clocks.