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Uneven Legs Synchronised Swimming Cuckoo Clock

aka par-Olympic Swimming Clock
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One of the familiar gestures used in synchronised swimming events involves the athletes raising their legs clear of the water, then separating them on the surface as their torsos remain facing downwards.

This is how the Uneven Legs Synchronised Swimming Cuckoo Clock shows the time. It's a complex apparatus consisting of a circular tank which contains a small mechanical figure, its body orientated in an inverted position. It's a bit like one of those ballerina figure musical jewellery boxes, only with water and an upside-down swimmer.

At fifteen minute intervals, the figure performs its cuckoo equivalent. This is the split leg routine, its shorter leg representing the hour and the long limb the minute of the day. Marker buoys on the water surface are appropriately labelled one to twelve.

When not showing the time on the surface, the figure simply pirouettes its legs below the surface. The short leg rotating slowly to show the hour, and the longer leg continuing to mark off the minutes.

This entire arrangement projects its image via a 45º angled mirror to enable the device to be used as a wall clock.

xenzag, Aug 13 2012


       Couldn't they just be two normal legs, with one leg bent at the knee? Also, I'd prefer the mechanical swimmer figure to be the right way up except when the clock is actually 'striking' or I'd get worried about the length of time she's having to hold her breath for. Otherwise, a fantastic idea.
hippo, Aug 13 2012

       I had thought of a number of ways to solve the uneven length of the hour and minute hands, including having two figures, face to face, one being upside down. One figure then uses one arm, combined with the other one's single leg. I don't favour the bent leg option though, so on balance, I thought of the figure simply having one leg shorter than the other. Call it a Par-Olympic solution.
xenzag, Aug 13 2012


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