Posted on June 03, 2013 by Richard Hoptroff

Clink Street, London, 31 May 2013

Have you ever noticed a scene tends to freeze for a fraction of a second when you first look at it?  It's a strange optical illusion - one that you often see in watchmaking.  When you first look at a watch, the second hand seems to freeze for a short while before starting to tick.

It's a well-researched phenomenon called chronostasis.  As far as can be worked out, it's the brain masking out the visual confusion while your eyes swivel from one point of focus to another.

Not that it matters much to most people.  But if you're trying to make and test watch movements, it's a royal pain in the hooter.


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