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There’s no such thing as “the correct time”. But there is accurate timekeeping. And since its invention in 1656, the clock has become a vital part of the modern economy.

There’s no such thing as “the correct time”. Like the value of money, it’s a convention that derives its usefulness from the widespread acceptance of others. But there is such a thing as accurate timekeeping. That dates from 1656, and a Dutchman named Christiaan Huygens. In the centuries since, as Tim Harford explains, the clock has become utterly essential to almost every area of the modern economy.

Producer: Ben Crighton
Editors: Richard Knight and Richard Vadon

(Image: A wall clock. Credit: Shutterstock)

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9 minutes

Last on

Tue 21 Feb 2017 23:50GMT

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