Photo of Rasmus Sørnes' 4th clock

About clock No. 4

In 1966, mechanical genius and self-taught clockmaker Rasmus Sørnes from Norway completed his 4th and last astronomical clock after eight years of work. The word clock is a bit misleading, it would be more accurate to describe it as "a mechanical real-time model of the solar system", as it not only shows the current time, but also the current:

  • Sidereal time
  • Moon phase
  • Sunrise and sunset at a certain latitude
  • High and low tide
  • Celestial globe
  • Julian number
  • Sunspot period
  • Gregorian calendar
  • Solar and lunar eclipse prediction
  • Orrery (planetarium)
  • 25 800 year precession of the equinoxes
  • and more

In addition to this, the clock can be run forwards and backwards at high speed to predict solar and lunar eclipses and to show all the other data above at a certain time.

Where is it now?

While the three preceding clocks still are at known locations in Norway, clock No. 4 has disappeared. It was sold by Rasmus Sørnes' family to the Time Museum in Rockford, USA in the 1970s. The museum closed in 1999, and for some years the clock was on display in Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, but in 2004 it was sold by Sotheby's to an unknown buyer.

The purpose of this web site is to try to get in contact with the owner, but also to collect and present extensive and correct information about the four clocks of Sørnes.

If you have any information about the missing clock No. 4 (or the other ones as well), or find errors on this page, please do not hesitate to contact us.