"In 1541, the Protestant reformer John Calvin arrived in Geneva.
He proceeded to lay down his law, which included imposing punctuality as a cardinal virtue.
Observing this precept was made easier as one of Calvin’s first acts had been to order the jewellers and goldsmiths who had forged the reputation of this small town of 12,000 to find new employment.
They must no longer use their talent to make "crucifixes, chalices and other instruments serving papacy and idolatry," nor even to circle the heads or embellish the throats of wealthy and frivolous beauties.
Instead they must apply their knowledge to the noble art of watchmaking.
Indeed, watchmaking’s early practitioners were not yet tucked between the Alps and the Jura.
Instead they were in France, Italy, Germany, England and the Netherlands: nations whose monarchs and aristocracy cultivated an immoderate taste for luxury and, incidentally, the home of the scientists, navigators and explorers who would make the measurement of time the tool of their trade....."
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