Discoveries A bit of History

The Charvet Clock

Published on 12/04/2022

Louis Charvet, professional watchmaker, would undoubtedly be every proud to see that his work is still admired by the people of Lyon. 169 years later (yes, time flies…), this part of the Lyon’s heritage has just been restored by Philippe Carry, a.k.a. the Watchmaker of Saint-Paul. Several months of painstaking work and one move later, the chime can now be heard on the Place du Petit-Collège, not far from the entrance of Lyon’s history museum.

Time goes by; the Guignol clock remains

If you’re taking a stroll through Vieux-Lyon, you can enjoy its melody, which is played every 15 minutes. Not very long to wait, even if you’re in a hurry! 

The clock features the characters Polichinelle and Arlequin, who begin the performance by ringing the four bronze bells. They are followed by Gnafron and Guignol, armed with his truncheon, who rings the highest bell. On the stroke of each hour, Trompette, the soldier, springs into action for the “grand ringing”. This treasure of local heritage is always fun to see, whether you’re a gone of Lyon or just passing through.

Due to its old age, the music played by Trompette was somewhat out of tune before the restoration, the horn was missing... It was therefore necessary to re-record the original ritornello to return the little soldier to his former pride.