Jaques Congress Timer

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Click here for some detailed photos of this timer's unusual inner mechanism

A rare, very early Jaques Congress chess timer, circa 1890-1895. Chess timers are used for tournament play, to limit the time that each player can use. This timer has a fascinating characteristic: instead of two clocks, it has one clock movement that swings back and forth between the two time dials when a player pushes his plunger on top of the timer! A player would do this after having made a move, to stop his clock and start his opponent's clock.

This timer predates the use of flags to indicate a time forfeit.