We regret to inform you that the creator of the Aten Heliochronometer passed away suddenly Sept. 23, 2010. David was the heart of the business. Countless hours were spent in the research and crafting of the exquisite solar timepiece you see on these pages. His legacy will live on in the many sundials placed worldwide. All inquiries may be made through the email link at the bottom of the page.
The heliochronometer is an instrument used to calculate standard time from solar time, in effect it is an optical analog computer. This is done using the equation of time, when graphed, this is referred to as an Analemma. This is a shape something like a distorted figure 8, and is seen on most world globes. It is the result of the tilt of the earth's axis and our orbit around the sun. For more information on the analemma see the links section for a website devoted to a very comprehensive explanation of this phenomenon.
The traditional sundial will not give accurate standard time without calculations, our heliochronometers have the calculation "built in" and have an accuracy that rivals most watches. In the 19th century (before the telegraph became widespread) heliochronometers were used by railways and ship lines to set and synchronize clocks and watches of the day!
All of our heliochronometers are precision machined on multi-axis CNC machining centers. these machines have a positional accuracy of .0002" (.005mm), all parts for each instrument are machined from the same billet, there are no cast parts. The accuracy we achieve in our products derives from this ability to keep the "stack" of manufacturing tolerances to an absolute minimum. We use only the highest quality metals for the bodies and stainless steel/brass/plated fasteners are used throughout. See the detailed descriptions for more information on what metals each product is available in.
Clicking on the images to the right will take you to a larger picture and a description of the model chosen.
Our company (and some of our heliochronmeters) are named after the Egyptian god of the Amarna period (ca. 1350 BC) who's aspects were the visible rays of the sun and the solar disk. This was one of the most productive periods in art and religion that the world had seen, and the Aten heliochronometers have styling cues inspired by Amarna period art. The famous bust of Nefertiti and the objects taken from the tomb of king Tut (originally Tutenkhaten) are other examples that have come down to us from this period.
The Classic Heliochronometer is styled for those who would like a more traditional sundials shape, with styling cues from the Anasazi culture of the Southwest deserts of the US. The Anasazi were very accomplished astronomers and even laid out their great ceremonial cities along lines according to the Lunar and Solar Great years! The links section will direct you to an interesting website that explores the Anastazi and their works in detail.