inner workings of a mechanical clock, pocket watch or wristwatch, or of other mechanisms that work similarly

Clockwork means the inner workings of mechanical machines clocks (where it is also called a "movement". Also other similar mechanisms with a complex series of gears.[1][2][3][4]

A clockwork mechanism usually has a clockwork motor.[5] This has a mainspring, a spiral of metal ribbon. Energy is stored in the mainspring by winding it up, turning a key attached to a ratchet which twists the mainspring tighter. Then the force of the mainspring turns the clockwork gears, until the stored energy is used up. The adjectives wind-up and spring-powered refer to mainspring-powered clockwork devices. These include clocks and watches, kitchen timers, music boxes, and wind-up toys.


  1. "Clockwork - Definition of clockwork by Merriam-Webster".
  2. "Clockwork - define clockwork at".
  3. The Century Dictionary: The Century dictionary. Century Company. 1914.
  4. Chambers Concise Dictionary. Allied Publishers. 2004. p. 227. ISBN 9798186062363.
  5. The talking machine encyclopædia: a comprehensive and descriptive glossary of all terms used in connection with the talking machine. London: Phono Trader Printing and Publishing. 1908. pp. 45–47., description of the clockwork motor in an antique phonograph