A rusted out pocket watch covered in barnacles was discovered inside a wreck from the seventeenth century. The pocket watch was of impeccable make and its internal workings were almost perfectly preserved.

Scientists of the National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh utilized cutting edge technology including x-ray machines to take a gander at the cog wheels and Egyptian-style pillars and were even able to make out the inscription of the watch maker.

They then used these images they collected to build a 3D virtual model of the watch and its functions. Both the watch and the 3D image are now on display in the Treasured exhibition of the National Museum of Scotland. They are scheduled to remain on display there until sometime in 2011.

The wreck the pocket watch was discovered on is thought to have been the Swan – a low level war ship which met its demise off of Scotland’s west coast sometime during the English Civil War. A diver from the navy happened across the wreck back in the 1970s, and excavation began in the 1990s.

The remarkable CT technique used to get the images is accredited to Andrew Ramsey and cohorts at X-Tek Systems in Tring, Hertfordshire in the UK. It allowed them to get high resolution images, even through dense metal.

The watch is really amazing in craftsmanship, and just goes to show, they really don’t make them like they used to. Don’t believe me? Try dropping your Timex in the ocean and seeing how it looks after only 5 years.