My husband surprised me with this puzzle; and not only was I surprised that he bought it for me, I was surprised that he picked such a great image too. It turned out to be a fantastic, well-made, very challenging puzzle and I absolutely loved it. Well done hubby!
The image is of the Prague clock, which I knew nothing about when I received this puzzle, but it lead me to do some research on it and I was fascinated. It was built in 1410, and is the oldest working astronomical clock in the world! The clock face gives you all sorts of information; if you know how to read it you can tell the date, how long until sunrise or sunset, the location of the Sun on the ecliptic (which tells you the date in relation to the sign of the zodiac), what lunar phase the moon is currently in, and, oh yes, it tells time too (both current standard time and Ancient Bohemian Time). It makes for a great puzzle image too!
Nautilus puzzles is a newer wooden puzzle company, started in 2018. I was highly impressed by the quality of the puzzles, but even more so by the cut of the pieces. The cut is exceptional; it is designed so that every single piece touches at least one of the whimsy pieces – which makes for wonderfully varied shapes and a much more challenging assembly. Their catalog is large and varied as well, and along with some images you see quite often in puzzles they’ve got some very unique images as well. They weren’t in business when I started my wooden jigsaw puzzle experiment three years ago, because I definitely would have given these a try. Their smallest puzzles start at around $15, which is quite affordable in my book.
If you’re into astrology, you’ll recognize many of the whimsy shapes. I recognized the zodiac symbols, but not all the rest of them.
This is quite a large number of whimsies for only a 500 piece puzzle, and they all match the “theme” of the image. It was fun to sort through the pieces and find all the interesting whimsies, it’s one of my favorite parts of working with wooden puzzles. 🙂
All the whimsies were themed towards time, astrology, astronomy, etc. In this corner you can see the phases of the moon! That’s going an extra step, instead of just throwing whimsies around in between pieces they’ve put some thought into the design. It made for quite an entertaining assembly, and I will definitely be buying another puzzle from this company.
Hubby did an awesome job picking out this puzzle, it was a joy to assemble and I absolutely loved it! It was exceptionally well made, expertly designed, and was great fun to put together – it is very highly recommended!
*Also, as usual, I recommend giving wooden puzzles a try if you haven’t before. There are many affordable companies out there, like Nautilus, and we puzzlers are definitely worth a splurge now and then. If you can’t bring yourself to buy one, how about requesting one for a birthday or Christmas present? You’re so worth it!
- Title: Prague Clock
- Artist: Unknown
- Brand: Nautilus Puzzles
- Piece count: 500 pieces
- Size: Approx. 19 x 14 in. (48 x 36 cm)
- Purchased: New
- Board: Excellent, 4mm thick wood
- Cutting: Excellent
- Image: Excellent
- Box: Very good, pieces come in a cloth bag
- Fit: Excellent
- Puzzle Dust: None
- Piece cut: Random cut with whimsies
- Piece shapes: Excellent variety
- Finish: Slightly shiny finish
Overall Rating: Excellent, most highly recommended