PHOTOS: S. AMENGUAL
CLOCK technician Pere Caminals Jaume will be working late this evening, making sure the clock on the front of Palma City Hall chimes in the New Year on the dot.
Caminals has been up and down into the loft of the building several times over the past couple of days to fine tune the huge chiming mechanism known familiarly as En Figuera. Today he will make his final inspection at 9pm. I'm not nervous, he said but I'm always happier when I hear the first chime of the clock at midnight. Throughout the year, Caminals, the fourth generation of his family to care for the clock, checks En Figuera once a week. It has apparently failed three times in 2009, twice due to electricity failure and a third because of a technical hitch. The clock will chime as it has always done on New Year's Eve, claimed Caminals, adding that it has never failed to ring in the New Year in a history of nearly 150 years. En Figuera is a real museum piece and in fact there is a replica of it in a Swiss museum. Made by Collin, a Paris clockmaker, En Figuera was brought to Palma City Hall in 1863. The timing mechanism needs to be adjusted periodically throughout the year because weather conditions can cause it to fall very slightly out of alignment.