You didn't need a clock at a Monastery, because the junior novices would keep track of the hours for everyone. But as the understanding of the hours became part of an Educated Man's experience, newly wealthy cities began to look for mechanical ways to track time. And so, the great tower clocks were designed, as city vied with city for top horological honors. The clocks didn't just keep time, but soon added automatons acting out scenes from the Bible.
The great Rathaus-Glockenspiel clock of Munich is one of the best examples of this. 43 bells and 32 full-sized figures chimes each day in the Marienplatz. Knights joust, lovers wed, and birds chirp, all in clockwork driven automaton glory. It was Medieval conspicuous consumption.
For now hath Time made me his numb'ring clock.By Shakespeare's time, the watch ("watch" and "clock" were used interchangeably as terms) was so common as to be used as a metaphor by the greatest metaphorist of all time. Time was no longer regulated by the Sun, the daily diurnal cycle; now the hands of the clock pointed accusingly at the tardy. The Sword of Damocles had been hung, it's steady tick tick tick to remind us that time is money, and tempus fugit. While we now could order our lives with precision, something innocent had been lost. In a sense, we had been cast out of the garden into the modern sense of time.
My thoughts are minutes, and with sighs they jar
Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
Whereto my finger, like a dial's point,
Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears.
Now, sir, the sound that tells what hour it is
- Shakespeare, Richard II
Outlook schedules to the quarter hour, our cell phones get time synchronized via invisible rays of isochronism, and one wonders who is now the master. Alas, it is sometimes all too obvious:
Jay lost his watch. He says that he found it, though. Who is Master? Jay is Master.