It takes time for the weight to descend, so we can take the motion of the wheel as a measure of time.
We slow down the motion of the wheel through the escapement. We make the wheel toothed and provide an anchor which oscillates on a pivot and slows down the motion of the wheel. Each time the escapement is cycled, the wheel is allowed to move one tooth distance. If we add a pendulum, its swing can provide the cycling action and receive a little push from the toothed wheel to keep on swinging.
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