Robert Robin was born in Paris but very little is known about his early, formative years as an apprentice.
In 1778 he published a highly acclaimed article which was presented to the Royal Academy of Science; Mémoire contenant des réflexions sur les propriété du Remontoire, un éschappement naturel avec un courte description d'une pendule dans lacquelle ces effets sont exécuté.
In the previous year Robin became Clockmaker to His Royal Highness the Duc de Chartres and in 1782 he became Clockmaker to the King. In the same year he published another work entitled Description of a clock indicating seconds, or a machine for measuring time with the greatest precision.
Robin's work included many exceptional watches, but he is remembered for his regulators which were all made to the highest possible standard of his time and such examples of his work remain in the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers the Louvres Palaces and the Trianon.
The inscription on the pendulum reads:Astronomical clock given to D'Aligre by the Widow Robin as the best work of her late husband, who intended it for the cabinet of his Majesty Louis XVI.
The present clock exhibits all the most up-to-date horological invention of the period. Robin's use of enamel chapter rings against the gilt dial-plate is not only aesthetically beautiful, but also it displays the hours, minutes, seconds, equation and calendar in such a way that the business of telling the time is a real pleasure.
Quite which palace the clock was intended for may never be known, but it was an astonishingly generous act by Robin's widow to give it away, for truly it is wholly deserving of her accolade as Robert Robin's greatest work - a clock fit for a King!