The history of this watch began when, when conducting an electric cable from the Main Chamber to the Winter Palace, D.I.Mendeleev decided to make a connection to the Ministry of Finance building. Originally, DI Mendeleev planned to place a clock no larger than a meter in one of the windows of the building of the Ministry of Finance (as was practiced in 1838 in the General Staff Building). This would allow to control the temperature of the room of the clock, ensure free access to them for adjustment and guarantee their accurate and stable operation.
In 1905 a more expensive project of the Ministry of Finance was implemented. The clock mechanism was made by Augustus Erikson, the architectural details, the hanging system, the manhole for the amendments were developed by the architect of the Ministry of Finance. D.I.Mendeleev emphasized that in the case of hanging the clock, the Main Chamber takes responsibility "for the time, but not for the architectural devices."
For the first time in the history of St. Petersburg, an electric street watch with two two-meter dials of the Grau-Wagner system was installed at a considerable height under the arch of the General Staff Building.