Hooke had form in these conflicts. He clashed with Newton, claiming credit for work on gravitation, and with others over similar disputes. Hooke had a tendency to exaggerate his already considerable achievements. It is quite possible that both Hooke and Huygens came up with the coiled balance spring independently. Both men were in the habit of communicating their breakthroughs as anagrams, which protected their intellectual property but could also muddy the waters. Hooke gave a lecture in 1664 discussing the use of a spring to regulate a watch, and so clearly was working on the idea long before Huygens’ 1675 patent. Nevertheless, Hooke had not, by that stage, built a functioning spring-operated watch.