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Watchismo Times

THE WATCHISMO TIMES WATCH BLOG A reliquary of obscure timepieces from bygone eras as well as the cutting-edge watch designs of today.

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Clock Teaser - The MB&F HM3

Clock Teaser - The MB&F HM3Maximilian Busser's Horological Machine No.3 (HM3) is on the horizon and you'll see it unveiled here. For now, we must wonder what the two crater-like domes might contain. This pair appears to be very well hung.

MB&F WEBSITE LINK

All Max Busser Links-->Link
HM1 TI-->Link
HM2-->Link



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Video Interview of Jean-François Ruchonnet of Cabestan

Video Interview of Jean-François Ruchonnet of Cabestan
An interview on the watchmaking video channel Time TV with the creator of one of most interesting watches of all time, the Cabestan Winch Tourbillon Vertical-->Video Link

Check out the new Cabestan site where the brand has gone into its first real production of a variety of styles (prices begin at $350,000)-->Website Link

And all previous posts of the Cabestan on The Watchismo Times-->Link


Video Interview of Jean-François Ruchonnet of CabestanVianney Halter's original Cabestan



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Vintage Watching - Two Very Rare 1970 Helmet Jump Hour Watches

Vintage Watching - Two Very Rare 1970 Helmet Jump Hour WatchesHoly crap, I've seen one of these before but fellow eccentric vintage jump hour collector Ruud has found two of them at once! You'll hear more and more about his amazing collection of vintage digital jump hours in time to come... Now if I could only convince him to share the wealth, hell, I'm probably the only other person in the world who would actually want this ridiculous rarity.

Vintage Watching - Two Very Rare 1970 Helmet Jump Hour Watches
Vintage Watching - Two Very Rare 1970 Helmet Jump Hour WatchesA vertical drum display not unlike the 1974 Jaz Derby Swissonic (featured-->here) Or my favorite of all time, the 1950s Patek Philippe Cobra (featured-->here)

Vintage Watching - Two Very Rare 1970 Helmet Jump Hour Watches
Vintage Watching - Two Very Rare 1970 Helmet Jump Hour Watches
Related Stories;
Patek Philippe Cobra Sideview Prototype of 1958
1974 Jaz Derby Swissonic Cylindrical Jump Hour
All Jump Hour Posts
All Sideview Display Posts
Alternative Displays
Jean Dunand Shabaka
Jacob & Co. Quenttin
The Cabestan


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De Grisogono dG Meccanico Photos from Basel

De Grisogono dG Meccanico Photos from BaselSome real world pics I shot at Baselworld of the de Grisogono dG Meccanico with roller mechanical digital display. Read my original posting here-->Link

De Grisogono dG Meccanico Photos from Basel
De Grisogono dG Meccanico Photos from Basel
De Grisogono dG Meccanico Photos from Basel
De Grisogono dG Meccanico Photos from BaselGiant pustule crowns

De Grisogono dG Meccanico Photos from BaselOriginal Meccanico dG rendering

Note how they covered up the tubes in the finished watch. Likely due to lack of readability from angled viewing. The open rolling display is what made this watch interesting to me...

See Also;
All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link



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Phinally! Photographs (and Video) of the HD3 Complication Bi-Axial Tourbillon "Vulcania"

I wish watch brands would release real photos along with their Computer renderings. Though it is likely the real watch isn't even completed when you first see them as CAD (above).

Until then, I gotta rely on fellow bloggers like these from ProfessionalWatches who shared this video and shots of the one of eleven HD3 Bi-Axial Tourbillons ($400,000) from the SIHH show in Geneva earlier this month.


Video->Link


For more about this Steampunk masterpiece, read my first feature of the HD3 Complication Vulcania designed by Fabrice Gonet here-->LINK





See Also;
All Tourbillon Posts-->Link
All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link
All Steampunk Posts-->Link



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Raising The Bars - OPUS 8 Mechanical Digital by Harry Winston Rare Timepieces & Frédéric Garinaud

In this world of mechanical pissing contests, the Opus 8 from Harry Winston Rare Timepieces streamed out very far at Baselworld.

Inspired by early electronic LED watches of the 1970s (like the first Hamilton Pulsar), creator Frédéric Garinaud (of Renaud & Papi) & CSH developed the Opus 8 with a new twist on mechanical-digital watches. Time is shown by pulling the side-lever down which in turn activates mechanical pixels to rise up from the digitally segmented dial displaying the hour of the day, am/pm, and indication of minutes by rising five minute markers located in a vertical scale next to the primary display.

My attempts to describe this to you might be complicating matters from what might be best explained with images. I should also compare the functions to the contouring rods of the Pinpression toy (shown below) but instead of pressing the pins against your hand or face, the time is reflected by the precisely placed pegs of a music box-style mechanism.

Rumor has it that these were sold out before they being presented (from an edition of 50). Max Büsser's original vision (Opus 1-5) continues to have a lasting impression with this innovative series.


The minute scale and time-display lever (and logo)

What impresses me most of all has nothing to do with the watch itself but the story of how the Opus 8 was created by neither a watchmaker or a designer but instead a visionary with an absurd and genius idea...

Biography of Frédéric Garinaud;

Born in southwest France in 1971, for Frédéric Garinaud the road to watchmaking and Opus 8 had an interesting and unlikely origin. Neither watchmaker nor designer by trade, Garinaud got his start in the French naval academy where he specialized as an on-board mechanic. In 1999, Garinaud attended the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers in Lyon to formalize his graduate studies and began working as a development manager for special machinery in a galvanoplasty laboratory. In 2001, he joined Audemars Piguet (Renaud & Papi) as a technical office manager. In 2005, paving the way for his current role, Garinaud founded the watchmaking specialties unit - la Cellule des Spécialités Horlogères (CSH). Aiming to bridge ultramodern training with watchmaking tradition, the unit combines all of the trades involved in watchmaking -- from drawings to timing, to development and construction, and even micro-mechanical manufacture, decoration and product assembly. Garinaud wanted to bring to high-quality watchmaking some of the product developments that have enriched and advanced our consumer world, including: microelectronics, clothing design, ecology and innovative materials.

Five years ago, Frédéric Garinaud came up with an idea: To invent a hybrid timepiece that would bring together complicated mechanics and digital electronics. Around the same time, Garinaud first learned of the Opus concept developed by Harry Winston and began dreaming of an innovative piece to bring to the brand, which would come to be known as Opus 8.

Interested in developing his hybrid idea, Harry Winston met with Garinaud in early 2007 and presented him with a new challenge: Why not transform the hybrid display into a digital display? Garinaud immediately returned to his design table to create a prototype design.

Arriving at Basel 2007, armed with rolls of design drawings and his team from the Cellule des Spécialités Horlogères, the “Magician” revealed his latest tricks, presenting his preliminary plan for Opus 8. Though the brand was initially unconvinced, Garinaud continued to work his innovative magic 10 days later, he would receive an important and enthusiastic call. Harry Winston had accepted the plans. The Opus adventure had begun.

via Worldtempus

Large scale model of the inner mechanism function

Sideview of raised digit segments

Pegged disc beneath segmented dial

Close-up of disc

Thanks to Leo at Horomundi for the candids at HW

The circuit board style caseback

The Man behind the Opus 8, Frédéric Garinaud

The Pinpression

Not sure if Mr. Garinaud ever saw the Pinclock, but for about $100, you can have a similar pin-raising technology in a desk clock (above).


Pinclock-->Video

This Opus 8 project also reminds me of the remarkable mechanical mirrors of artist Daniel Rozin. The mirrors reflect the viewer with a wide array of wooden rods, tiles, metal balls and many other materials. See his amazing work in the videos below;


Rozin Peg Mirror Video->Link


Wooden Mechanical Mirror Video->Link

Weave Mirror Video->Link


Opus 8 Press Release;

OPUS 8: THE ART OF DIGITAL EMOTION
REINTERPRETATION OF A (R)EVOLUTION
Rooted in the Pop Art moment of the 1970s, Digital Art and Technology have revolutionized our way of life and continue to influence contemporary art and culture. Allowing artists to create works of extreme complexity, these same advances in digital technology have also transformed the art of modern watchmaking. Armed with the avant-garde and innovative spirit that defined this decade, Opus 8 represents a continuation of this technological and artistic (r)evolution...

A MECHANISM INSPIRED BY A GAME
An exceptional and advanced timepiece, Opus 8 utilizes hand-wound mechanical movements to create a modern, digital time display. Inspired by pin art games, which create 3D impressions of objects pressed against them, the numbers in the display will only appear “upon request,” activated by a bolt on the right hand side of the case. Nothing appears until the mechanism is wound.

A plate joins together small segments, both mobile and fixed. Just underneath is a disc driven by the movement, which turns independently in real time. When the mechanism is wound, the pieces adjust to display the time. As the plate descends, the small segments remain visible, “blocked” by the crystal, allowing the hour to be read for 5 seconds. Technically, all functions are related, enabling everything to be displayed on demand – the minute hand turns the hour that then turns the AM/PM function.

The dial’s microbead blasted coating is similar to that of a calculator, while the segments are made of black anthracite with polished sides. As innovative in materials, as in mechanics, the sides of the segments are crafted of amorphous carbon. A material more commonly known in Formula 1 racing, Garinaud’s team successfully adapted it to use for watch microparts. The specialized material has an extremely low friction coefficient and highly resistant coating. Wear, blockages and material discharge become almost non-existent.

THE INNOVATION’S MAGIC
In addition to a modern, sophisticated technique, Opus 8 features a strikingly original dial display. On the left is a four-digit hour display – two for the hour and two for the time of day (AM/PM). When it is 20h00, the watch will display 08PM. On the right is an innovative minute counter, with a layout and display from bottom to top. Set in 5 minute segments (precision being secondary), the 5 minute indicator is an arrow-shaped ring. The hour and minute numbers recalls the symmetrical hexagonal typography found in liquid crystal mechanics.

A VERY “SEVENTIES CASE”
With its imposing rectangular dimensions – 43mm wide, 41mm long, 13 thick – Opus 8’s bold, graphic shape resembles a retro-style television set. The case front has a resolutely digital display with its 4mm-thick domed crystal blocking the segments . With the display winding bolt located on the right and the winding crown on left, the mechanism has a movement rotation of 180 °. The display of the hour is not possible during winding. In the middle, an opening allows us to admire the heart – the balance. The movement’s back is decorated like a printed circuit, with lines leading to the various time elements. At the top, the hours (H) and the minutes (M). On the left, the periods of the day (AM/PM), and on the right, the 48-hour power reserve indicator (PRI). At the bottom, two lines indicate the co-designers of the watch, Garinaud & CSH (Cellule de Spécialités Horlogères), and the serial number.

OPUS 8 TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION

MOVEMENT: TYPE: Mechanical, elliptical, with mechanical digital display module, Manual winding
DISPLAY: Hours, minutes (every 5 minutes), AM/PM.
FREQUENCY: 3 Hz
MAIN DIAMETER: 35 mm
DISPLAY MODULE: 35.5 mm by 22.5 mm
JEWELS: 44
COMPONENTS: 437
SEGMENTS: 138
POWER RESERVE: 48 hours
FUNCTIONS: On the face: Digital display indicated by segments: Hour (AM/PM) and
minutes (every 5)
On the back: Digital display indicated by discs: Hour (AM/PM) and
minutes (every 5)
Power reserve also indicated on the back of the watch
CASE: MATERIAL: White gold
DIMENSIONS: WIDTH: 45.8 mm
LENGTH: 33.5 mm
LEFT: Crown for setting the time and winding
RIGHT: Winding bolt for digital displays
DIAL: Display module: black anthracite segments with polished sides
Side of segments crafted from amorphous carbon
Hours, minutes and letters in digital form
CRYSTAL: Anti- reflective Sapphire, 4 mm
WATCHSTRAP: Leather
WATER RESISTANCE: 30 meters
LIMITED EDITION: 50 pieces

The Opus program was launched by Maximilian Büsser & Harry Winston in 2001, to encourage a new interest for unlimited freedom and innovation in technical watchmaking. Partnering with independent watchmakers, each year the Opus program develops rare timepieces never before seen or imagined within the industry.


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The 2008 Hautlence HLQ

Hautlence has just introduced the HLQ, their first round models along with new styles of their HLS collection.


Via Horomundi



Hautlence HLQ Video->Link (Transformers style action begins at 0:42)

Related;
All Hautlence Stories-->Link

See also;
Hautlence website->Link


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Urwerk 202 Hammerhead Automatic at 2008 SIHH

From Urwerk's presentation of the new UR-202 Twin Turbine-->Link

UR202 Promotional Video-->Link

The UR-202 is the world’s first watch with the winding rate regulated by fluid dynamics.

As long ago as the 18th century, clockmakers were using air friction to regulate the speed of chiming clocks, and their techniques evolved to become the preferred method of regulating the rate of chimes on minute-repeaters.

With the UR-202, URWERK have taken the traditional idea of using air friction and refined it to control the rate of automatic winding.
The traditional rotating vanes of the past have been replaced by cutting-edge miniature twin turbines - miniature air compressors - which can be seen spinning on the back of the watch.


Urwerk turbines

The UR-202’s twin turbines are coupled with the winding rotor. According to the position of the selector lever, the turbines act as shock absorbers.
In normal activity they cushion sharp movements of the rotor. This reduces wear and increases the lifespan of the movement.
While the selector position is continuously variable, the three principal positions are: normal activity, where the turbines spin freely; vigorous activity, where the air pressure generated by the turbines reduces the winding rate by approximately 35%; and extreme activity, where the turbines and rotor are fully blocked.


The turbine system is totally self-contained within the waterproof case. The air flows from under the turbines and is channeled up past them under a sapphire plate and down through holes leading to a tiny air chamber.

The turbines are controlled by a 3-position selector switch. This functions by adjusting the level of air compression the turbines generate by selectively regulating the amount of air flowing from inside the case.

The spinning turbines force air through holes into a tiny air chamber. The selector switch controls the amount of air escaping from the turbines.
By restricting the airflow, it increases the air pressure and slows down the turbines and the winding rotor.


The UR-202 also features URWERK’s patented Revolving Satellite Complication with telescopic minutes hands.

The Revolving Satellite Complication displays time using telescopic minutes hands operating through the middle of three orbiting and revolving hours satellites. The telescopic minutes hands precisely adjust their length to follow the three sectors marking the minutes: 0-14, 15-44, 45-60.

Extended, they enable the UR-202 to display the time across a large, easy-to-read dial. Retracted, they allow for a very wearable and comfortably sized case.


Photo->Link


Related Posts;
ALL URWERK STORIES-->Link

See Also;
Urwerk Website->Link
Ian Skellern's (R)Evolution of Urwerk->Link
Horomundi's Complete Urwerk Story->Link



Urwerk's first model, the Nightwatch Wandering Hour



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Papillon by Andreas Strehler

Watchmaker Andreas Strehler is introducing the Papillon, his independent follow-up to last years Opus 7 for Harry Winston.

Strehler's representative Curtis Thomson of Tempered Online described it for me;

"The Papillon functions differently than the Opus 7. The 7’s time was actuated via a button in the crow, with hours and minutes indicated on one disc – an ingenious system. The Papillon has two separate discs (an hours disc and a minutes disc), with each of the two mainspring barrels receiving a time disc. Normally this wouldn’t be possible, as the barrel turns too fast to indicate the hours and turns too slowly to indicate the minutes… normally. Andreas has developed a system to allow this to happen, with winding and time setting done with the crown. How? Some crazy ass gearing – that’s how ;-). The Papillon is artistic and technical – a super watch." The price is 140,000 CHF

“How to tell the time?” The “butterfly” bridge has two points – one towards the top and the second towards the bottom – which indicate the time (hours on top, minutes on bottom) as the respective discs travel past."


Watching The Passage of Time

At this year's Basel World, Swiss watchmaker Andreas Strehler will be presenting his latest masterpiece, the Papillon, for the first time. This watch, with its unusual time display, is fascinating at first sight and it inspires not only timepiece connoisseurs.

The Creation

The unusual movement design was first employed in 2007. That was when renowned watch manufacturer, Harry Winston, asked Andreas Strehler if he would like to develop the legendary OPUS 7. Andreas Strehler, who had previously already collaborated with Chronoswiss, H.Moser&Cie and Maurice Lacroix, took up the challenge. He set himself the aim of designing a watch movement that would be captivating in its technical brilliance. But it still had to be easy to tell the time with it. At this stage he probably did not suppose that telling the time was actually to become a particular pleasure.

This concept is repeated in his latest work, the Papillon, but with Andreas Strehler's unmistakable signature and new technical refinements. The design and virtuoso technical sophistication of the watch movement puts everything that came before it into the shade, turning the watch into a coveted collector's item.


Mysterious Time Display

Spring barrels normally turn too slowly for the display of minutes and too fast for the hours. But in the Papillon the timing works differently. Its spring barrels are not firmly tied into the sequence of the movement. As a result the time display can be adjusted by means of the hand setting. In addition, two giant gear wheels with 192 and 175 teeth remove the need for a third wheel. This reduction in the number of wheels and the double spring barrel arrangement result in energy savings which extend the life of the watch enormously.

Fascinating Design

Along with the technical advantages, the unusual design is also astounding. The first thing you notice when looking at the movement is the shape of a butterfly, which seems to arise naturally from the arrangement of the bridges, hence too the watch’s name, Papillon.
Thanks to the special arrangement of the gear wheels, it has been possible to design the watch in an open way, offering the user the special experience of being able to watch the passage of time. The movement assumes the function of design. The consistently applied flowing forms endow the watch with elegance, and are reminiscent of the famous technical masterpieces of the Art Nouveau era.


Expressive Yet Quiet

Constructing a beautiful watch takes time. And it takes patience and endurance to achieve the longed-for perfection. Andreas Strehler combines these virtues most impressively. Anyone who can call a watch by Andreas Strehler his own also possesses the certainty of having discovered something special and unique. The exclusivity, the outstanding engineering and the deliberate understatement of the Papillon do not need to be shouted from the rooftops. The watch speaks for itself, emphasising the unconventional character of the wearer.


Made in Switzerland

Andreas Strehler is the owner of Uhrteil AG in Sirnach, where with a team of twelve experts, watchmakers, technicians and precision mechanics, he pursues his passion. The team not only develops and produces all the movements for the innovative mechanisms itself, but also the machines and computer software needed to make them. Andreas Strehler is convinced that opportunities in the field of "haute horlogerie" are still far from being exhausted. We will just have to wait and see what the visionary comes up with next.




Strehler Opus 7 Video-->Link

Andreas Strehler's Tempered page-->Link


All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link


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Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto - The Vintage Tin Robot Inspired "Mr. Roboto" Prototype from Azimuth

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto - The Vintage Tin Robot Inspired I doubt Styx will be performing their nightmarishly bad 80s classic "Mr. Roboto" in Basel for the unveiling of the Azimuth's new timepiece but I'm sure they could use a gig...

Mr Roboto - Azimuth’s Hallmark Creation from the Mecha–1 BMF Collection

The Revival of the Tin Robot Generation

Fans of the vintage tin robot era can now embrace their fantasy of robotic warrior literally and get their first chance to see Azimuth’s Mr Roboto, prototype watch of the World’s First tin robot concept of the 1950s.


Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto - The Vintage Tin Robot Inspired Vintage 50s Lantern Tin Robots

Decades after World War II saw a proliferation of battery-operated tin robots. Originated from Japan, these whimsical creations demonstrate notions of human behavior. Their flying sparks and mechanical gestures captured the imagination of not just children but adults around the globe. Almost half a century later, original and replica tin robot toys have become a collector’s item.

The design of Mr Roboto was inspired by the Lantern Robot of the 1950s. Azimuth’s designers show that a timepiece’s practical functionality does not have to take a back seat to aesthetic visual designs. Witness the perfect marriage of ingenious design and user-friendly functions, this good-looker is set to be a head-turner at this year’s Basel show. A unique timepiece that transcends time, Mr Roboto aims to revive the passion of the tin robot generation of enthusiasts and enduring science fiction lovers.

Mr Roboto’s visual appeal embodies the full-flavor revival of vintage tin robotic spaceman. The placements lend for easy reading and a radical tin robot visual appearance. The left ‘eye’ is the hour register, right ‘eye’ comes with GMT indication, the nose region joint with the mouth region are the seconds and retrograde minutes placements respectively. Mr Roboto is powered by a modified ETA 2836-2 movement. The robust case is forged out of hardy steel blocks with a warm touch of bevelled edges at the sides of the tonneau shaped timepiece.

True to the name Azimuth, which means route taken by a traveller, Mr Roboto adds to the Azimuth’s Mecha-1 BMF collection of watches which is a synergy of avant-garde design and industrial machismo.

Listed international retail price for the iconic Mr Roboto watch is approximately 4,800.00 Swiss Francs ($4,800). Mr Roboto is available from September 2008.

Specifications:
Movement: ETA 2836-2 Modified Automatic Winding; 25 Jewels
Functions: GMT function; Hours register, Retrograde Minutes, Seconds

Case: 316L stainless steel with Torx drive cheese head tamper resistant screws, Bevelled edges at the sides of the tonneau shaped watch. Magnified hours and GMT functions in the form of convex ‘eyes’,

Dimension 43mm x 50mm with 24mm lugs. Water resistant to 50 meters.

via Timezone

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto - The Vintage Tin Robot Inspired Mr. Roboto CAD renderings

Azimuth watches of previous years (below)

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto - The Vintage Tin Robot Inspired 2007 Azimuth Chrono Gauge Mecha-1 BMF

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto - The Vintage Tin Robot Inspired 2006 Azimuth Gauge Mecha

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto - The Vintage Tin Robot Inspired 20007 Azimuth Round 1 Bi-Retrograde


Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto - The Vintage Tin Robot Inspired 2007 Azimuth SP-1 Mechanique concept watch.


Related posts;
Telechron Robot Clock
Azimuth Chrono Gauge Mecha-1 BMF
Azimuth Gauge Mecha Concept
1980s Transformers Watch Commercials
Insect Lab Studio
Watch Part Motorcycles
All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link


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Clock Teaser - The MB&F HM3Video Interview of Jean-François Ruchonnet of CabestanVintage Watching - Two Very Rare 1970 Helmet Jump Hour WatchesDe Grisogono dG Meccanico Photos from BaselPhinally! Photographs (and Video) of the HD3 Complication Bi-Axial Tourbillon "Vulcania"Raising The Bars - OPUS 8 Mechanical Digital by Harry Winston Rare Timepieces & Frédéric GarinaudThe 2008 Hautlence HLQUrwerk 202 Hammerhead Automatic at 2008 SIHHPapillon by Andreas StrehlerDomo arigato, Mr. Roboto - The Vintage Tin Robot Inspired "Mr. Roboto" Prototype from Azimuth

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