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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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F.P. Journe Sonnerie Souveraine Grand-Strike Clockwatch and Minute Repeater

This is a living breathing creature, not a wristwatch. At first glance, the F.P. Journe Sonnerie Souveraine may not seem out of the ordinary -- except for the profound fact that it comes alive with movement and sound, a mechanical praying mantis striking chiming gongs instead of prey.


Requiring ten patents and six years of development, F.P. Journe explains, "The grand-strike clockwatch is the most complex of horological creations. The greatest difficulty in its construction is to achieve full clockwatch capability from the limited energy available in a wristwatch without compromising on the sound and reliability of the chime."


F.P. Journe is relatively new the independent watchmaking world but he's become an overnight success since the 1999 inception. Comparisons to masters like 19th century watchmaker/inventor Abraham Louis Breguet and
Antonio Stradivari (Stradivarius violins) are certainly piquing the interest of many. And within the insular & ravenous watch collecting world, there exist entire forums dedicated to his brand.

The Sonnerie is priced at 650,000 Swiss Francs with only four made per year (with a waiting list) but the rest of the Journe collection
starts at $19,400 USD.

OMEGAMANIA Preview #1 - 1970 Omega Seamasters "Darth & Anakin"


First of my many previews of the upcoming Omegamania thematic auction by Antiquorum. To be held on April 14th-15th in Geneva, Switzerland...Get those absentee bids in!

The two Omega models here are nicknamed the 'Darth Vader' and 'Anakin Skywalker' - Enormous Seamaster Chronographs produced in 1970 & 71. Cases so large (51mm), the cal. 861 movements are 'suspended' inside between two o-rings allowing maximum shock protection. Part of the 'durable metal' collection - The Anakin bezel is bombarded with Tungsten, a scratch resistant metal and the Darth Vader is appropriately coated in black PVD.





KRONOTYPE MDQS-2 Chronograph


Kronotype, an independent brand created by
Jean-Christophe Sabarthes, Marc Alfieri, Xavier Luvison, and Julien Leroy features some extreme looking chronographs. Most interesting to me is the MDQS-2 (V1) with its long banked sides sinking into the deeply recessed dial, reminding me of the deadly arena of Rollerball, the 1975 film in which war is replaced with a violent futuristic roller-derby sport. Gotta love James Caan in the seventies... The hour indexes of white gold balls only add to that steely vision.

Features;
6AL4V (Grade 5) Titanium case - 44mm
Automatic winding Dubois Depraz 2020 movement
Chronograph with three counters
Limited edition of 750 pieces
Retailing for $8775 USD

The company quote; "If it were for everyone, Wouldn't we have made more?"








James Caan hanging on to the edge of the bezel

Vintage Enicar Watches - Reversing Time in the Sixties & Seventies

Enicar was created when Artiste Racine (Racine Watch Co.) spelled his name backward and created a hearty brand that many people are unfamiliar over 90 years later. A special time existed for Enicar in the sixties and seventies when they developed their own automatic movements & focused on sport watches in addition to the rare odd vintage-modern designs featured here. Holding a special place in my collection, some of these Enicar was the very first vintage watches I ever owned. The Sherpa models are named for the 1956 Swiss Himalayan expedition that relied on Enicar timepieces.

Two crater-shaped models including the faceted space-age 70's Sherpa Star 

And the bark-textured volcano 70's Sherpa Star
1970 Asymmetrical Sherpa 350 & 356 Automatic

1970's Sherpa 320 Automatic
1970s Enicar Automatic Digital Jump Hour
1970's Enicar Automatic Mechanical Digital Jump Hour
1972 Enicar Sherpa Star Rotorwind Automatic
1970's asymmetric Enicar Mantagraph
1970's Enicar Chrono
1965 Enicar Sherpa 'Jet Graph' Chronograph
1970 Enicar Superdive
1950's Enicar Triple Date Moonphase Chronograph

1960's Minimal 'CircleSquare'

MATH WATCHES - Protractor and Slide Ruler Timepieces


Fifties geek-chic with this vintage 1958 Juvenia 'Architecture' watch featuring protractor and ruler hands. Featured in the Brunner/Pfeiffer-Belli book 'Wristwatches'

Their earlier 1945 Juvenia 'Arithmo' Slide Rule Watch


And with the door open to slide-rule watches, the testosterone-fueled leader of the math geeks is the 1973 Heuer 'Calculator.'

1990's Megapode

The Megapode, Ikepod's contribution to the hip mathematician. Is that an oxymoron?
2007 Megapode




Vintage Bullhead Chronographs Like It On Top


Bullhead Chronographs, as they're called, feature the crown and pushers on top of the case instead of the side. Due to the rarity of the configuration, more liberties are taken in regards to the overall design, many dials are angled up for a drivers style and feature unusual dials. A long way of saying they are some of the coolest damn watches made in the sixties and seventies.


1970 Bulova Bullhead (above) with the famous Chronomatic Calibre 11, the first automatic watch with a micro-rotor. Also used in the 1969 Heuer Monaco.
Additional photos here-->Link


1969 Omega Bullhead also featuring the Chronomatic movement. A case that is much wider at the top. Very rare. Link to additional photos-->Link


1970's Seiko Speedtimer sporting a perfect seventies burnt umber fade. A more commonly found vintage Bullhead.



Enormous 70's manual wind Orator Bullhead with massive steel case and gray gradation dial. A very obscure brand and an even more rare model.


1974 Breitling Pupitre is another asymmetrical Bullhead chrono with two-tone brown dial, manual winding Valjoux 7740 movement (also came in auto Caliber 11)



The bully of the Bullheads, the 1972 60mm wide Desotos Chronograph, first featured here-->Link


Another obscure 1970's Bullhead by Fleurier, a giant chunk of metal disguised as a chronograph.


1975 Victor Chronograph, manual winding, angled case, two-tone orange/gray dial.



Two vintage 70s Sorna Chronographs with one common goal...Make you look tough as hell. Above, is the volcano cased model (similar to the Omega Speedmaster Mark III) with multi-color black, orange, green, gray dial.

Below is the even larger triangular Sorna Bullhead with world time.




Chronotastic - Two Unusual Vintage Chronographs


No real need for a wordy blog, just two really special 1970's chronographs by Mondia (above) and 'Chronographe' (below). Both with Valjoux caliber 7734 movements but even more interesting are the designs -- The Mondia with gradation turquoise blue center, graphic asymmetric registers and brushed steel case, the Chronographe with highly unusual tilted diamond shaped dial and cushion case. Both proud recipients of the Watchismo Seal of Approval.



Gerald Genta's Arena Chrono Quattro Retro Watch

Gerald Genta creates amazing 'Wristboards' (dashboards for the wrist). This multiplex of a watch is the Arena Chrono Quattro Retro, featuring four retrograde dials and a jump hour display. Priced around $25,000 (Genta price ranges from 5k - 250k), you might like to add the vintage Chevy featured below with similarly situated dash.


Sport Bi Retro


Since Memphis - Ettore Sottsass for Seiko Watches

Ettore Sottsass, Italian mid-century modern designer for Olivieti (typewriters), Alessi, Artemide, Knoll, and founder of the eighties Memphis Group. He was also an occasional watch designer for Tissot, Seiko, and the current Alessi line. Shown here is a series of watches for the 'Seiko Sottsass Collection' featuring these rare colorful chronographs.





F.P. Journe Sonnerie Souveraine Grand-Strike Clockwatch and Minute RepeaterOMEGAMANIA Preview #1 - 1970 Omega Seamasters "Darth & Anakin"KRONOTYPE  MDQS-2 ChronographVintage Enicar Watches - Reversing Time in the Sixties & SeventiesMATH WATCHES - Protractor and Slide Ruler TimepiecesVintage Bullhead Chronographs Like It On TopA CLOCKWORK ORANGE Chronotastic - Two Unusual Vintage ChronographsGerald Genta's Arena Chrono Quattro Retro WatchSince Memphis - Ettore Sottsass for Seiko Watches

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