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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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All Mechanical Digital - The MECCANICO dG by de GRISOGONO

All Mechanical Digital - The MECCANICO dG by de GRISOGONODe GRISOGONO is about to launch the worlds most complicated Mechanical Digital/Analog watch at Basel 2008. The MECCANICO dG has two time-zones with a traditional analog display on top but one of the more amazing digital displays at the bottom. A pure mechanical digital display imitating LED segments but in fact are rolling tubes! Granted this is a CAD rendering but the real watch will be shown in a few days at Baselworld in Switzerland. I'll be in Basel so stay tuned to The Watchismo Times for the first photos...

All Mechanical Digital - The MECCANICO dG by de GRISOGONO
The Meccanico Press Release;
RETURN TO THE FUTURE!

The inventors and designers of Haute Horlogerie enjoy a rare privilege: the luxury of choice. Existing constructional principles and concepts can of course always be revisited and reinterpreted but a design team can also decide to strike out in an entirely new direction. Founder and president of de GRISOGONO, Fawaz Gruosi naturally favors the second approach. With the MECCANICO dG, the Geneva-based house's latest entry, de GRISOGONO is introducing a design that projects hallowed horological traditions far into the future. With its 651 components, the MECCANICO dG's mechanical movement is one of the most intricate made today. A Haute Horlogerie timepiece with two distinct timezones, it is the first to display both analogue and digital time by mechanical means. This world first - and de GRISOGONO patent! - features a highly complex time mechanism inside a particularly contemporary design.

For his company's fifteenth anniversary, Fawaz Gruosi, founder and president of de GRISOGONO, was determined to break new ground and explore an area no watch manufacturer had ever ventured into: a digital display driven by an exclusively mechanical system. Although it took considerable confidence and even a touch of rashness to involve himself with a project of this kind, Fawaz Gruosi never looked back, intent on leading the brand into uncharted and definitely challenging territory.

With its patented double time display, both analogue and digital, the MECCANICO dG design inaugurates a totally novel concept in mechanical Haute Horlogerie. A single mechanical movement, twin timezones, two types of display - the MECCANICO dG embodies a major innovation, combining for the first time in the history of horology a digital time display and a mechanical power supply.

A NEW DIMENSION

The digital display is a child of the quartz era. At the time, electronics seemed to have won the day and mechanical timekeeping was under threat. Three decades later, magnificently intricate mechanical movements are more in demand than ever and Haute Horlogerie enjoying unprecedented success. The intervening years saw traditional watchmaking recover and reinvent itself. Generating invention after invention, creating ever more stunning, gloriously finished designs, traditional watchmaking has conferred objet d'art status on its most cunningly complex timepieces. Yet up to now, it had never revisited the digital time display. With the MECCANICO dG, this reluctance is now a thing of the past. The design propels horological history forward into a new dimension.

The MECCANICO dG can be described as a dense cluster of microsystems featuring extremely elaborate cam and gear assemblies. Its exclusive de GRISOGONO handwound mechanical movement comprises 651 components. It is composed of an analogue display of the hours and minutes on the upper dial and a digitally displayed second timezone on the lower dial. The mechanically operated digital display of the second timezone shows tens of hours, single hours, tens of minutes and single minutes, all displayed by mobile microsegments driven by an assemblage of 23 cams connected to a set of gears and a triggering and synchronization system.

The time information is displayed by an array of 23 horizontally and vertically positioned microsegments. Vertical segments are 9 mm high and weigh at most 25 milligrams while the horizontal segments measure 2.90 mm in length and weigh only 10 milligrams. The segments have four faces: two opposing visible faces fitted with colored strips and two opposing unmarked faces. Time changes are effected by 90° rotations of the required segment or segments. Involving one to twelve segments, time changes are lightning fast.

GROUNDBREAKING DESIGN

The MECCANICO dG's exclusive Haute Horlogerie technical design is matched by striking contemporary styling. Its intricate mechanical systems are visible through its transparent dial plate. Also featuring colored strips, the analogue time display's hour markers seem suspended in thin air so as to reveal the underlying mechanism. Like every de GRISOGONO movement, the MECCANICO dG's own caliber is meticulously finished and its components blackened. The words “de GRISOGONO” and “Swiss Made” are inscribed directly on the movement while the back of the watch features a nameplate bearing the name “MECCANICO dG”.

Despite the power needed to action the double analogue and digital display and the torque required to effect the instantaneous rotation of the digital display's microsegments, the MECCANICO's handwound mechanical movement, exclusive to de GRISOGONO, provides a power reserve of some 35 hours, visible through a cambered sapphire backplate on a 90° sectoral display on the movement's reverse side.

The MECCANICO dG case does justice to its exceptional movement. Notable for generous dimensions (56 x 48 mm) and camberedlines, water-resistant to 30 meters (~ 100 feet), this pioneering design is available in a choice of styles: titanium, titanium and red gold, titanium and rubber and titanium and platinum. In keeping with the design's futuristic allure, its correctors and the crown guard are fashioned from vulcanized rubber. Its analogue display is set by the crown opposite 3 o'clock while the second timezone is set by a pair of correctors - for hours at left, for minutes at right. Also crafted from vulcanized rubber, the strap is fitted with a deployment clasp buckle featuring the de GRISOGONO crest.

Launched to mark an exceptional horological year at de GRISOGONO, the MECCANICO dG is being produced in a limited edition of 177 watches in titanium and 177 in white gold.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
  • Reference DG 042
  • Caliber Exclusive to de GRISOGONO
  • Movement thickness 11.45 mm
  • Movement dimensions rectangular: 38.10 x 34.70 mm
  • Number of components 651 for the movement, 70 for the case
  • Jeweling 77 (movement and display)
  • Frequency 28,800 v.p.h. (4 Hz)
  • Power reserve about 35 hours
  • Indications Hours, minutes and second timezone
  • Case titanium; 5N red gold; titanium and gold; titanium and platinum, titanium and rubber
  • Water resistance 30 meters (~ 100 feet) = 30 atm.
  • Hands “dauphine” style in 18K red gold
  • Strap black natural rubber
  • Clasp Double deployment construction in titanium and 5N red gold.

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


All Mechanical Digital - The MECCANICO dG by de GRISOGONOvia Horomundi


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The Most Accurate Watch in the World

The Accurate, a watch that fosters humility in the wearer by featuring a mirrored dial to reflect the viewer together with a semi-subtle Memento Mori reminder of your inevitable mortal timeframe. The hour and minute discs spell out "Remember" and "You Will Die".

The dial and rim of the glass on the Accurate is mirrored, so that the wearer is reflected in the watch face (so that there is no ambiguity about who the message is aimed at). The Accurate is a link to the venerable tradition of the Memento Mori - an object designed to remind us that life is brief and that we should seize the moment while we are here.

A statement from artist/designer Crispin Jones about the design of "Mr. Jones Watches":

"Today everyone has a mobile phone to do the really functional timekeeping, this means that the wristwatch is free to do something a bit different. The watches I design reflect and comment on society, both on the role that time plays in all our lives and also on the social impact of technology. Of course because I would like people to wear these watches, I also work very hard to make them beautiful objects in their own right."

Now Available for $145 here-->Link

Also featuring the "Mantra" (below)

The Mantra alternates a very positive statement (e.g. "you are amazing") with a very negative one (e.g. "nobody likes you").Every hour the watch displays one positive message and one negative message (the wedge that you read the statement through is also the hour hand).

Over time The Mantra makes the arrogant person more humble and makes the humble more confident.

The Mantra is inspired by the psychological theories of Émile Coué who promoted the practice of conscious autosuggestion, that is the repeition of positive statements to heal the body or mind; most famously with the phrase "Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better."

MJW Mantra $145 -->Link


And the MJW "Decider" (below)

The Decider is a watch that helps you make decisions: as the seconds tick round you see either the word "YES" or "NO" displayed on the watch face; when you need to make a decision you simply look at your watch for your answer.

If you are inclined to cheat then you can pull out the winding crown which stops the mechanism temporarily giving you an answer with no ambiguity.

The watch can also answer a more complex question - when you receive it tell the watch what you want to know, then wait until the battery runs out - whatever the watch stops on YES or NO is your final answer...

The Decider doesn't necessarily make the right decision every time, but as the American motivational speaker Brian Tracy puts it, "Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women. Almost any decision is better than no decision at all."

or as another contemporary philosopher puts it: "A wrong decision is better than indecision." Anthony 'Tony' Soprano, in "The Sopranos"






Decider $145 -->Link
Animation of watch in motion->link


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Horological Crystal Ball - Sneak Peek into the Near Future

Horological Crystal Ball - Sneak Peek into the Near FutureFrom the looks of it, 2008 might be an interesting year.

More to come...

Chime in with your guesses to who is making this arcane mechanical-digital.


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First Hand Experience with Greubel Forsey's Invention Piece No. 1

First Hand Experience with Greubel Forsey's Invention Piece No. 1Timezoner and collector Kee Yew has purchased one of the coolest timepieces ever made, the Greubel Forsey Invention Piece No. 1. (originally featured here->link) He shares his experience and photos of this limited edition double tourbillon on Timezone-->Link (one of only 22 made)

First Hand Experience with Greubel Forsey's Invention Piece No. 1Close-up of tourbillon-orbiting indicators

The value? Let's just say that for the same price, you could buy a house or the Invention Piece No. 1.

Greubel Forsey website-->Link

See also;
All Greubel Forsey Posts on The Watchismo Times
All Independent Watchmaker Posts
All Tourbillon Posts


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The AlarMe - Personal Wrist Alarm Concept

The AlarMe - Personal Wrist Alarm ConceptDesigner Nikita Golovlev has created a watch for the hearing impaired. AlarMe has the ability to alert those who cannot hear an audible alarm by vibration on the watch. The watch has two built in multidirectional microphones that measure the surrounding ambient sound levels. Once the sound changes frequency, the vibrating alarm alerts the user that there is a situation going on and they need to leave the area. The LED lights and face alert the user as to what the alarm is, and if it is a serious situation or one where only caution needs to be had.

The AlarMe - Personal Wrist Alarm Concept
via Yanko Design

See Also;
All Gadget Watch Posts
All Concept Watch Posts

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VINTAGE WATCHING - 1970 Prototype Concept Calculator Watch by Litronix

VINTAGE WATCHING - 1970 Prototype Concept Calculator Watch by LitronixThis week's "Vintage Watching" presents an opportunity to own a one-of-a-kind chunk of electronic watch history. A 1970's concept calculator watch by Litronix.

Litronix, primarily an LED supplier to the other vintage digital watch brands including the first Hamilton-Pulsar digital watches. Featured here are these two experimental prototype calculator concept watches Litronix was considering for development.

But what makes this strange watch special is the unusual feature of sliders instead of buttons. Likely an attempt to improve the data entry from multiple miniature buttons to a more tactile sliding mechanism. The sliders move over a commutator which is a pc board segment. I assume you move them to the desired number and press down for selection but it sure seems like a waste of time. I guess that's why it never went into production, huh? Maybe someone can let me know if this slider function has ever been developed into another product from that time.

VINTAGE WATCHING - 1970 Prototype Concept Calculator Watch by LitronixThe second model shown here is just a block of metal, likely an earlier prototype of the one above.

The owner auctioning it (ends in less than a week), says he bought them a few decades ago a local watch and clock collectors' meeting. It is non-functional but nevertheless an interesting segment of calculator watch evolution.

VINTAGE WATCHING - 1970 Prototype Concept Calculator Watch by LitronixThree battery compartments on back



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The Earliest Designs of MB&F's HM1 - Birth of the Horological Machine

The Earliest Designs of MB&F's HM1 - Birth of the Horological MachineOffering rare insight to the design process, Ian Skellern of Horomundi has just shared the feature "From Sketch to Machine", showcasing the drawings and evolution of the phenomenal Horological Machine N˚1 --> Link

See the development from Maximilian Büsser's first sketch (above left) on an airplane to the varied concepts (with designer Eric Giroud) for the design, function, and display.

The Earliest Designs of MB&F's HM1 - Birth of the Horological Machine
The Earliest Designs of MB&F's HM1 - Birth of the Horological MachineThe Earliest Designs of MB&F's HM1 - Birth of the Horological Machine
The Earliest Designs of MB&F's HM1 - Birth of the Horological Machine
Related Posts;
Maximilian Büsser

Ian Skellern's Article->Link



Enter The Watchismo Times 1st anniversary vintage chronograph giveway!-->LINK


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The Time of your Life and Death - Mr. Jones Watches

The Accurate, Mantra, Decider, Right or Wrong, and More or Less are all the latest limited edition conceptual timepieces from Mr. Jones Watches.

Last time I featured Mr. Jones Watches-->Link, he had an exhibition-only series of prototype electronic watches developed to explore new cultural expressions, technologies of timekeeping and how they relate to contemporary life. "Each one was the embodiment of a social critique or observation." With a perfect sense of black humor, cultural irony and dry wit, London based Crispin Jones, the man behind the Mister, described his concepts as "work which lives in the intersection between Fine Art and Design - broadly this area is known as Critical Design - using the language and tools of design to articulate a critical perspective."

Now, his latest collection has taken this concept to public consumption. Featuring analog watches with rotating discs, each style of Mr. Jones Watches will be produced in a limited numbered series of 100. (£79.99 each - approx $159) Don't lose any more time, they're close to selling out! And just released this week, a series of Mr. Jones Watch videos by artist Steve Ounanian. Click play on any of the videos below.

The Accurate

The Accurate, evolved from his original Summissus watch, it's a watch that fosters humility in the wearer by featuring a mirrored dial to reflect the viewer together with a semi-subtle Memento Mori reminder of your inevitable mortal timeframe. The hour and minute discs spell out "Remember" and "You Will Die".

Crispin mentioned, "For the Mr Jones Watches project I worked with two other designers (Ross Cooper and Graham Pullin) we took a fairly broad overview of what the watch means to people (as an object rather than as a time keeping tool). For part of the research we tried to look at interesting things which people did in the past, i'm always quite drawn to products which didn't quite succeed in the marketplace." He also let me know that my humble Watchismo websites have been "an invaluable resource for information like this."



The Accurate interpreted by Steve Ounanian->Video

The original "Summissus" from his 2004 one-off series
Site-->Link & Video-->Link

The Mantra alternates a very positive statement (e.g. "you are amazing") with a very negative one (e.g. "nobody likes you"). The Mantra makes the arrogant person more humble and makes the humble more confident.


The Mantra interpreted by Steve Ounanian-->Video

The Decider is a watch for indecisive people - when you need to make a decision you simply look at your watch to see whether it is displaying "YES" or "NO" (if you are inclined to cheat then you can pull out the winding crown which stops the mechanism giving you an answer with no ambiguity).

The watch can also answer a more complex question - when you receive it tell the watch what you want to know, then wait until the battery runs out - whatever the watch stops on YES or NO is your answer...



The Decider interpreted by Steve Ounanian-->Video



Enter The Watchismo Times 1st anniversary vintage chronograph giveway!-->LINK


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The FREAK(s) of Ulysse Nardin

There is no dial, there are no hands, there is no crown, and the movement itself rotates to tell the time. One of the more important developments in the history of watchmaking, the Ulysse Nardin Freak is definitely a new mechanical breed. It's as if the watchmakers lived on The Island of Doctor Moreau. One of the earlier mustations (2003's No.339) is being offered at auction next week-->Link

As explained by HH, "The concept was a technical tour de force, requiring the combined efforts of three of watchmaking’s most renowned engineers. The arrangement of parts was inconceivably unorthodox - it has essentially no true case! The crystal and the bezel are actually part of the movement; the Freak has no crown, no hands and the movement pivoted to indicate time."

No. 339 Freak

And most recently, Ulysse Nardin developed the 'InnoVision' Freak (below). Improving breakthroughs with more extensive use of the light flexible material silicium throughout the movement and 96 non-lubricated ball bearings guide the barrel both vertically and laterally, in fact, the entire watch is now oil/coating/lubrication free.


A chart of the 10 innovations of the InnoVision Freak

If you'd like to attempt a deeper understanding of this wormhole of complexity, continue reading in depth articles here-->Horomundi and-->The Purists or download the PDF's at the Ulysse Nardin's website-->Link

The Freak is the brainchild of Dr. Ludwig Oechslin, as interpreted by Ulysse Nardin's research and production team. "The Freak" is a tourbillon of 7-day duration, without hands or winding crown. In most tourbillons, the balance wheel assembly rotates once per minute in a cage. In the "Freak", the whole movement rotates once per hour, the drive wheel meshing with teeth around the whole circumference of the dial, a similar arrangement mounted below driving the hour wheel. The mainspring is located underneath the movement and spans the entire diameter of the case. The extra large size of the mainspring provides the watch with a power reserve of one week. Winding is accomplished by turning the back of the case anticlockwise. The “Dual Direct Escapement” invented by Dr. Ludwig Oechslin, astronomer, mathematician and master watchmaker. Among his many inventions for Ulysse Nardin are the "Perpetual Ludwig" and the "Trilogy" of astronomical wristwatches. The “Dual Direct Escapement” consists of 2 impulse wheels transmitting the energy directly to the balance wheel; they each rotate in the same direction and connect alternately with the balance. Using the technology of the CSEM (Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique), the 2 wheels at the center of the “Dual Direct Escapement” are plasma-engraved out of single-crystal silicon, the material from which computer chips are made. This technique offers the greatest hardness coupled with low weight."

Source - Antiquorum

Released earlier this year, the "The FREAK DIAMonSIL® in platinum is the first timepiece sporting a synthetic nanocrystal diamond escapement grown on a silicium raw part." (source -> HH)

Ulysse Nardin website-->Link


Be sure to enter The Watchismo Times 1st anniversary vintage chronograph giveway!-->LINK





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Intimate Relations with Greubel Forsey's Multi-Axis Tourbillons

Two new videos featuring the actions of Greubel Forsey's (multi-axis) Tourbillon 24 Secondes Incline and Double Tourbillon 30º.





Video Link

The inventions of Greubel Forsey

And my personal favorite, the Invention Piece no.1

Greubel Forsey website-->Link


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All Mechanical Digital - The MECCANICO dG by de GRISOGONOThe Most Accurate Watch in the WorldHorological Crystal Ball - Sneak Peek into the Near FutureFirst Hand Experience with Greubel Forsey's Invention Piece No. 1The AlarMe - Personal Wrist Alarm ConceptVINTAGE WATCHING - 1970 Prototype Concept Calculator Watch by LitronixThe Earliest Designs of MB&F's HM1 - Birth of the Horological MachineThe Time of your Life and Death - Mr. Jones WatchesThe FREAK(s) of Ulysse NardinIntimate Relations with Greubel Forsey's Multi-Axis Tourbillons

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