close

Watchismo Times | category: digital | (page 3 of 6)

home

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.

watchismo.blogspot.com

The Meandering History of Wandering Hours

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursThe Wandering Hour display (also known as a Floating Hour or Chronoscope) has been around four centuries. In 1656 the Campanus brothers had built a night clock for Pope Alexander XII. In a total innovation, they replaced the then conventional hands with hour figures on rotating discs, which performed a semicircular arc across the clock face. The correct figure appeared at the start of each new hour. It then moved clockwise across the arc of the dial and, depending on its progress, simultaneously marked the quarter or half-hour, which had just passed. Alexander's night pendulum clock was illuminated by an oil lamp so that the pope could see the time in the dark. The concept is that the moving hour display keeps an almost metaphorical count of the passing minutes rising and setting along the hourly arc.

"It is a deceptively simple and elegant system, and it is literally as old as the combination of concentric hours and minutes hands to which we are so accustomed. -- The orbit of the elegantly simple planetary ring, and the epicyclic dance of hour numerals which surrounded it, remained hidden beneath a solid dial." (source)

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursCampani Brothers Tabernacle Night Clock
Late 17th Century --> Link

Below are samples of Wandering Hour watches over the past four centuries. Only during the past few decades have watchmakers realized the full beauty of this display and exposed their dials to reveal the symbolic inner workings as part of the design itself.

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursWatches with wandering hour dials first appeared in the 17th century. In England, they were often commissioned by the King, to be presented to visitors or in recognition of loyalty to the country. The watch above from 1710 is likely the portrait of Frederick I of Prussia (1657-1713) -->Link

One of the earliest watchmakers to adapt this style to a pocket watch was British watchmaker Joseph Windmills. Joseph Antram, watchmaker to the King of England also produced wandering hours like this one-->Link

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursA variation was the 'Sun and Moon' dial. A 1750 Dutch pocket watch by G.Knip (above). Within the inner half ring, a revolving disc is painted with the sun and moon rotating every 24 hours, thereby indicating not only the hour but whether it is day or night. A minute hand was used in the normal circular fashion. -->Link Another model-->Link

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursSideview of the 'Sun Moon' Wandering Hour

The Meandering History of Wandering Hours1820 Chronos Breguet Wandering Hour
Etablissement Mixte series

Typically, four digits appear on three disks, each rotating epicyloidally one quarter while out of view and advancing to the next corresponding hour. The minutes were easily approximated by the hour position within the arc.

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursBreguet Wandering Hour Wristwatch by Gubelin

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursThe Audemars Piguet "Star Wheel" reinvented this system in the early 1990s, creating many variations of wandering hour wristwatches. "Three transparent sapphire disks, or star wheels, are each inscribed with four hour indicators and attached to a rotating center wheel. As the assembly turns, the current hour indicator is rotated into view and then passed across a 120-degree minutes sector. The time is read by noting the visible hour pointing to the current minute." (source) Additional information-->Link

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursStar Wheel Sapphire Disks

Each disk is obscured until it rises into the arc where the background contrasts the digits into legibility.

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursLate 1990s "John Schaeffer Star Wheels"
With Minute Repeater

The Meandering History of Wandering Hours2000 Millenary Star Wheel
125th Anniversary Model

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursVincent Calabrese "Horus"

"The wandering dates conceived by Vincent Calabrese (above & below), The jumping hour hand is displayed in a small window that turns around the dial, showing the minutes passing. There is only one hand on the dial, that of the seconds. The same principle as it applies to the date is a world first." (source)

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursVincent Calabrese "Ottica"

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursAlain Silberstein Wandering Hour "Cyclops"

These orbiting satellite displays have had a few revivals over the past 300 years but only in wristwatches in the past few decades. The brand Urwerk (below) is taking this very old concept to interstellar levels. Their revolutionary wandering hour displays have become three dimensional, the numbers are placed on spinning conical discs or rotating cubes with retractable retrograde pointers.

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursUrwerk's original 101
Inspired by the Campanus Night Clocks
and the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursUrwerk series 102 "Nightwatch"
also known as "Sputnik"

The Meandering History of Wandering Hours
The Urwerk wandering display was just too cool to keep covered.

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursUrwerk 103 series
Their first display with exposed hours

"The innovative rotating satellite complication is the heart and soul of the 103 series of watches. The orbital cross carries the four hour-satellites and an internal Geneva cross governs each of these satellites. Each of the satellite features three hour numbers four hours apart. As a satellite approaches the crown, its Geneva cross engages a pin and rotates the disk 120° for the new hour to take its position." (source)

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursThe Urwerk 201 'Hammerhead'

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursThe Urwerk team evolved their Wandering Hour into cubes and retrograde minutes for the Harry Winston "Opus V."

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursQP Magazine recently featured this public clock in London, The Newgate Clock, possibly the only public wandering hour clock in the world. It was created by horologist Joanna Migdal and inspired by Joseph Windmills original designs. See how it works here-->Link

"The innovation lies not only in the display which evokes the natural course of the sun on the horizon, but also on the original satellite mechanism whose future applications are yet to be discovered." (source)

Related Posts;
Jump Hour Watches
Mystery Dial Watches
Watch History
Retrograde Watches

Find other watches


| Watchismo Blog | Watchismo Shop | Contact Us | Subscribe |


Subscribe to The Watchismo Times
Enter your email

Delivered by FeedBurner

Linde Werdelin Bifometer Instrument Ascent to Everest

Linde Werdelin Bifometer Instrument Ascent to Everest
Linde Werdelin Bifometer Instrument Ascent to Everest
First confirmed free climb - June 25th, 2007

The Linde Werdelin Biformeter and Land Instrument has made history by guiding world leading climbers, Conrad Anker and Leo Houlding, to becoming the first to free climb the famous North East Ridge of Everest. This is the first confirmed true, unaided ascent of the route.

The Linde Werdelin Land Instrument measures heart rate, temperature, altitude, weather and compass readings, principally keeping the expedition team safe whilst measuring how the body reacts to such extreme conditions. Previously, all confirmed ascents using this route to reach the summit have used a ladder bolted to the Second Step of the North East Ridge. The Chinese authorities gave special permission for the removal of the fixed ladder and ropes enabling Houlding and Anker to complete the Second Step very much as Mallory and Irvine might have done 83 years earlier proving that it is very possible that they did reach the summit.


Linde Werdelin Bifometer Instrument Ascent to Everest
via Timezone

Linde Werdelin Site
Altitude Everest Expedition Site
Expedition Biometrics Page


Click here to find other altimeter watches

Click here to find other heart rate monitor watches


| Watchismo Blog | Watchismo Shop | Contact Us | Subscribe |


Subscribe to The Watchismo Times
Enter your email

Delivered by FeedBurner

L.R.D. Light Reflecting Display - Original Amida Digitrend Advertisement



A very rare advertisement of the from the 1976 Basel Fair. Now it's clear that the brand was creatively competing with the electronic digital (LED & LCD) watch market with their "New Generation of Digitals", the mechanical "LRD" (Light Reflecting Display).

The watch was previously featured here-->Link

The Amida Digitrend simply created a hand-wound jump hour digital watch, printed the numbers backward in orange (emulating LED digits), and reflected them sideways through a prism correcting the numbers in the display. Genius!


The reverse-printed dials
Made with a few different names
This one by Hudson


Related Stories;
All Jump Hour Posts
All Digital Posts



The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCD

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCD
The Dynamic Scattering Liquid Crystal Display, the precursor to the common gray 'Field Effect' LCD displays of today. Only produced for two years, they are rarer than most other vintage digital LED watches of the seventies. Digits were low contrast silver and only really visible when looking directly at the watch. Pulling and twisting the crown in either direction sets the watch but you must hold it as it advances just one minute at a time.

Relatively obscure to most collectors, the Dynamic Scattering LCDs were difficult to read, housed in giant cases and frustrating to set time. That's exactly why they're so damn cool.


The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDMathey Tissot (Left)
Roamer MicroQuartz (Right)

Some LCD history (via Smithsonian)
(kinda boring so feel free to skip down to the watch photos below)

Liquid crystals are organic substances that reflect light when voltage is applied.

In a watch display, the liquid crystal material is sandwiched in between two layers of glass. A transparent electrode pattern has been applied on the inner surfaces of the glass in the shape of the digital bars used in the time display. The integrated circuit applies voltage to the appropriate segments of the display, which reflect the ambient light to display the time. These molecules are affected by the voltage in such a way that they contrast sharply with the molecules in the rest of the display that do not receive current. Because LCDs reflect, rather than emit, light, the voltage requirements are quite low.

Scientists have known about liquid crystals since the 1880s.

Scientists have known about liquid crystals since the end of the 19th century, but applications appeared only in the 1960s. Friedrich Reinitzer and Otto Lehmann first noted their behavior and named them in the 1880s. European laboratory scientists came to understand the physics and chemistry of liquid crystals during the 1930s, but it wasn't until the 1960s that investigations began in the United States in both basic research and practical uses for liquid crystals.

LCD watches first appeared in 1970, but the display required improvement.

The first liquid crystal displays were developed in 1968 by a research group at RCA's David Sarnoff Research Center, headed by George Heilmeier. This display was based on the dynamic scattering mode. In 1970 Nunzio Luce, Louis Zanoni, George Graham, and Joel Goldmacher left RCA and joined Optel Corporation, where they developed the first LCD display for commercial purposes, including the digital watch display.

Because the DSM LCDs suffered from relatively high power consumption, limited life, and poor contrast, the search continued for a workable LCD. James Fergason at Kent State invented an improved display based on the twisted nematic field effect in 1969. Fergason left Kent State and formed ILIXCO Corporation to manufacture his display. The first LCD watch with an ILIXCO display was marketed by Gruen. The field effect display is the kind most frequently found in today's LCD products.

Much more can be found in the Pieter Doensen book, "Watch - History of the Modern Wristwatch" -->Link

A visual history of some Dynamic Scattering LCD watches 1972-1974;


The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDUnknown Sideview DS LCD

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDVery rare Spacesonic (Spaceman Audacieuse)


The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCD1972 BWC (from extensive digital collection at Magic Digitals)


The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDDS LCD Quartz Module

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDBWC, Milus, Wyler, Glycine, Ditronic

Other brands that produced DS LCD;
Microma, Optel, Elgin, Nepro, Texas Instruments,
Silvania, Rodania, Titus, Helvetia, Computime,
Richard, Pallas, Sandoz and Zodiac

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDJules Jurgensen OPTCOM 1
Top photo shows the low contrast silver display

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCD
The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDLongines / Swissonic 2000

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDWestclox Quartzmatic





| Watchismo Blog | Watchismo Shop | Contact Us | Subscribe |


Subscribe to The Watchismo Times
Enter your email

Delivered by FeedBurner

Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years

Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few YearsBridging the gap between battery draining LED (light emitting diodes) and the more economical LCD (liquid crystal displays) was a brief period (1974-76ish) when both displays were used in one watch. Their purpose was primarily for displaying the time both day and night as internal lamp functions were not fully developed. Very few brands used this configuration but featured here are most of them...

1975 Longines Gemini II - module by Hughes Aircraft Co. (original advertisement above and detail photos below)

Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years
Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years
1975 Heuer Chronosplit, a sports timer and watch, later made with dual LCD displays. This version is the rarest.

Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years1975 Heuer (pre-Tag) Chronosplit Ad

Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years1976 Helbros

Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years
1976 Longines -->Link

Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years
Croton "Terrestrial" -->Link

Vintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years



| Watchismo Blog | Watchismo Shop | Contact Us | Subscribe |


Subscribe to The Watchismo Times
Enter your email

Delivered by FeedBurner

1970 Sipe Steinheil Digital Spy Camera Watch

1970 Sipe Steinheil Digital Spy Camera Watch
I swear this is my last Spy-Camera-Watch posting for a while...But since so many different variations have existed over the past 120 years, great vintage examples keep appearing. This particular one is of the Quartz age, a 1970 SIPE LED digital watch with Steinheil 2.5/12mm lens, for 7 exposures on special cassette. Actually, it appears to be a Dynamic Scattering Liquid Crystal Display, the earliest form of LCD developed in the late sixties. Either way, it's being auctioned from the WestLicht Photographia Auction House (lot 671). Or on Ebay here-->Link


1970 Sipe Steinheil Digital Spy Camera Watch
1970 Sipe Steinheil Digital Spy Camera Watch
1970 Sipe Steinheil Digital Spy Camera Watch

1970 Sipe Steinheil Digital Spy Camera WatchAlso being offered are two very nice examples of the 1949 Steineck ABC subminiature wrist-cameras. Previously featured here-->Link

All my related Spy Watch posts here-->Link


Click to see modern Spy Cameras

1970 Sipe Steinheil Digital Spy Camera Watch


| Watchismo Blog | Watchismo Shop | Contact Us | Subscribe |


Subscribe to The Watchismo Times
Enter your email

Delivered by FeedBurner

The Latest Cabestan Photographs

The Latest Cabestan PhotographsI've been waiting to see more extensive photos of the Cabestan by Vianney Halter and Jean-François Ruchonnet of the DMC Group. So thanks to SuitbertW who just shot these for The Purists. The Cabestan has yet to go into production (as far as I know) and these prototypes seem to be the only existing specimens so far.

The rolling barreled displays are powered by chain links and fusee wound by a winding winch!

Mechanical specs below photos;

The Latest Cabestan Photographs
The Latest Cabestan Photographs
The Latest Cabestan Photographs
The Latest Cabestan Photographs
A spectacular architecture
(via EuropaStar)

This really spectacular architecture seems to be absolutely original. The mechanical design of the Cabestan, including its tourbillon, is totally transversal. The indications (hour, minute, seconds, and power reserve) appear on the cylinders located at the four “corners” of the watch.
Starting from the lower left, we find the barrel, which transmits its driving power to the movement by the intermediary of a chain. This chain is connected to a second cylinder, at the upper left, made up of one part of a fusee (placed horizontally as opposed to the traditional fusees that are always vertical), and the other of the cylindrical power reserve indicator (a total of 72 hours).

Still on the upper end, but this time on the right, we find two cylinders next to each other, providing the perfectly readable hours and minutes. In the lower right hand corner, we can see the tourbillon, which is also placed vertically and is directly linked to another cylinder, which quite logically gives the seconds indication, as the tourbillon makes one rotation per minute.
This completely original mechanical movement, with manual winding, a fusee and a tourbillon, integrates six ball bearings into its operation. It is also water-resistant to 30 metres. The entire movement is visible from above and from the side, under a double sapphire crystal (“Trimaran” model) with three recessed and curved sides, taking the form of a “hood”, all in a very sturdy design.

Winding the watch and setting the hour and minutes are effected using a winding stem in the form of a movable “winch” that links directly to one of the small “capstans” that are found at the four exterior angles of the case: at the upper left, it acts directly on the fusee and, by the intermediary of the chain, allows the barrel to be wound; at the upper right, it acts on the minute cylinder which is connected to that of the hours. The two other small “capstans” are only there for decoration and to complete the aesthetics of the case. Once the small winch is used, it is easily stored in the buckle of the watch’s bracelet.

Related Posts;
The Other Cabestan
Jacob & Co. Quenttin
HD3 Vulcania
Tag Heuer V4 Beltdrive
Vianney Halter Trio
Vianney Halter Antiqua


| Watchismo Blog | Watchismo Shop | Email Author | Subscribe |



Subscribe to The Watchismo Times
Enter your email

Delivered by FeedBurner

1974 Waltham Jump Hour Chronograph

Rarely do you find a digital jumping hour chronograph, but this rare 1974 Waltham 1376 TDBK (also found by brands Tenor Dorly, Kelek, Sandoz, Elgin, and Precimax) is a rare bird by any name. Likely a face only a mother could love but I'd find myself willing to breast feed this one.


A direct reading chrono with no hands other than the stopwatch and seconds. A digital jump hour display for hours, minutes and date.One of a few 1970s bell-bottom chronographs that will be featured in my upcoming QP Magazine column, 'Watchismo's Timewarp'.

Related posts;
Jump Hour Watches-->Link
Chronographs-->Link

Vintage Watching #2 - 1975 Solid Gold Pulsar LED Calculator Watch

Vintage Watching #2 - 1975 Solid Gold Pulsar LED Calculator Watch
A very rare solid gold Pulsar LED Calculator being sold by Usick-->Link

Originally sold in 1975 for $3750, this model is now priced at $10,000 obo and appears to be near mint. More info.

Can't afford 10k? The stainless steel and gold-fill versions are more accessible-->Link

Related posts;
History of Calculator Watches-->Link
Math Watches-->Link
History of Solar Watches-->Link
James Bond Watches-->Link


| Watchismo Shop | Watchismo Blog | Email Author | Subscribe |



Subscribe to The Watchismo Times
Enter your email

Delivered by FeedBurner

Urwerk Time Bandit - The Opus That Never Was

An original sketch of what might have been the Opus V. Codenamed 'Time Bandit' by Urwerk's Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner, it was an overwhelmingly difficult mechanical concept in which the wearer would engage the slot-machine style lever to activate the spinning digits and form the correct time on the side of the watch.

Even better, Felix Baumgartner describes the conundrum to Wei Koh of Horomundi/Revolution;

"You had to arm it like a slot machine. The time indications were placed on cylinders, but the watch did not show the time until you armed it. Once you released the arming lever these cylinders would turn until they stopped precisely at the right time. It was a completely crazy idea. It was really more complicated than a minute repeater; in fact, the base of this watch was essentially a minute repeater. You had a time telling base caliber and then a system of snail cams and racks like that in a minute repeater. When you armed the watch you would essentially be arming something similar to as strike barrel. But instead of translating the time into hammer strikes on gongs they would operate this one arm bandit like indication. And this indication involved a whole additional mechanism. When conceptualizing the watch we were joking that we were gambling with time, because we didn’t know if it was possible to create in a little over one year. This proved right."


Via Horomundi-->Link
The Complete Urwerk Story-->Link

The actual & highly successful Opus V
Related Urwerk Posts-->Link

Ian Skellern's video below
showing off the action of the watch


| Watchismo Shop | Watchismo Blog | Email Author | Subscribe |



Subscribe to The Watchismo Times
Enter your email

Delivered by FeedBurner

The Meandering History of Wandering HoursLinde Werdelin Bifometer Instrument Ascent to EverestL.R.D. Light Reflecting Display - Original Amida Digitrend AdvertisementThe Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDVintage LED AND LCD - Shacking Up For a Few Years1970 Sipe Steinheil Digital Spy Camera WatchThe Latest Cabestan Photographs1974 Waltham Jump Hour ChronographVintage Watching #2 - 1975 Solid Gold Pulsar LED Calculator WatchUrwerk Time Bandit - The Opus That Never Was

Report "Watchismo Times"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×