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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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Ain't nothin like your first Time - Vintage Kids Watches

HAPPYTIME - 1970's Sears mechanical jump hour with bouncing eyes
1980's Kronoform Robot Watches
"The robot time-machine that can transform, each time, you tell time."


1983 Pac Man Video Game Watch --> Link
(rare version made with a mini joystick)

1966 G.I. Joe Military Watch by Gilbert
Swiss mechanical watch with compass

1965 James Bond 007 Spy Watch by GilbertPreviously featured --> Link


1934 Ingersoll Three Little Pigs & Big Bad Wolf Pocket Watch & Clock
Brick packaging display was genius!
Clock - Rotating Wolf arms grasp for piggies


Related story --> Homemade Pong Watch

World Time Watches: the Earth on your Wrist



The 'Magellan 1521', a modern watch commemorating the explorer Magellan's first circumnavigation around the world. The hands curve the circumference of the globe dial and it's housed under a scratch-resistant sapphire dome - automatic winding movement powering through 'canon' tubes raising the hands unusually high. All these domed timepieces make me wish someone would produce a Logan's Run style wristwatch...

Magellan 1521 detail


Vintage 1970's Edox Geoscope
Earth disk rotates to display time around globe.


'Think the Earth' Globe Watch by Seiko

The Earth itself is the single watch hand rotating as a hemisphere under a crystal dome rotating one revolution every 24 hours. Pinpoint your location and, as their website declares, "Enjoy the leisurely flow of planetary time."

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 Solar Powered Watches - A Partly Cloudy History

Evolution of the Sundial


1. Synchronar - Conceived in the early sixties and first produced in 1968, the first Solar watch ever was invented by the reclusive inventor Roger Riehl. Solar panels on the top with a sideview LED display. Heavily debated within a microcosm of vintage watch collectors as the first digital watch ever. That distinction is commonly given to the 1970's Pulsar LED. 

2. Nepro - 1975 LED with raised display and backside solar panels.


3. Uranus - "This is one of the earliest LED watches in existence. It is one of the very earliest "wearable" wristwatches made by Uranus (approx. 1971) and one of only a few made (hugely expensive to build). It actually predates the Pulsar and launched Uranus into a patent fight with Hamilton (Uranus lost). The thing that makes this watch unique is that it does not use an LSI (large scale integrated chip) but instead is made up of discrete logic and driver chips using hundreds of wire bonds to connect them up. It is truly a packaging marvel. The display is only hours and minutes. The face is divided in half horizontally with the LED in the upper half, the lower half being composed of solar cells in a fan pattern to supplement the battery, all in a gold filled case." by Guy Ball


4. Sicura LCD - 1976 LCD with innovative solution of putting solar panels on the side of the watch.

Sicura Ad


5. Sicura Analog - 1978 Analog version of the same watch.



6. Junghans 'Mega Solar' - 1990's radio-controlled, PVD-coated wristwatch with solar cell, date and integrated radio receiver from one of the most accurate clocks in the world - the Caesium Time Base at Germany’s National Institute of Natural Engineering and Sciences.


7. Citizen Crystron - 1976 "This was the first solar-powered analog wristwatch. It conformed to the conventional design of most analog watches except for the four square gray panels that take up most of the face. This watch began Citizen’s long-term commitment to solar powered watches, which has culminated in the very successful Eco-Drive line of watches." by Soluhr


8. Calcron & Louis Erard Calculator Watches - Mid to late seventies solar calculator watches with side panels. The non-solar Calcron is believed to be the first ever wrist-calculator watch made as originally featured here-->Link


9. Cristalonic 'Solar Quartz' by GmbH - 1980's LCD with an asymmetric black plastic case.

Cristalonic Advertisements


10. Lorus - 1980's solar LCD. A division of Seiko.

Sadly, development of the modern light-powered watch, like the Citizen Eco-Drive, eliminated the need for innovative visual configurations as solar panels now absorb light through traditional watch dials. It was fun while it lasted...

First Bite of the Hammerhead - Urwerk 201 Watch Release


Urwerk's 200 collection has just been unveiled! Stealthily solid and exposed like Wonder Woman's invisible jet, the 'Hammerhead 201' is a feat of micro-mechanics my mind is having trouble processing. Announcing shocking new features like the telescopic minute hands that extend and retract from the now iconic 'Urwerkian' hour display of three orbiting and rotating cubical hour satellites. Really difficult to grasp the complexity and beauty unless you can see it function live. If they ever make a video or animation available, I'll be sure to post it here.

Basically, time is displayed by the three-hour cubes with four numbers printed on each. They spin normally and are tripped to rotate as they line up with the 'erection' of the minute hand that grows from the bottom cube pointing to the corresponding minutes that arc at the bottom of the dial. As mentioned in a previous entry, the Hammerhead 201 is a blend of the Urwerk 103 Series and the Opus V project.

Other features include power reserve meter, day/night indicator, and a special highlight is the Control Board on the back which includes an oil change indicator notifying when servicing is needed (three years of usage), fine-tuning screw, and the worlds first 100 Year Plus indicator, an odometer keeping track of the total time of usage.

Again, another watch I'd love make out with.


Control Board



Orbiting Hour Satellites & Telescopic Minute Hands


Astronomic Watches by Christiaan van der Klaauw


Literally out of this world, the classic-cased timepieces by Dutch watchmaker Christian van der Klauuw are astronomically complicated. Inconceivably measuring everything from the position of the planets, the constellations, worldwide sunrises, sunsets, solar and lunar eclipses. Each model is handmade by Christiaan himself resulting in a very limited edition of each. Originally an astronomical clockmaker, the watches were developed after he miniaturized his own highly complicated movements.


Self-lauded as the smallest planetarium in the world, the obviously named 'Planetarium' features a heliocentric revolution of the planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). 


His most recent invention introduced at the 2006 Basel World, the 'Venus' features a very animated dial with separately rotating Earth & Moon and Venus orbiting the Sun amidst the Constellations.


Frighteningly complex, the 'Astrolibium' measures celestial bodies and constellations. 

Astrolibium Guide


A variation of the Astrolibium, the 'Mondial CK1' is customized to where you are located on the globe and features a sunrise/sunset gauge for the rest of the planet. 



One of Christiaan van der Klaauw's original Astronomical Clocks which ultimately led to his miniaturized mechanical universe.

Lurking In the Water - Urwerk's Hammerhead


Soon to be unveiled, Urwerk's latest 201 series, a variation and marriage of sorts of their Harry Winston Opus V and the Urwerk 103 collection. The love child will be named "Hammerhead." Entirely unique with new complications, Hammerhead will also have characteristics and features leaving no mistake who his parents are.


Jacob Jensen Beowatch for Bang & Olufsen



Top designer of Danish Hi-Fi at Bang & Olufsen since the late sixties, Jacob Jensen created the Beowatch (wristwatch & remote controller) for the Beocenter stereo system. Incredibly scarce today as it appears to have been produced for a very short time.
His sleek geometro-futuristic designs for B&O and his own company Jacob Jensen Design are part of the MOMA permanent collection in addition to his own solo exhibition.

The Beowatch has angular curvexing that reminds me of the Sinclair Radio Watch.

1974 Beogram 4000 turntable
Excerpt from 1999 MOMA article;

"The appearance of most audio equipment is seldom given thoughtful attention, and its impact on the domestic interior is frequently ignored. For this turntable, Jensen applied strict aesthetic criteria, emphasizing a horizontal profile and the clarity of basic geometric forms. Jensen, who has designed products for Bang & Olufsen since the late 1960s, dislikes conventional dials and knobs, and frequently reinvents the way in which controls appear and are used. His turntables are distinguished by an innovative use of a tone arm that moves tangentially, rather than diagonally, over the plane of the record."

Jacob Jensen's 1984 Concept Automobile, the "Logicar"


Ain't nothin like your first Time - Vintage Kids WatchesWorld Time Watches: the Earth on your WristMATH WATCHES - Protractor and Slide Ruler TimepiecesA CLOCKWORK ORANGE Vintage Solar Powered Watches - A Partly Cloudy HistoryFirst Bite of the Hammerhead - Urwerk 201 Watch ReleaseAstronomic Watches by Christiaan van der KlaauwLurking In the Water - Urwerk's HammerheadJacob Jensen Beowatch for Bang & OlufsenLost, Hot & On Time - Vintage Compass Thermometer Watches

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