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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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The Hands of Time - 25 Year Anniversary of the AHCI Académie Horlogère Des Créateurs Indépendants

The Hands of Time - 25 Year Anniversary of the AHCI Académie Horlogère Des Créateurs IndépendantsThe Hands of Time, by watchmaker Peter Speake-Marin and watch journalist Ian Skellern, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the AHCI by chronicling the academy’s history and providing biographies and photographs of 31 current members. The members include some of the independent watchmaking and clockmaking world's best... Felix Baumgartner of Urwerk, Svend Andersen, Vincent Calabrese, Aaron Becsei, Robert Bray, Philippe Dufour, Paul Gerber, Beat Haldimann, Vianney Halter, Francois-Paul Journe, Christian Klings, Rainer Nienaber, Aniceto Pita, Thomas Prescher, Antoine Preziuso, Peter Speake-Marin, Andreas Strehler, Christiaan Van der Klaauw, Kari Voutilainen, Volker Vyskocil, and more worth discovering

Just released! Order the book here-->AHCI Book

The Hands of Time - 25 Year Anniversary of the AHCI Académie Horlogère Des Créateurs Indépendants
The Hands of Time - 25 Year Anniversary of the AHCI Académie Horlogère Des Créateurs Indépendants

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Watchismo's Top Ten Vintage Plastic Watches

Watchismo's Top Ten Vintage Plastic WatchesTypically, when you think of plastic watches, you think of Swatch. But back in the sixties and seventies, plastic was still a very cool new medium for products. All of the watches featured here are vintage mechanical timepieces, a few with movements by Jaeger and others with automatic winding mechanisms. But overwhelmingly, they are all interesting designs and truly obscure models that you are likely to never find in a lifetime of collecting.

Above, a simple watch with oversized arrows for hands. The case is a somewhat oblong triangle.

Watchismo's Top Ten Vintage Plastic WatchesThis is by a brand called appropriately "Handcuff", this thing is as large as they come and I first read about it in Pieter Doensen's fantastic (out of print) book "Watch - History of the Modern Wrist Watch". I was lucky enough to meet with Pieter back in 2001 and purchased the exact model used for publication. Thanks again Pieter, it's in a safe place!

Watchismo's Top Ten Vintage Plastic WatchesAh, again discovered in the Doensen book, this Record Automatic (by Longines) was an amazing find on Ebay about 8 years ago...brand new in box, unfortunately too small for my wrist, made for women. Probably for the best as I would likely have the balls to wear this in public.

Watchismo's Top Ten Vintage Plastic WatchesThe Helmet Jump Hour, not much to say here other than "look at that friggin movement!". Insane. I featured this a while back-->link

Watchismo's Top Ten Vintage Plastic Watches
Watchismo's Top Ten Vintage Plastic WatchesPart of watchmaking history, the Tissot Astrolon Idea 2001, the worlds first all plastic watch, including the movement. For more info, go here-->link

Watchismo's Top Ten Vintage Plastic WatchesAnd some of my absolute favorite watches to collect but hardly ever wear, the Pierre Cardin 1971 collection (shown above and below). Produced for just for one year, these fantastic watches had manual winding Jaeger movements and designs (both platic and steel) like no other! For more, go here-->link

Watchismo's Top Ten Vintage Plastic Watches
Watchismo's Top Ten Vintage Plastic WatchesThe beautiful disc/hand dials of the vintage Mondia Moonstone

Watchismo's Top Ten Vintage Plastic WatchesThe only plastic watch shown here made for kids, featuring gadgets for spying (expandable eyesights, etc) and a manual winding movement with an ingenious display for showing the hour through a rotating hole, for more go here-->link

Watchismo's Top Ten Vintage Plastic WatchesThese plastic watches by Nivada are deceiving, the photos do not express their monster size, they measure approximately 70mm wide! The straps would usually match the dial, for more go here-->link

And for related plastic wristwatch posts.
..

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Art experts think they may have found the world's oldest painting to feature an image of a watch.

Art experts think they may have found the world's oldest painting to feature an image of a watch.The portrait was painted in around 1560

Art experts think they may have found the world's oldest painting to feature an image of a watch.

The Science Museum is investigating the 450-year-old portrait, thought to be of Cosimo I de Medici, Duke of Florence, holding a golden timepiece.

Curators have sent their findings to renaissance experts at the Uffizi gallery in Florence, and are awaiting their comments.

The painting is being shown as part of the museum's Measuring Time gallery.

The first watches appeared shortly after 1500 in Germany and horologists believe the picture, painted by renaissance master Maso da San Friano around 1560, "may well be the oldest to show a true watch".

Coat of arms

Science Museum curator Rob Skitmore said the watch was thought to be from southern Germany.

"As Cosimo was a great patron of science and technology, it is entirely likely he would have owned a watch of this kind which he displays here with pride," he said.

"The picture shows the close linkage between science and art, especially in those days."

The painting has been in the museum's collection for 33 years after being acquired from a private donor.

As it was being taken out of storage for the gallery, curators decided to research the painting - which was when they made their discovery.

The clue to the painting's identity came when Mr Skitmore realised a seal containing the Medici coat of arms was on the back of the canvas.

He said: "In our painting Cosimo would have been about 41 and his appearance is entirely consistent with a later view of him from 1574."

The Measuring Time gallery traces the history of timekeeping and contains one of the biggest collections of clocks in Britain.

via BBC

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BONNNGG! Big Ben's 150th Anniversary - Alex Doak Goes Inside for The Watchismo Times

BONNNGG!  Big Ben's 150th Anniversary - Alex Doak Goes Inside for The Watchismo TimesThe Watchismo Times contributor Alex Doak scales Big Ben for a right royal ear bashing

BONNNGG!  Big Ben's 150th Anniversary - Alex Doak Goes Inside for The Watchismo Times

“Truly impressed – and I’m a watch geek, so that’s saying something”

In retrospect, that was probably rather a sarcastic thing to write in the Palace of Westminster’s visitor book, but I was genuinely bowled over by my experience last Sunday, despite the early hour and my late night before. From scaling all 334 steps of the Great Clock Tower and watching Dent’s mighty movement whirring away with its governor fans click-clacking overhead; to peering out of those world-famous clock faces across a sprawling, sunkissed London town, before standing mere inches from Big Ben and its four melodic counterparts as they bonged-out 10 o’clock – this was tantamount to the Hajj for this watch anorak. Desperate to immerse ourselves fully in the Big Ben experience, my mate Pete and I even spurned the offer of ear plugs, bearing the full force of that 13.7-tonne bronze bell at point-blank range (audible for four and a half miles) and bathing in the deep, subsonic resonance of the iron infrastructure for minutes after the tenth bong had faded. Not even the strains of YMCA, pounding out from the finish line of a 10km fun run on Westminster Bridge below could detract from this most reverent of horological experiences.

Although any UK resident can write to his or her MP and request a guided tour of Big Ben (smug pedants be gone, by the way – it’s now officially acceptable to refer to the whole clock by the big bell’s popular nickname) mine was actually one of several being held this summer in celebration of Big Ben’s 150th anniversary. In an age when the most obscure of milestones are hyped beyond comprehension (40 years since the Moon landing? Why 40?) it’s amazing so little has been made of Big Ben’s one and a half centuries – especially when you consider what an icon this clock actually is. No clichéd Hollywood establishing montage of London would be complete without a policeman / vicar / Hugh Grant cycling past the Clock Tower; Radio 4’s hourly news broadcasts would surely lack all gravitas without its opening salvo of bongs; London’s skyline would merely be anodyne without SW1’s tower (paired with EC1’s St Paul’s dome of course).

Once through the airport-style security gates and duly reminded with an air of forboding that this tour was not for the physically infirm or claustrophobic, we commenced our ascent of the Tower – a phallic masterpiece positively bulging with history.

BONNNGG!  Big Ben's 150th Anniversary - Alex Doak Goes Inside for The Watchismo Times

The view from the bottom of the 334 steps. Deep breath…

BONNNGG!  Big Ben's 150th Anniversary - Alex Doak Goes Inside for The Watchismo Times

The view from the top. Well worth the slog


Denison and Dent’s Clock

It all began with a terrible fire, which destroyed most of the Palace of Westminster in 1834. Out of the 97 designs submitted for the new Palace, master Gothic architect Sir Charles Barry’s was successful and construction of the Clock Tower began in September 1843. Barry was no clockmaker though, and he sought advice from the Queen’s Clockmaker and good buddy, Benjamin Lewis Vuillamy.

Other respected clockmakers, such as the marine chronometer pioneer Edward John Dent, wanted the chance to be involved though, and disputes quickly broke out (this was to set the tone for the entire project – by completion, the chief contractors for the Tower had been reduced to corresponding via letters in The Times). In 1846 therefore, a competition was held to decide who should build the clock. Astronomer Royal, Sir George Airy – who had awarded Dent’s first commission in 1814 to build the Admiralty’s Standard Astronomical Clock – was appointed referee and set out unprecedented standards for the clock to meet.

These included:

· the first stroke of each hour to be accurate to within one second

· the clock’s performance to be telegraphed twice a day to Greenwich Observatory

Airy’s demanding standards led to delays that lasted seven years. Most master clockmakers of the day complained that such a level of accuracy was impossible for a clock of its size – at 4.2m and 2.7m, and 100kg and 300kg, the minute and hour hands are particularly susceptible to the elements, acting as windmills on all four clock faces, feeding unwanted energy from the rain and wind back into the delicate movement. The best that could be hoped for, they said, was three minutes a day.

Airy appointed Edmund Beckett Denison – barrister, MP and gifted amateur horologist –to design the clock, then in February 1852, Dent was appointed to build the clock to Denison’s own design, mostly because his quote of £1,800 was half that of Vulliamy’s, but also because Dent had made an impression the year before with a turret clock on display at London’s Great International Exhibition. It won the Council Medal for Horology and after the Exhibition it was erected at King’s Cross Station, where it remains (and where the revived Dent watch brand received its latest public clock commission, for the Eurostar terminal).

Dent died in 1853 and his stepson, Frederick, completed the clock in 1854 for a final bill of £2,500. Working along similar lines to a grandfather clock, it is regulated by a 2-second, 4.4m pendulum and powered by three stone weights totalling 2.5 tonnes, which are wound up on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

BONNNGG!  Big Ben's 150th Anniversary - Alex Doak Goes Inside for The Watchismo Times

If you watch Dent’s Big Ben clock movement long enough, you’ll eventually figure out how it all works, so logically is everything laid out. Watchismo Times regulars probably won’t resist comparing its lateral array with Ruchonnet’s Cabestan

BONNNGG!  Big Ben's 150th Anniversary - Alex Doak Goes Inside for The Watchismo Times

The “governor” fans above the movement use air resistance to regulate the rate with which the chiming mechanism unwinds

Crucially, Dent’s clock is accurate to within one second per day – just as Airy wanted ­– and as such Big Ben remains the largest and most accurate striking mechanical clock in the world.

BONNNGG!  Big Ben's 150th Anniversary - Alex Doak Goes Inside for The Watchismo Times

Pre-decimal-currency pennies are still used by the Palace of Westminster’s three appointed clockmakers to regulate the clock mechanism: adding one penny causes the clock to gain two-fifths of a second in 24 hours.

The achievement of such accuracy was partly thanks to the British government’s perennial inability to get anything done on time (or budget). The Clock Tower’s construction was delayed for 5 years, and until its installation in 1859, Dent’s 5-tonne behemoth of a mechanism was kept at his factory on the Strand. In the meantime, Denison tinkered, most notably inventing the 'Double Three-legged Gravity Escapement' in the process (later known as the Grimthorpe Escapement when Denison was made Baron Grimthorpe in 1886). Since used in turret clocks all over the world, this revolutionary mechanism is key to Big Ben’s world-beating accuracy, ensuring the swing of the pendulum is unaffected by the weather’s influence on the hands. In an agonizingly simple but revolutionary manner, Denison’s gravity escapement isolates the pendulum from the going train. The energy from the going train alternately lifts two rocking gravity arms, which, when falling, give constant and independent impulses to the pendulum.

This Flash animation showing the inner workings of Big Ben, is brilliant -->
Click here

BONNNGG!  Big Ben's 150th Anniversary - Alex Doak Goes Inside for The Watchismo TimesNo photography allowed up the Tower – but I managed to sneak in a clandestine snap (above) with my mobile in the space between the clock room and the clock faces. Each face is 7m in diameter and has 312 separate pieces of pot-opal glass panels framed by gun metal. Illumination of each dial is performed in a delightfully rudimentary manner by a bank of 28 oversized energy-efficient bulbs at 85W each. Lifetime of each bulb is 60,000 hours

BONNNGG!  Big Ben's 150th Anniversary - Alex Doak Goes Inside for The Watchismo Times

The Bells! The Bells!

Denison also became involved in the design of the bells for the clock, in particular Big Ben. Until the Westminster clock tower, the largest bell ever cast in Britain was Great Peter in York Minster, weighing 10.3 tons. (Now, Big Ben is only superseded in Britain by Great Paul at St Paul’s Cathedral down the road.)

But Denison was adamant that his own design, method and alloy recipe would allow a larger bell to be created. Eventually, a 16-ton monster was cast at the Warner & Sons foundry in Stockton-on-Tees in August 1856. Too wide to be transported by rail, it arrived at the Port of London by sea, from where it was pulled across Westminster Bridge by 16 white horses.

The bell was hung in New Palace Yard. It was tested each day until 17 October 1857 when a 1.2m crack appeared. No-one would accept the blame. Theories included the composition of the bell’s metal or its dimensions. Warners blamed Denison for insisting on increasing the hammer’s weight from 355kg to 660kg.

Warners asked too high a price to break up and recast the bell so George Mears at the Whitechapel Foundry was appointed. The second bell was cast on 10 April 1858.

This bell was 2.5 tonnes lighter than the first. Its dimensions meant it was too large to fit up the Clock Tower’s shaft vertically so Big Ben was turned on its side and winched up. It took 30 hours to winch the bell to the belfry in October 1858. The four quarter bells, which chime on the quarter hour, were already in place.

BONNNGG!  Big Ben's 150th Anniversary - Alex Doak Goes Inside for The Watchismo Times

Big Ben rang out on 11 July 1859 but its success was short-lived. In September 1859, the new bell also cracked and Big Ben was silent for four years. During this time, the hour was struck on the fourth quarter bell. The dispute went public and resulted in two libel cases against Denison, who was found to have befriended one of the technicians at the foundry, got him drunk and bullied him into giving false testimony that the fault had been due to poor workmanship and concealed filler. The cantankerous lawyer lost both cases and a close examination of Big Ben in 2002 found that there was no filler in the bell. As one contemporary of Denison put it: "Zealous but unpopular, self-accredited expert on clocks, locks, bells, buildings as well as many branches of law, Denison was one of those people who are almost impossible as colleagues, being perfectly convinced that they know more than anybody about everything - as unhappily they do."

In 1863, a solution was found to Big Ben’s silence by Sir George Airy, the Astronomer Royal:

· Big Ben was turned by a quarter turn so the hammer struck a different spot

· the hammer was replaced by a lighter version

· a small square was cut into the bell to prevent the crack from spreading

The total cost of making the clock and bells and installing them in the Clock Tower reached £22,000.

BONNNGG!  Big Ben's 150th Anniversary - Alex Doak Goes Inside for The Watchismo TimesThere are four quarter bells each weighing between 1 and 4 tonnes

The famous “Westminster chimes” – emulated on a smaller scale by Grande Sonnerie wristwatches – are struck by four quarter bells positioned around Big Ben tuned to G, F, E and B. Their tune is based on Handel’s Messiah, a phrase from the aria I Know that My Redeemer Liveth. They were set to verse and the words are inscribed on a plaque in Big Ben’s clock room:

All through this hour

Lord be my Guide

That by Thy Power

No foot shall slide

Why “Big Ben”?

Officially, the Clock Tower’s bell is called the Great Bell though it is better known by the name 'Big Ben'.

There are two theories for this name’s origin. These are that the Great Bell was:

· named after Sir Benjamin Hall, First Commissioner for Works 1855-1858, whose name is inscribed on the bell

· named after Ben Caunt, a champion heavyweight boxer of the 1850s

The first theory is thought to be the most likely.

BONNNGG!  Big Ben's 150th Anniversary - Alex Doak Goes Inside for The Watchismo TimesStop – Hammer Time!

Stoppages are rare, but the most notable are:

2007: the longest suspension of the hour strike (Big Ben) since 1990. Big Ben's famous 'bongs' were silent for seven weeks in 2007, allowing essential maintenance work on the clock mechanism to take place. From 11 August to 1 October, an electric system kept the clock moving, but Big Ben, the name for the Great Bell, and the quarter bells were quiet. This was the final phase of a programme of planned works to prepare for the Great Clock's 150th anniversary in 2009.

October 2005: The clock mechanism was also suspended for two days in to allow inspection of the brake shaft.

Over the years, the clock has been stopped accidentally on several occasions - by weather, workmen, breakages or birds. The most serious breakdown occurred during the night of 10 August 1976 when part of the chiming mechanism disintegrated through metal fatigue, causing the mechanism to literally explode under its own immense forces, dropping its weights to the base of the Tower with a noise that the policeman on duty initially reported as being an IRA bomb. The Great Clock was shut down for a total of 26 days over nine months - the longest break in operations since it was built - until it was fully repaired.

The Secret’s Out

But despite Big Ben’s remarkable, unflagging accuracy, one burning question remains: how is it checked? Mike McCann, who rejoices in the title of Keeper of the Great Clock, gives a slightly embarrassed laugh when he is asked. The answer is that he does what everyone else does: he rings up the speaking clock. He does so from the phone in the clock room at five to the hour precisely, starting a stopwatch on the third pip, and then goes up the belfry to see when the hammer on Big Ben strikes the hour. Simple, if not technologically sophisticated.

See also on Watchismo: Alex Doak’s report on modern Dent’s most recent public clock commission

Sources:
www.bigben.parliament.uk
www.dentwatches.com
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/bong-a-change-of-tune-at-westminster-481163.html
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5425798.ece

Related "Alex Doak" Posts at The Watchismo Times;
UnBNBelievable - Confrérie Horlogère
Sarpaneva's Black Moon Rising
Plenty of Scratches but only one Dent


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Ratpack Watches of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. up for Auction

Antiquorum’s summer sale of “ Important Collectors’ Wristwatches Pocket Watch & Clocks” on June 11th auction will include timepieces from twentieth century icons President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Steve McQueen in addition to an exceptional selection of wristwatches from every major brand. The auction will be held at Antiquorum’s US headquarters on Madison Avenue. Clients will have the opportunity to view these exquisite, and in some cases unique, timepieces all over the world including Tokyo, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and New York.

Amongst the items being auctioned are:

Ratpack Watches of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. up for Auction

Of interest for the Frank Sinatra fan is the legendary crooner’s Gruen watch and gold chain necklace. This timepiece is a fine and very thin14K pink gold wristwatch with a pink gold-plated brick link bracelet and is accompanied by a 49 cm gold-plated necklace with 12 letter-links spelling “Frank Sinatra.”

The watch was sold by the estate of Al Silvani who received it as a gift from Frank Sinatra, his close personal friend. Silvani spent a lot of time with Sinatra's Rat Pack and appeared in a number of his movies.Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 15,000


Ratpack Watches of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. up for Auction
Sammy Davis Jr.’s Cartier Pasha in the June sale. It was given to him by his best friend Frank Sinatra in the late 1980’s, and is inscribed, “Sammy I Luv Ya F.A.S.” The Cartier, "Pasha Quartz - Two-Time-Zone," Ref. 0321 will be offered along with a 1990 People magazine celebrating the life of Sammy Davis and featuring him on the cover wearing the watch and a scrap book of Sammy Davis related news clippings from 1970 to 1973. The timepiece is a fine and rare, two-time-zone, water-resistant, 18K yellow gold quartz wristwatch with moon phases, day and date, produced in 1987.
Estimate: $10,000 - $ 20,000

Ratpack Watches of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. up for Auction
The 14K gold Movado watch retailed by Tiffany and Co. that was given to President Roosevelt on the occasion of his 63rd and last birthday by his son-in-law, Col. John Boettiger on January 30, 1945 will most certainly be of interest to FDR fans and Movado aficionados alike. This timepiece is a unique and historically important Movado Ref. 44776 with triple date calendar, produced in 1944 accompanied by correspondence authenticating FDR’s memorabilia.


President Roosevelt, known as FDR, was the celebrated 32nd President of the US and the only President in US history to serve four terms (1933-1945). Recognized as one of the greatest American Presidents of all time, his Presidency spanned the Depression of the 1930’s and World War II. The watch was worn by FDR during the last two months of his life, including perhaps to the Yalta Conference in February, 1945 and he may have been wearing this watch when he died on April 12, 1945 at Warm Springs, Georgia. In 2008, the Movado-Tiffany watch was part of a Presidential display for the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors timepiece collection. Antiquorum experts estimate this fine and historically important timepiece at $ 50,000 - $ 60,000.


Ratpack Watches of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. up for Auction
Fans of the legendary actor, Steve McQueen and race car enthusiasts will also be very interested in the upcoming June sale as it will include the iconic Heuer “Monaco” wristwatch previously owned by Steve McQueen and worn by him during the filming of the 1971 movie “Le Mans”. Steve presented the watch to his financial advisor upon his return home from filming in appreciation for financially restructuring both himself personally and his company, Solar Productions Inc.

The Monaco watch was originally launched by Heuer in 1969 in honor of the Monaco Grand Prix. The watch is a fine and unusual, square convex, water-resistant, stainless steel self-winding wristwatch with chronograph and date. Antiquorum Experts have placed a pre-sale estimate of $ 10,000 - $ 20,000.

View the entire Antiquorum Catalog for this auction.

Related Famous Watch Posts at The Watchismo Times;


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Secret Message in Abraham Lincoln's Pocket Watch


Hidden Message Found in Lincoln Pocket Watch

By Neely Tucker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 10, 2009; 5:40 PM

For nearly 150 years, Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch has been rumored to carry a secret message, supposedly written by an Irish immigrant and watchmaker named Jonathan Dillon.



Dillon, working in a D.C. watch repair shop in 1861, told family members that he -- by incredible happenstance -- had been repairing Lincoln's watch when news came that Fort Sumter had been attacked in South Carolina. It was the opening salvo of what became the Civil War.


Dillon told his children (and, half a century later, a reporter for the New York Times) that he opened the watch's inner workings and scrawled his name, the date and a message for the ages: "The first gun is fired. Slavery is dead. Thank God we have a President who at least will try."

He then closed it up and sent it back to the White House. Lincoln never knew of the message. Dillon died in 1907.


The watch, meanwhile, was handed down and eventually given to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958. It didn't run anymore. No one had pried open the inner workings in ages. The old watchmaker's tale was just that.

And then Douglas Stiles, Dillon's great-great grandson, alerted Smithsonian officials to the family legend last month. He was a real-estate attorney in Waukegan, Ill., he explained. He'd heard the legend around the dinner table as a kid, but had just discovered a New York Times article from 1906, quoting Dillon as telling the story himself.

Truth? Lore?

This morning, in a small conference room on the first floor of Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, officials decided to find out. Expert watchmaker George Thomas used a series of delicate instruments -- tweezers, tiny pliers -- to pull apart Lincoln's timepiece. He put on a visor with a magnifying lens and talked as he worked. Some of the pins were nearly stuck, he explained. The hands of the watch were original with a case made in America and the workings from Liverpool. The Illinois rail-splitter had splurged: The watch, Thomas said, would be the equivalent to a timepiece costing "$5,000 or more" today.




And then he pried off the watch's face, pulled off the hands, and turned it over to see the brass underside of the movement.

The audience, watching on a monitor, gasped.

Split into three different sections to get around the tiny gears, was this razor-thin etching: "Jonathan Dillon April 13, 1861. Fort Sumter was attacked by the rebels on the above date. Thank God we have a government."

The old man's memory had not been exact. He had not forecast the end of slavery, or Lincoln's critical role in its demise.

But it was there, a little bit of history that had been resting on Lincoln's hip, unseen during those tumultuous days of war and rebellion, the Emancipation Proclamation and the rest, and then resting, unseen, for more than a century and a half.

Stiles was delighted. "That's Lincoln's watch," he said after putting it down, "and my ancestor wrote graffiti on it!"


via The Washington Post and The National Museum of American History

Related Posts at The Watchismo Times;
Mohatma Gandhi Wristwatch Auction
All Historical Watch Posts


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Joseph "Joey Bananas" Bonanno and Mahatma Gandhi Watch Auctions

Joseph The cast for the next Hollywood buddy film? I wish. Actually, these two polar opposites are being tied together with an upcoming auction of their timepieces.

On the left, everyone's favorite non-violent resistor Mohatma Gandhi - To his right, the original gangster and supreme leader of the New York crime family, Joseph "Joey Bananas" Bonanno.

Impress your family and friends with the ultimate Yin and Yang of time. After making a killing with Albert Einstein's wristwatch, Antiquorum will be auctioning this "Godfather Clock" and "Pocket Peace" in early March, 2009.

Joseph
Giuseppe Bonanno Watch

A yellow gold Patek Philippe, Ref. 1516, that belonged to the late Giuseppe Bonanno, Sr. (the “Godfather” of the Bonanno crime family) is also included in Antiquorum’s upcoming auction. It is a fine, extremely rare and important, 18K yellow gold wristwatch, which is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from his daughter, Catherine Bonanno.

Mr. Bonanno was an original member of the “Commission,” founded in 1931, whose purpose was to establish rule by consensus among the crime families. Other members included the leaders of the Five New York Families: Charlie Luciano , Joseph Profaci , Gaetano Gagliano and Vincent Mangano. It is thought that the character of “Vito Corleone” in Mario Puzo’s novel, “The Godfather” was inspired by Bonanno. The watch was given to him by Charlie “Lucky” Luciano in 1957 in Sicily.

Estimate: $ 5,000-$ 8,000.

Joseph
Gandhi Pocket Watch

In addition, Mahatma Gandhi’s silver Zenith pocket watch (circa 1910-1915) is expected to attract significant interest. The pocket watch belonged to Gandhi, who later gave it to his grandniece, Abha Gandhi, his assistant of six years, and in whose arms he died. Also offered as part of the same lot are Gandhi’s sandals, glasses, bowl, plate, and letters of authenticity.

A beloved leader of India’s independence movement and one of history’s most widely-recognized and revered civil rights leaders, Gandhi pioneered non-violent civil disobedience and pacifism in response to tyranny.

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000.

Auction-->
LINK

Also included is the "Kennedy Onassis" Watch, a waterproof Nastrix wristwatch owned by both President John Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis. Oh Jackie, that's so not cool...

See related;
Albert Einstein's Wristwatch Auction-->LINK


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Top Ten Haunted Horrorology - The Ghosts of Halloween Past

Top Ten Haunted Horrorology - The Ghosts of Halloween PastA Compendium of all the scariest posts on The Watchismo Times. Have the time of your life death!

Click each title for links to the original stories.
Top Ten Haunted Horrorology - The Ghosts of Halloween PastTop Ten Haunted Horrorology - The Ghosts of Halloween Past
Top Ten Haunted Horrorology - The Ghosts of Halloween PastTop Ten Haunted Horrorology - The Ghosts of Halloween PastTop Ten Haunted Horrorology - The Ghosts of Halloween PastTop Ten Haunted Horrorology - The Ghosts of Halloween PastTop Ten Haunted Horrorology - The Ghosts of Halloween Past

Top Ten Haunted Horrorology - The Ghosts of Halloween Past
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LIP Watch Exhibition New York City July 2008

Video-->Link

Vintage LIP watches (1900-1976)

Vintage LIP collection

Vintage & Modern LIP Display


From the recent NYC show;

"The 141 year old French watch brand LIP is reintroducing some of the most important wristwatches - a series from the early 1970s that remains as visionary today as when first unveiled almost four decades ago. These timepieces were created from a melting pot of Pan European industrial, architectural, interior and graphic designers, all given carte blanche by LIP to create some of the most original watches ever produced.

Of the seven original designers between 1969 and 1976, Roger Tallon has made the most lasting impact. A true renaissance man of the mid-century. Tallon's contributions to the Modern era include the Teleavia, the earliest portable television, the world's first Helicoid staircase (part of the Museum of Modern Art collection), and the ultra modern French high speed TGV trains. His asymmetric Mach 2000 series has since become an icon for LIP with their unmistakable primary colored spherical pushers and crowns.

The legacy of LIP evolves today in the hands of talented new designers like Prisca Briquet who are writing the next chapter of watch design in horological history".

For the first time ever, LIP watches are available in the United States - offered at Barneys, Moss, Takashimaya, Museum of Modern Art Design Stores, Canvas, and online at Watchismo.com

Below are some brand new images of the collection by the talented product photographer Michael Kraus.

If you'd like to see some of the soon to be released images of the Fall/Winter 2008/2009 Lips-->contact me to be added to the first sneak peek email.


Lip Mythic Jump Hour by Prisca Briquet

Lip Darkmaster Chronograph by Roger Tallon

Lip Diode by Roger Tallon

Lip Mach 2000 Marge by Roger Tallon

Lip Fridge by Roger Tallon

LIP Watches-->Link

Related Posts;
LIP article in International Watch Magazine
LIP in Surface and Mens Vogue
International Herald Tribue
USA debut of LIP at Barneys New York
LIP Diode in GQ
Vintage LIP LED 1975-76



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LIP Feature in International Watch Magazine

LIP Feature in International Watch Magazine
A fantastic article in International Watch Magazine written by the multi-talented bloke Alex Doak on the history of the French watch brand LIP. Click the photos to read the article.

LIP Feature in International Watch Magazine
LIP Feature in International Watch Magazine
LIP Feature in International Watch Magazine
LIP Feature in International Watch Magazine
LIP Feature in International Watch Magazine
LIP Feature in International Watch Magazine
LIP Product Pages-->LINK

International Watch Magazine-->Link

All Alex Doak posts for The Watchismo Times-->Link

More on the 1970s designer history of Lip Watches-->Link


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