Watchismo Times | category: inventor


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.

VENTURA SPARC MGS - World's First True Mechanical Automatic Digital Watch at Watchismo

After years of research and development, the world's first mechanical automatic digital watch is a reality!


No batteries included, no batteries required

Ventura invented the Automatic Digital Watch in 2000. The movements of the wrist activate a rotary mass which relays the momentum to a micro-generator; the electric energy gained in the process continuously feeds an optoelectronic time-module. The Micro-Generator-System of the new SPARC MGS was developed to achieve maximum performance. Placing the MGS side-by-side next to the time-device enabled a larger and heavier oscillating mass. This array also permits the viewing of the mechanism from the top, giving the SPARC MGS its characteristic appearance. The miniature power-station sustains a state-of-the-art micro-processor and a 250-segments 12-digit liquid-crystal display. The latest operating system EasySkroll v.2.0 allows later upgrades, another first in wristwatches. The multiple functions of the SPARC MGS are intuitively operated by a single scroller.

Click here to view all Ventura Sparc MGS Mechanical Automatic Digital Watches at Watchismo

Listen to inventor/designer/creator/founder Pierre Nobs explain the SPARC MGS history and new collection, just click the YouTube image above.

Listen to inventor/designer/creator/founder Pierre Nobs explain the SPARC MGS history and new collection, just click the YouTube image above.

Watch is supplied in "V-Winder" automatic winding wood box


Pat. pending.
dimensions: 60.00 mm x w 38.00 mm
Powered by MGS®-11 (Micro Generator
System), no battery.
Heavy duty Tungsten oscillating mass
Digital Model
Mvt. VEN_10 with EasySkroll®
operating system v2.0.
Energy management with sleep mode
and movement detector.
LED back light.
T1/date, T2/date, alarm for T1+T2
100 Year perpetual calendar,
chronograph, count down,
user-selectable 12 or 24h time
3 date formats,
Durinox® (tempered steel) black case
2 sapphire crystals
water resistant 3 bar (30m/100ft)

1. MGS®-11 - The owner’s wrist movements cause an oscillating mass to turn approximately 4’000 times per day on average.
2. Gear Train - The oscillating force is transferred to a precision gear with an attached Barillet
3. Barillet - The Gear Train tensions the spring of a Barillet about 17’000 times per day; each time the spring is fully tensioned, it releases its force to a micro-generator
4. Micro-Generator - The Micro-Generator transforms mechanical momentum into electric energy and sends a spark (SPARC®) to an accumulator
5. Accumulator - The accumulator stores the electric energy and powers the Cal. VEN_10 movement
6. Cal. VEN_10 - Ventura’s exclusive caliber with its EasySkroll® operating and scrolling system is entirely operated by the wrist-movements of its owner

Automatic Digital Wristwatch, case and bracelet, two sapphire crystals, water resistant 3 bar, with exclusive deluxe wooden gift casket in piano-lacquer finish. with v-winder included 

2nd gen Micro-Generating-System (MGS), EasySkroll® v.2.0 OS, VEN_10 digital module, LC display backlight by LED
Time1 + date1, time2 + date2, alarm, chronograph, countdown,
100 years perpetual calendar with day (5 languages), date, month, year, 12/24h format, 3 date-formats
MGS® power management, manual power off, automatic sleep mode (LC display "off", functions "on"), motion-sensor to monitor watch movements, automatic backlight control to prevent over-use
Power reserve: ~ 45 days , > 5 years (manual switch-off mode)
H (6 ~ 12h) 56.30 mm x W (9 ~ 3h) 38.00 mm x T 8.90 / 12.20 mm
Weight: ca. 200 gr.

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Mile Projects of Japan - Rays of Light "Good Afternoon Clock"

Mile Projects of Japan - Rays of Light From the Japan Design team Mile Projects comes this simple concept clock with rays of light for hands. The beams shine from thin holes in the inner bezel and appear to light the negative space dial (whatever the ring is hanging from).
Mile Projects of Japan - Rays of Light
Mile Projects from Japan via The Design Blog

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"This is the XXI Century Sundial, created by Alessandro using an Arduino microcontroller, a wall, and a laser.
This is a simple project of a sundial wherein the pinion is replaced by a line LASER I took from a LASER level. The LASER is mounted on a RC servo which in turn is driven by a micro controller. The micro controller keeps the time and turns the RC servo accordingly. ... Shorting pins 1-2 adds some life to the sundial and makes it count just the seconds. Hypnotic initially, then pointless.

Originally put together using an Atmel controller, it is "very basic in design it does exactly what I wanted," Alessandro writes."

XXI century sundail -- Now for Arduino also ! [5volt via Make]

via BoingBoing

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The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef Scherer

The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef Scherer
35 years ago, professor of design Jozsef Scherer entered some bold wristwatch concepts to the 1974 La Chaux-de-Fonds International competition for watch and clock design.

His entries were based upon three parameters;

1. A wristwatch for users of either sex - to be inspired by the rectangle.

2. A quartz-crystal electronic wristwatch - with 7 segment digital display

3. Watch-free category - creation of a timepiece to be worn or carried on the person (pendant, pocket, etc)

Below is his entry for the wrist-free category, a tubular pocket watch, pendant watch, table clock, and/or art object. The digital time is display upon extending the tubes to reveal the digits.

The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef SchererTube table clock

The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef Scherer

The expanding tube

The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef Scherer
Assorted tube clock/watch sketches

The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef Scherer

The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef SchererTube pocket watch

The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef Scherer

Tube pendant watch

The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef SchererAlso a tube wristwatch

And for his electronic quartz crystal electronic watch entry, Mr. Scherer developed the very modern looking semi-sideview models below. You can also see his preliminary sketches below that.

The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef Scherer
The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef Scherer
The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef Scherer
The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef Scherer
The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef Scherer
And finally, his entries for a unisex wristwatch based upon the rectangle;

The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef Scherer
The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef Scherer
The 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef Scherer
Although not the winner of the competition, Mr. Scherer's designs were obviously ahead of their time!

Since 1980, Mr. Scherer has been a professor of design at Moholy-Nagy Art and Design University in Budapest.

See related posts;
All Sideview Watches
One-of-a-kind LEDs of Andrew Grima
History of LED Calculator Watches
History of Dynamic Scattering LCD
History of Solar LED Watches
Opus 8 Mechanical Digital
Mechanico Mechanical Digital of de Grisogono
LED-LCD Watch Combos
Zenith Analog/Digital Hybrid
Other Analog-Digital Posts
Alternative Displays
All Digital Watch Posts
All LED Watch Related Posts
All Vintage Watch Posts

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Helicoidal Timepieces of Philip Lütolf

Helicoidal Timepieces of Philip LütolfThe watch design has yet to be unveiled but Philip Lutolf, has just introduced a powerful new watch movement which uses helicoidal rather than spiral springs for power- thus generating unprecedented torque.

I just hope he'll push the technology to equally unprecidented design and functions. Time will tell...

Helicoidal Timepieces of Philip Lütolf
CAD preview of movement

Helicoidal Timepieces of Philip Lütolf
Lutolf recently wrote to Horomundi;

"I would like to tell you that with this movement we will have a new approach about horological mechanics. With the H-Power movement we talk now for the first time about “power”. The first question which crossed my mind, when I started to think about a new movement in horology was: “why does the watch industry never talk about power?” After some research about the history of movement mechanism, I find out that since 1475, all the movements were based on spiral spring. Why because this spring has a great advantage compared to the other springs: it has a relatively low constant torque. So this means that the spring is ideal to make tic-tac, but not so ideal to power complex mechanism. This is why I use a helicoïdal spring instead. The springs that I use in my prototypes deliver an impressive 10kg. So this watch is not about power reserve (even though it is over average), but about power. What is incredible when I go back through the innovation process of the last 3 years, is that when you are faced with raw power, you have to find logical (the turbo) and technical (Strongnium, bearing wheels) solutions to cope with the laws of physics. This is why this movement became so complex. You can also do an analogy with cars. To make a Ferrari the technical requirements (because of the consequences of the speed at 350 km/h) are far more advanced than a normal Fiat or Opel car. For the H-Power movement it’s the same. And like Pirelli said in it's famous advertising campaign: "whithout control, power is nothing". We are now in a process to finish our prototype phase. We hope to be through until the beginning of next year. This is why; you won’t see any dial or case yet (although the case and the dial is already finished). But if you want to be the first to see it when it is released you can subscribe to my newsletter on my website"

via Horomundi
Philip Lütolf Website

See Also;
All Inventor Related Posts
All Concept Watch Posts

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Chronophage Corpus Clock with Grasshopper Escapement

The £1 million timepiece, known as The Corpus Clock, has been commissioned and designed to honor the John Harrison, who was famously the pioneer of Longitude and inventor of the esoteric clock mechanism known as a grasshopper escapement.

The clock has been designed by the inventor and horologist Dr John Taylor and makes ingenious use of the grasshopper escapement, moving it from the inside of the clock to the outside and refashioning it as a Chronophage, or time-eater, which literally devours time.

The Corpus Clock does not use hands or digital numbers. Instead it uses a series of 60 slits cut into the face, each six degrees apart, which light up to show the time. The seconds are counted down by each step of the mechanical insect who crawls around the disc edged like a lizard's spine. Its movement triggers blue flashing lights which dart across the clock-face, running in concentric circles to mark passing seconds before pausing at the correct hour and minute. (See video below)


The Corpus Clock has been invented and designed by Dr John Taylor for Corpus Christi College Cambridge for the exterior of the college's new library building.

It was unveiled on 19 September by Prof Stephen Hawking, cosmologist and author of the global bestseller, A Brief History of Time.

Article 1-->Link Article 2-->Link Article 3-->Link Article 4-->Link

See also;
All Watchismo Times Clock Posts
All Inventor Related Posts

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Blonder Slide Rule Wall Clock - Math Chic!

An interesting wall clock prototype inspired by a slide rule. Hours and minutes on separate rulers, meet at a central slider with retrograde motion for each cycle. Mockup shown constructed from foam core and powered by LEGO Mindstorms.

I previously featured inventor Greg Blonder and his seriously ambitious 1,000 year forest clock concept, the TiWalkMe (seen->here). The Watchismo Times is proud to be the first showcasing his latest timepiece project, the Slide Rule Wall Clock - on a much smaller scale than a entire forest but still very original.


LEGO Mindstorms mock-up motor

Slide Rule Clock renderings

Ripe for saw it here first. Plus, if it's produced, Greg has promised me one! Stainless version please...

Greg Blonder's Slide Rule Clock mock-up page-->Link Rendering page-->Link

[Each scale is 2"x18"]
[DC powered]
[Invisible wiring to wall plug]
[Press corners of runner to set time, Hours and Minutes, up and down]
[Red hairline bisecting slider]

graphic animation of the Slide Rule clock in motion

Blonder, inventor, physicist, entrepreneur, designer and former Bell Labs chief scientist has over 70 patents under his belt, many of which can be seen at Genuine Ideas and Talus Furniture. His page for the Slide Rule wall clock can be seen here.

See Also;
Protractor & Slide Rule Watches
The TiWalkMe Thousand Year Forest Clock
All Watchismo Times Clock Posts

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1939 Popular Mechanics Wrist Camera

1939 Popular Mechanics Wrist Camera

Camera Worn Like Wrist Watch Loads Thirty Six Pictures

"Latest in the line of miniature cameras is a tiny affair worn like a wrist watch. Sighted easily by raising the wrist to eye level, it carries a load of thirty-six exposures despite its diminutive size. It has an f4.5 lens and a focusing scale graduating from one foot to infinity."

From August 1939 Popular Mechanics

via Modern Mechanix "Yesterday's Tomorrow Today"

All other Modern Mechanix posts on The Watchismo Times-->Link

See All Watchismo Times Subminiature & Hidden Watch Posts;
Shoot To Kilfitt - Subminiature Camera-Watch

Subminiature Camera Watches
Steinheil Camera Watch
Victorian Camera Pocket Watch
1950s Minifon Spy Recorder Watch
Compartment Scroll Watch
Horological Weaponry
Victorian Wrist Horn
Rolex Lipstick Watch
Omega Ring Watch
Rolex Ring Watch

Walking Stick Watches
James Bond Movie Gadget Watches
1947 Wrist Lighter

Watches Schmatches... Strandbeasts!

Ok, after 20 months straight of blogging about the high and low underworld of timepiecery, I ran out of steam. Frankly, there just hasn't been anything particularly interesting lately to inspire a post.

But all that will soon change and I'll be back bigger and better than ever. Just give me some

For now, check out this fascinating story about the Dutch mechanical life inventor Theo Jansen and his wind-powered Strandbeasts (via the MB&F Our World blog-->Link)



For the full interview please click-->here.

Theo Jansen's Stranbeast website-->HERE

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Raising The Bars - OPUS 8 Mechanical Digital by Harry Winston Rare Timepieces & Frédéric Garinaud

In this world of mechanical pissing contests, the Opus 8 from Harry Winston Rare Timepieces streamed out very far at Baselworld.

Inspired by early electronic LED watches of the 1970s (like the first Hamilton Pulsar), creator Frédéric Garinaud (of Renaud & Papi) & CSH developed the Opus 8 with a new twist on mechanical-digital watches. Time is shown by pulling the side-lever down which in turn activates mechanical pixels to rise up from the digitally segmented dial displaying the hour of the day, am/pm, and indication of minutes by rising five minute markers located in a vertical scale next to the primary display.

My attempts to describe this to you might be complicating matters from what might be best explained with images. I should also compare the functions to the contouring rods of the Pinpression toy (shown below) but instead of pressing the pins against your hand or face, the time is reflected by the precisely placed pegs of a music box-style mechanism.

Rumor has it that these were sold out before they being presented (from an edition of 50). Max Büsser's original vision (Opus 1-5) continues to have a lasting impression with this innovative series.

The minute scale and time-display lever (and logo)

What impresses me most of all has nothing to do with the watch itself but the story of how the Opus 8 was created by neither a watchmaker or a designer but instead a visionary with an absurd and genius idea...

Biography of Frédéric Garinaud;

Born in southwest France in 1971, for Frédéric Garinaud the road to watchmaking and Opus 8 had an interesting and unlikely origin. Neither watchmaker nor designer by trade, Garinaud got his start in the French naval academy where he specialized as an on-board mechanic. In 1999, Garinaud attended the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers in Lyon to formalize his graduate studies and began working as a development manager for special machinery in a galvanoplasty laboratory. In 2001, he joined Audemars Piguet (Renaud & Papi) as a technical office manager. In 2005, paving the way for his current role, Garinaud founded the watchmaking specialties unit - la Cellule des Spécialités Horlogères (CSH). Aiming to bridge ultramodern training with watchmaking tradition, the unit combines all of the trades involved in watchmaking -- from drawings to timing, to development and construction, and even micro-mechanical manufacture, decoration and product assembly. Garinaud wanted to bring to high-quality watchmaking some of the product developments that have enriched and advanced our consumer world, including: microelectronics, clothing design, ecology and innovative materials.

Five years ago, Frédéric Garinaud came up with an idea: To invent a hybrid timepiece that would bring together complicated mechanics and digital electronics. Around the same time, Garinaud first learned of the Opus concept developed by Harry Winston and began dreaming of an innovative piece to bring to the brand, which would come to be known as Opus 8.

Interested in developing his hybrid idea, Harry Winston met with Garinaud in early 2007 and presented him with a new challenge: Why not transform the hybrid display into a digital display? Garinaud immediately returned to his design table to create a prototype design.

Arriving at Basel 2007, armed with rolls of design drawings and his team from the Cellule des Spécialités Horlogères, the “Magician” revealed his latest tricks, presenting his preliminary plan for Opus 8. Though the brand was initially unconvinced, Garinaud continued to work his innovative magic 10 days later, he would receive an important and enthusiastic call. Harry Winston had accepted the plans. The Opus adventure had begun.

via Worldtempus

Large scale model of the inner mechanism function

Sideview of raised digit segments

Pegged disc beneath segmented dial

Close-up of disc

Thanks to Leo at Horomundi for the candids at HW

The circuit board style caseback

The Man behind the Opus 8, Frédéric Garinaud

The Pinpression

Not sure if Mr. Garinaud ever saw the Pinclock, but for about $100, you can have a similar pin-raising technology in a desk clock (above).


This Opus 8 project also reminds me of the remarkable mechanical mirrors of artist Daniel Rozin. The mirrors reflect the viewer with a wide array of wooden rods, tiles, metal balls and many other materials. See his amazing work in the videos below;

Rozin Peg Mirror Video->Link

Wooden Mechanical Mirror Video->Link

Weave Mirror Video->Link

Opus 8 Press Release;

Rooted in the Pop Art moment of the 1970s, Digital Art and Technology have revolutionized our way of life and continue to influence contemporary art and culture. Allowing artists to create works of extreme complexity, these same advances in digital technology have also transformed the art of modern watchmaking. Armed with the avant-garde and innovative spirit that defined this decade, Opus 8 represents a continuation of this technological and artistic (r)evolution...

An exceptional and advanced timepiece, Opus 8 utilizes hand-wound mechanical movements to create a modern, digital time display. Inspired by pin art games, which create 3D impressions of objects pressed against them, the numbers in the display will only appear “upon request,” activated by a bolt on the right hand side of the case. Nothing appears until the mechanism is wound.

A plate joins together small segments, both mobile and fixed. Just underneath is a disc driven by the movement, which turns independently in real time. When the mechanism is wound, the pieces adjust to display the time. As the plate descends, the small segments remain visible, “blocked” by the crystal, allowing the hour to be read for 5 seconds. Technically, all functions are related, enabling everything to be displayed on demand – the minute hand turns the hour that then turns the AM/PM function.

The dial’s microbead blasted coating is similar to that of a calculator, while the segments are made of black anthracite with polished sides. As innovative in materials, as in mechanics, the sides of the segments are crafted of amorphous carbon. A material more commonly known in Formula 1 racing, Garinaud’s team successfully adapted it to use for watch microparts. The specialized material has an extremely low friction coefficient and highly resistant coating. Wear, blockages and material discharge become almost non-existent.

In addition to a modern, sophisticated technique, Opus 8 features a strikingly original dial display. On the left is a four-digit hour display – two for the hour and two for the time of day (AM/PM). When it is 20h00, the watch will display 08PM. On the right is an innovative minute counter, with a layout and display from bottom to top. Set in 5 minute segments (precision being secondary), the 5 minute indicator is an arrow-shaped ring. The hour and minute numbers recalls the symmetrical hexagonal typography found in liquid crystal mechanics.

With its imposing rectangular dimensions – 43mm wide, 41mm long, 13 thick – Opus 8’s bold, graphic shape resembles a retro-style television set. The case front has a resolutely digital display with its 4mm-thick domed crystal blocking the segments . With the display winding bolt located on the right and the winding crown on left, the mechanism has a movement rotation of 180 °. The display of the hour is not possible during winding. In the middle, an opening allows us to admire the heart – the balance. The movement’s back is decorated like a printed circuit, with lines leading to the various time elements. At the top, the hours (H) and the minutes (M). On the left, the periods of the day (AM/PM), and on the right, the 48-hour power reserve indicator (PRI). At the bottom, two lines indicate the co-designers of the watch, Garinaud & CSH (Cellule de Spécialités Horlogères), and the serial number.


MOVEMENT: TYPE: Mechanical, elliptical, with mechanical digital display module, Manual winding
DISPLAY: Hours, minutes (every 5 minutes), AM/PM.
DISPLAY MODULE: 35.5 mm by 22.5 mm
FUNCTIONS: On the face: Digital display indicated by segments: Hour (AM/PM) and
minutes (every 5)
On the back: Digital display indicated by discs: Hour (AM/PM) and
minutes (every 5)
Power reserve also indicated on the back of the watch
CASE: MATERIAL: White gold
LENGTH: 33.5 mm
LEFT: Crown for setting the time and winding
RIGHT: Winding bolt for digital displays
DIAL: Display module: black anthracite segments with polished sides
Side of segments crafted from amorphous carbon
Hours, minutes and letters in digital form
CRYSTAL: Anti- reflective Sapphire, 4 mm

The Opus program was launched by Maximilian Büsser & Harry Winston in 2001, to encourage a new interest for unlimited freedom and innovation in technical watchmaking. Partnering with independent watchmakers, each year the Opus program develops rare timepieces never before seen or imagined within the industry.

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VENTURA SPARC MGS - World's First True Mechanical Automatic Digital Watch at WatchismoMile Projects of Japan - Rays of Light "Good Afternoon Clock"LaserdialThe 1974 La Chaux de Fonds Concept Watches of Jozsef SchererHelicoidal Timepieces of Philip LütolfChronophage Corpus Clock with Grasshopper EscapementBlonder Slide Rule Wall Clock - Math Chic!1939 Popular Mechanics Wrist CameraRaising The Bars - OPUS 8 Mechanical Digital by Harry Winston Rare Timepieces & Frédéric Garinaud

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