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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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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!

Ventura SPARC MGS

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


Specifications:

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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Nooka ZAZ Watch Translucent See-Thru Display - Your Skin Provides the Contrast To Read the Time!

Nooka ZAZ Watch Translucent See-Thru Display - Your Skin Provides the Contrast To Read the Time!Bars and blocks of liquid crystal line up over your skin with the Zaz, Nooka's latest alternative display binary wristwatch. And if in darkness, there is also the option to light up the see-through display in beautiful bright colors. Your only difficulty will be wondering if that arm hair makes it 8:45 or 8:50.

Actually, this reminds me of a stock answer I gave as a kid if someone asked me the time when not wearing a watch. I would look at my wrist and say "two freckles past an armhair". Who knew that could be true one day? Thanks Nooka!

Nooka Zaz Product Page


Nooka ZAZ Watch Translucent See-Thru Display - Your Skin Provides the Contrast To Read the Time!"The ultimate form of personalization. The Nooka Zaz is the newest release in the brand’s line of luxury wristwatches, set to launch for Fall 2009. Featuring a completely translucent display, allowing the wearer’s own skin tone to show through. Time is marked with a display similar to the Zenv style, with blocks appearing on the transparent screen seemingly as a part of the wearer’s wrist. It is available with a silver face and three band options- black or white leather, and silver mesh.

Size: 35 x 45 x 8 mm / 22mm wide band

Water resistant to 3ATM
$380 here


Nooka ZAZ Watch Translucent See-Thru Display - Your Skin Provides the Contrast To Read the Time!
Nooka ZAZ Watch Translucent See-Thru Display - Your Skin Provides the Contrast To Read the Time!
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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).


Pinclock-->Video

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;

OPUS 8: THE ART OF DIGITAL EMOTION
REINTERPRETATION OF A (R)EVOLUTION
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...

A MECHANISM INSPIRED BY A GAME
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.

THE INNOVATION’S MAGIC
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.

A VERY “SEVENTIES CASE”
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.

OPUS 8 TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION

MOVEMENT: TYPE: Mechanical, elliptical, with mechanical digital display module, Manual winding
DISPLAY: Hours, minutes (every 5 minutes), AM/PM.
FREQUENCY: 3 Hz
MAIN DIAMETER: 35 mm
DISPLAY MODULE: 35.5 mm by 22.5 mm
JEWELS: 44
COMPONENTS: 437
SEGMENTS: 138
POWER RESERVE: 48 hours
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
DIMENSIONS: WIDTH: 45.8 mm
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
WATCHSTRAP: Leather
WATER RESISTANCE: 30 meters
LIMITED EDITION: 50 pieces

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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Black LIP Diode LED in new GQ Magazine Digital Watch Feature!

Black LIP Diode LED in new GQ Magazine Digital Watch Feature!Yes, I wish I thought of the title "Digitally Remastered" as the March 2008 issue of GQ did for the vintage inspired digital (LED & LCD) wristwatch feature. And I may be biased but the LIP Diode pops right out of the page compared to the rest of the very respectable Nooka and Gucci offerings.

LIP first introduced Roger Tallon's cubist Diode back in 1976 and is only being offered again now after 32 years...and guess where? Here-->Link Or in stores now at Barneys New York.

Black LIP Diode LED in new GQ Magazine Digital Watch Feature!The All-Black LIP Diode (bottom right with 8:37 displayed)

Black LIP Diode LED in new GQ Magazine Digital Watch Feature!Other new digitals from Gucci & Nooka

Black LIP Diode LED in new GQ Magazine Digital Watch Feature!The March 2008 issue of GQ. Their website just posted a pretty good "How to buy a watch" slideshow here-->Link

LIP Watches-->Link

See Also;

History of LED Calculator Watches
History of Dynamic Scattering LCD
History of Solar LED Watches
LED-LCD Watch Combos
Zenith Analog/Digital Hybrid
Other Analog-Digital Posts
Alternative Displays
All Digital Watch Posts
All LED Watch Related Posts


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The Secret Life of Machines

A great episode of the late eighties BBC series "The Secret Life of Machines". This particular episode (featured in three parts below) focuses on the development and technology leading up to quartz watches but there is much much more in this show. Everything from sundials, water clocks, church clocks, mechanical pocket watches, the first wristwatches, vintage watch commercials, electric, tuning fork, solid state, LCD, LED, and the modern analog Quartz.




Part 1 --> Link (or click play above)



Part 2 --> Link (or click play above)



Part 3 --> Link (or click play above)

See Also;
All Watch & Clock History Posts-->Link

via WatchesCorner


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Living Vicariously Through Other Watch Collectors - 1977 Heuer Split Lap Unit

Living Vicariously Through Other Watch Collectors - 1977 Heuer Split Lap UnitI can't have everything I want, and that's okay (for now). With fellow collectors detailing their acquisitions in such detail as Jeff Stein of OnTheDash and Chronocentric has done with his recent purchase of a very rare 1977 Heuer Split Lap Unit made for the Ford RS Motorsports Team, I can live vicariously through him. The images might even be sharp enough for me to print out a paper version and assemble it on my wrist.

Heuer Split Lap 77-->Link

The varied reactions Jeff received upon wearing it for the first time;
  • one bad ass watch
  • the ugliest watch I have ever seen [his wife's reaction]
  • a statement . . . a very loud statement
  • a cool-looking machine
  • one rock-solid watch
  • I thought you were getting into the Bubble-backs?
  • what in the world is it?
Living Vicariously Through Other Watch Collectors - 1977 Heuer Split Lap UnitOriginal 1978 advertisement

Partial ad translation; "Built for those with the higest of expectations. With the ambitious standards of motorsport, - with obsession, with the love of perfection & measuring equipment. If you want to wear a timecomputer, that will remain a styling & technology rarity"


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Happy Nooka Year - New Styles & Colors from Nooka Watches

Happy Nooka Year - New Styles & Colors from Nooka WatchesI'm a sucker for asymmetry. And that's why the new Nooka Zirc models "stuck out" to me when seeing their latest offerings. Nooka is NYC designer Matthew Waldman's three year old watch brand spawned from his lifelong desire to see time represented in untraditional ways. The Nooka watches feature linear displays of LCD bars, dots, dashes, and the occasional digit.

Happy Nooka Year - New Styles & Colors from Nooka WatchesZirc Black, White, and Mirrored ($330)

Happy Nooka Year - New Styles & Colors from Nooka WatchesThe upcoming Nooka COTN Camo $250
Camouflage patterns of cats, bats, and birds
COTN=Creatures Of The Night





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Vintage 1970s Rotary LED & Seiko Memory Bank Commercials

I'm struggling to find some more interesting vintage watch commercials, here's a few new ones. You can see a collection of the rest at the links below...

1970's Rotary LED watch commercial-->Link



1978 Seiko Memory Bank Calendar Watch Commercial-->Link



Check out my $100-$100,000 holiday gift guide!-->LINK


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Faux-Electronic Mechanical Digital Watches

Faux-Electronic Mechanical Digital WatchesYou see many types of jump hour watches here at my blog, but these two actually try their best hiding their Swiss mechanics by imitating the popular & new LED and LCD technology of the early seventies. This Fashiontime Instalite Digital has two mechanical discs with printed LCD style bar digits (dark gray on light gray) and a display light activated by the button on the upper right.

Faux-Electronic Mechanical Digital WatchesFaux-Electronic Mechanical Digital WatchesThis Tegrov Digital took it a step further by creating a fake LED display with red crystal tinting the mechanical jump hour discs. Also with a lamp function to give the full faux emitting diode effect.
Faux-Electronic Mechanical Digital WatchesClose-up of faux-LED display

Related Posts;
Amida Digitrend LRD (another faux digital)
Dynamic Scattering LCD (earliest of the style)
Sicura Instalite
All Jump Hour Stories



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Laser Beam Wristwatch!



Where is the truth in advertising? Were we really that stupid in the eighties to fall for this sales pitch?


Plus all my other favorite vintage watch commercials and films linked below;

1970s Timex Commercials -->Link
"Black Max, Takes a Licking and Keeps on Ticking, and more"

1960s Timex Commercial-->Link
"Underwater Dating"

1978 Texas Instruments Commercial-->Link

A New Age in Quartz-->Link

1940's Jam Handy for Hamilton-->Link

1940's Conquer by the Clock-->Link


And a few more I've found recently;

The 80's Multichron Calculator Watch


More Vintage Timex Commercials


Chronoforms Robot Watch


Search for watches



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VENTURA SPARC MGS - World's First True Mechanical Automatic Digital Watch at WatchismoNooka ZAZ Watch Translucent See-Thru Display - Your Skin Provides the Contrast To Read the Time!Raising The Bars - OPUS 8 Mechanical Digital by Harry Winston Rare Timepieces & Frédéric GarinaudBlack LIP Diode LED in new GQ Magazine Digital Watch Feature!Living Vicariously Through Other Watch Collectors - 1977 Heuer Split Lap UnitHappy Nooka Year - New Styles & Colors from Nooka WatchesFaux-Electronic Mechanical Digital Watches

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