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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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Use Your Phonograph as an Alarm Clock - Popular Science 1932

Use Your Phonograph as an Alarm Clock - Popular Science 1932
USE PHONOGRAPH AS AN ALARM CLOCK

"A novel attachment for the phonograph by which a heavy sleeper may be aroused at any hour he wishes by soft music, was recently shown in London, England. The alarm-clock device is set at the desired hour, and wound. A brake on the turntable of the phonograph is released at the set hour by a slight pull from the alarm key of the clock."


Use Your Phonograph as an Alarm Clock - Popular Science 19321932 Issue of Popular Science

Via Modern Mechanix

See also;
All Modern Mechanix Posts at Watchismo
All Clock Posts


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Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab Studio

Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab StudioArtist Mike Libby's medium consists of dead bugs and watch-guts. His second series of mechanically enhanced insect art (previously featured here->link) has just been released at his Insect Lab Studio and it includes entirely new specimens like the scorpion above. Also new to the collection are grasshoppers, Praying Mantis, and beetles with their entire wingspans displayed with the rest of their horological augmentations.

I asked Mike about the new series and details about the improvements and new species being offered...

  • "The quality of the work all around is notably improved due to higher quality insect specimens (larger ones too) and watchparts, also an improvement in insect spreading/handling skills has certainly made the final result more visually pleasing."
  • "Beetles continue to be a big hit and especially lately since I have learned to include their secondary interior wings (responsible for flight, whereas the first set of wings act as a wing case). "
  • "Development of new work with new specimens. Like I mentioned, scorpions, hoppers and praying mantis are all great new additions to my repertoire and have really challenged my customizing skills. I am always looking for a very thorough way to integrate the parts and gears to the specimen without overloading or suffocating it's natural form and beauty with technology. "How much is too much and how little is just enough?" is a question I ask myself constantly. All in all, the new hoppers (about 5" long!) and the improved beetles are certainly my favorite developments."

Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab Studio
Arachnidae: Name Unknown
Scorpion & steel and brass gears, parts and springs
5” long (8” full length)
Displayed in 6" glass dome & walnut base, $850

Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab StudioCetonidae: Polyphemus Confluens
Flower beetle with steel gears & parts -
4.5" width
Displayed in 6” glass dome & walnut base, $600

Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab Studio

Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab StudioDynastidae: Eupatorus Gracilicornis
Rhino Beetle with brass gears & parts - 5" width
Displayed in 6” glass dome & walnut base,
$650

Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab StudioOrthoptera: Tropidacris Dux
Grasshopper & steel, copper, brass gears, parts and springs -
5”
Displayed in 6" glass dome and walnut base, $900

Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab StudioMantidae: Name Unkown
Praying Mantis & brass, and copper gears, parts and springs
Displayed in 6" glass dome & walnut base, $850


Insect Lab Studio-->LINK


Related Posts;
Insect Lab Studio I
Motorcyclogical
Japanese Steampunk
Art of Movements
Wood & Bone Watches
Bennett Robot Works
Mr. Jones Watches
Vasarely Op-Art Watches


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Jim Henson's Time Piece - 1965 Experimental Film




Jim Henson's 1965 Experimental Film "Time Piece"-->Link

"Dislocation in time, time signatures, time as a philosophical concept, and slavery to time are some of the themes touched upon in this nine-minute, experimental film, which was written, directed, and produced by Jim Henson-and starred Jim Henson! Screened for the first time at the New York Museum of Modern Art in May of 1965, Time Piece enjoyed an eighteen-month run at one Manhattan movie theater and was nominated for an Academy Award for outstanding short subject."

Jim Henson, puppeteer, Kermit creator, surrealist filmaker?


For more, visit the Time Piece Wikipedia page here-->Link



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1947 Wrist Lighter from Mechanix Illustrated

1947 Wrist Lighter from Mechanix Illustrated
In addition to the knife watch from Sicura, strangulation watch from James Bond and the self-Defenseband, this antique novelty lighter watch is the perfect gift for that murderous paranoid arsonist in your family!

"Wrist Lighter
is the latest novelty for the smoker. Strapped on the wrist, and outwardly resembling a watch, it lights when the cover is flicked back, as demonstrated above. It is being marketed by Samuel Jones, Ltd., London."

via Modern Mechanix

1947 Wrist Lighter from Mechanix Illustrated1947 Issue of Mechanix Illustrated


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Just when you thought you've seen everything...

Just when you thought you've seen everything...I love being pleasantly surprised and appalled at the same time. It's a particular feeling that can't be summed up with one word, at least not in English. But the need for such a word has never been more appropriate than when laying my eyes on a watch owned by fellow collector Ruud in The Netherlands. He shared this recent purchase of a bizarre 1965 Jump Hour by Jean Chuard. I've found no information about this French brand but photos (or actions, whatever) speak louder than words...

Just when you thought you've seen everything...The band is a solid cuff of transparent red plastic, the dial has a plastic guilloche face, the time is displayed in three windows (Heure, Minute, Date) of mechanical digital rotating dials.

Just when you thought you've seen everything...The movement "capsule"


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Multi-functional Kitsch Clocks - 1966 Numechron Tele-Vision Clock & 1950s Telephonecigarettelighterlampclock

Multi-functional Kitsch Clocks - 1966 Numechron Tele-Vision Clock & 1950s TelephonecigarettelighterlampclockA reader of The Watchismo Times and mid-century collector named Kyle Supley has shared a few of his kitschy clocks with me. Featured here are two especially funny models.

First, the
Numechron Tele-Visiondigital clock from 1966. Plastic burled wood case with gold trim. Meant for the top of a TV set with low wattage bulb to relieve eyestrain believed to be cause by television in the early days.

Multi-functional Kitsch Clocks - 1966 Numechron Tele-Vision Clock & 1950s TelephonecigarettelighterlampclockA vintage 60s digital clock by Westclox with an unusual display of hours as words.

Multi-functional Kitsch Clocks - 1966 Numechron Tele-Vision Clock & 1950s Telephonecigarettelighterlampclock
And this 1950s teal lamp which is also a clock (clock face instead of telephone dial), and a cigarette lighter, conveniently hidden in the phone handset. It does not function as a phone. This lamp also comes with a conical desk lamp top instead of the venetian blind metal shade.

Multi-functional Kitsch Clocks - 1966 Numechron Tele-Vision Clock & 1950s Telephonecigarettelighterlampclock
See some others at his Flickr Set->Link

Related;
All Clock Posts


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15,000 Pound Belt Driven Digital Clock from 1931

15,000 Pound Belt Driven Digital Clock from 1931Moving numerals, three feet high, will tell (told) Londoners the time when a monster clock now under construction in one of this British city’s railroad stations is completed. The big timepiece is believed the largest without hands ever built. Three endless belts of steel slats, driven by an electric motor, carry the numbers past a rectangular window high on the station wall where they are made visible. Each numeral is outlined by silvered disks of reflecting material, and floodlights play upon the figures to make them show up clearly at a distance. The movement of the belts is governed automatically from a control panel with an extremely accurate master clock, which in turn is constantly regulated from the observatory at Greenwich. The steel roller on which the hour numerals are shown is thirty-seven feet long and the blinds weigh about 15,000 pounds.

And Tag Heuer thought their V4 Monaco was the first belt-driven timepiece?? Ha!

15,000 Pound Belt Driven Digital Clock from 1931From a 1931 Popular Science



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The 1000 Year Forest Clock - The TiWalkMe Escapement


TiWalkMe is a 1000 year clock in the guise of a forest, with annual tree plantings setting the pace of time, and their maturing the clockwork mechanism. TiWalkMe's purpose is to make deep time visible, and thus to help individuals and society focus on those hard, long term problems which determine our success as a species.

Over the next millennia, the TiWalkMe Escapement will constantly move and bow to the winds of time. Sections age, others regrow, and above all, change is embraced. Details must be left to future generations, but this generation will locate the site, etch the overall plan of paths and trees, and set the clock into motion. Never the less, throughout time three principles should guide its evolution:
  • Principle 1: The slow march of trees across the Escapement must always be visible and unobstructed.

  • Principle 2: The Escapement must adapt to future knowledge and needs, yet remain balanced with the past.
  • Principle 3: TiWalkMe's mission is to bring perspective and insight to its visitors.

Bell & Siphon

Rather than a static network of ponds and streams, the Escapement's pools empty periodically into the stream below. Although pumps or other massive infrastructure could be used to force water across each dam, TiWalkMe will adapt a passive, gravity-powered "bell and siphon" to echo nature's grand cycle. Yet the flow will be as dramatic and as willful as nature's own.

The most elegant and efficient pump in the world is a siphon. Containing no moving parts, requiring no forces other than gravity and surface tension for operation, siphons are at work everyday emptying gas tanks, filtering aquariums, and moving drinking water from reservoir to town. More about the Bell & Siphon system-->Link


Overhead view
More on the design-->Link

Conceptualized locations include larger rural or even smaller scale urban settings. The search continues for funding, volunteers, and site selection.

The interesting man behind the TiWalkMe is inventor, physicist, entrepreneur, designer, former Bell Labs chief scientist, and now venture capitalist Greg Blonder of Genuine Ideas. A mad genius of over 70 patents and thousands of other genuine ideas.

After exchanging some emails with Greg, he summed it up nicely for me...

"My main point is captured by Yogi Berra, who famously noted "you can see a lot just by looking". Imagine walking though the forest in the first year, then the second and third. And tenth with your children. Slow down- think- visualize the paths and leaves in your mind.... What will have changed? What risks are a forest like this likely to face from the ravages of nature, visitors, insects? How can one plan and organize to keep the forest safe and a legacy for future generations? Understand the forest, and you will exercise the very same skills we need to develop to solve challenges never before faced in all of human history.

Realistically, as I've searched for an appropriate site and sponsor, they either specify a conventional park, or a conventional business district with mixed use facilities and homes. Short term thinking, of course. A city which embraced the TiWalkMe forest will become a magnet for associated organizations, and then businesses and jobs. Plus, unlike a woollen mill or high tech park, its base will not migrate away. But few visionaries are in power, I'm afraid."

TiWalkMe Website-->Link


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TIME OF DEATH - Antique Rotating Eyeball Skull Clocks by Oswald - HAUNTED HOROLOGY #3

TIME OF DEATH - Antique Rotating Eyeball Skull Clocks by Oswald - HAUNTED HOROLOGY #3I recently featured the antique rotating eyeball clock genre (here), but since I can't seem to stop featuring death related timepieces, here are a few more of the very rare skull versions. These eight day novelty clocks were built by Oswald of Germany between 1926 and 1944. These models are quite hard to find and generally cost a few thousand dollars.

TIME OF DEATH - Antique Rotating Eyeball Skull Clocks by Oswald - HAUNTED HOROLOGY #3The dials are represented as the eyes separating the hours on the left and minutes to the right. Most of their collection feature cross-eyed genies, monkeys, gnomes, owls, and dogs (LOTS of dogs).

Patent information here-->Link


TIME OF DEATH - Antique Rotating Eyeball Skull Clocks by Oswald - HAUNTED HOROLOGY #3
TIME OF DEATH - Antique Rotating Eyeball Skull Clocks by Oswald - HAUNTED HOROLOGY #3Related posts;
1610 Screaming Skull Clock

Mary Queen of Scots Skull Watch
All Memento Mori Posts
Other Oswald Eyeball Clocks

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Primo 4 - Mermod Frères Mechanical Musical Wristwatch

Primo 4 - Mermod Frères Mechanical Musical WristwatchOut of business since the stock market crash of 1929, Mermod Freres is a horological zombie rising from the dead with the newly introduced, "Primo 4", its first ever mechanical wristwatch with four disc musical function. Using the old fashioned steel comb, the watch plays four tunes. Since it costs an arm and a leg, of course they'll put any tune you want on it but the standard pre-selected songs include; Mungo Jerry, "In The Summertime" and Queen, "We Will Rock You". If I ever find an audio example of the watch, believe me, I'll will share it with you!

So, combining your grandmother's music box collection and a macho sized 45mm watch this is sure to appeal to, er, umm... Well, I'm not really sure...but he's out there!

Primo 4 - Mermod Frères Mechanical Musical WristwatchI'll consider buying it if they include The Ramones, "I Wanna Be Sedated"


Related posts
Musical Watches


Mermod Frères website-->Link
Musical & Mechanical @ Europastar-->Link


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Use Your Phonograph as an Alarm Clock - Popular Science 1932Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab StudioJim Henson's Time Piece - 1965 Experimental Film1947 Wrist Lighter from Mechanix IllustratedJust when you thought you've seen everything...Multi-functional Kitsch Clocks - 1966 Numechron Tele-Vision Clock & 1950s Telephonecigarettelighterlampclock15,000 Pound Belt Driven Digital Clock from 1931The 1000 Year Forest Clock - The TiWalkMe EscapementTIME OF DEATH - Antique Rotating Eyeball Skull Clocks by Oswald - HAUNTED HOROLOGY #3Primo 4 - Mermod Frères Mechanical Musical Wristwatch

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