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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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Beastie Boys Nixon Time Teller P Watches - No Sleep Till Nixon! Custom Designed by Mike D Himself!

Beastie Boys Nixon Time Teller P Watches - No Sleep Till Nixon! Custom Designed by Mike D Himself!
Who would have thought that a punk band thrown together for its bass player’s 17th birthday party would evolve into one of the most influential and groundbreaking successes of its time? Certainly not the then-teenage Beastie Boys. Yet the band’s 25-year-and-counting career has logged 40 million in sales, two Grammy awards, the MTV Video Vanguard Lifetime Achievement award, four #1 albums; including the first hip hop album ever to top the Billboard 200, the band’s 1986 debut full length, Licensed To Ill, and countless sold out world tours, magazine covers and TV appearances.

As lifelong lovers of everything skate, snow and surf not to mention style icons in there own right it is fitting for Nixon to have The Beastie Boys create a unique interpretation of Nixon's Timeteller P watch available in four color ways which will be sold at select retailers.

Mike D went on to add "I am proud to release this little treasure as a token of my achievement in both the yachting and hip-hop communities. This advanced time piece allows me to navigate the open seas and the open mic".


Beastie Boys Nixon Time Teller P Watches - No Sleep Till Nixon! Custom Designed by Mike D Himself!
Beastie Boys Nixon Time Teller P Watches - No Sleep Till Nixon! Custom Designed by Mike D Himself!
Beastie Boys Nixon Time Teller P Watches - No Sleep Till Nixon! Custom Designed by Mike D Himself!
Beastie Boys Nixon Time Teller P Watches - No Sleep Till Nixon! Custom Designed by Mike D Himself!
Beastie Boys Nixon Time Teller P Watches - No Sleep Till Nixon! Custom Designed by Mike D Himself!
Available in September from Watchismo! See the Beastie Boys Nixon Collection Here for this very first sneak peek!


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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Vintage Watching - Two Very Rare 1970 Helmet Jump Hour Watches

Vintage Watching - Two Very Rare 1970 Helmet Jump Hour WatchesHoly crap, I've seen one of these before but fellow eccentric vintage jump hour collector Ruud has found two of them at once! You'll hear more and more about his amazing collection of vintage digital jump hours in time to come... Now if I could only convince him to share the wealth, hell, I'm probably the only other person in the world who would actually want this ridiculous rarity.

Vintage Watching - Two Very Rare 1970 Helmet Jump Hour Watches
Vintage Watching - Two Very Rare 1970 Helmet Jump Hour WatchesA vertical drum display not unlike the 1974 Jaz Derby Swissonic (featured-->here) Or my favorite of all time, the 1950s Patek Philippe Cobra (featured-->here)

Vintage Watching - Two Very Rare 1970 Helmet Jump Hour Watches
Vintage Watching - Two Very Rare 1970 Helmet Jump Hour Watches
Related Stories;
Patek Philippe Cobra Sideview Prototype of 1958
1974 Jaz Derby Swissonic Cylindrical Jump Hour
All Jump Hour Posts
All Sideview Display Posts
Alternative Displays
Jean Dunand Shabaka
Jacob & Co. Quenttin
The Cabestan


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Horological Horticulture - 1970's Greenhouse Watch

Horological Horticulture - 1970's Greenhouse WatchFound an interesting vintage mechanical Lucerne that could double as a terrarium. I'm sure there's a geometric term for this shape but I must have skipped that day in high school. Similar to the Spaceman Audacieuse of the early seventies with it's anglular space age styling, unsure which came first. Transparent viewing from the sides and top allow the sunlight to germinate your hour flowers.

Horological Horticulture - 1970's Greenhouse Watch
Horological Horticulture - 1970's Greenhouse Watch
via-->Link

Related Posts;
Space Age Watches
All other Vintage Posts

Find other watches


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Vintage Transistor Wrist Radios - Dick Tracy Wannabes

After my recent post on vintage watches for kids and another about the Sinclair FM Radio Watch, I had to feature a visual history of transistor radio watches. The invention of transistor radios in the fifties allowed radios to be much smaller than ever before, using much less power and eventually finding there way inside every imaginable portable product through the seventies. So needless to say, I'm showcasing the absurd world of novelty wrist-radios and radio-watches...

As much as people wanted two-way technology or walkie-talkie style of the famous Dick Tracy gadget, most got big bulky AM receiving behemoths like these.

1970s Aitron LED watch & transistor radio
The only transistor radio with LED watch. Display fit into center of speaker.
via ledwatches.net --> Link


Ga-ga-grooovy 70's wrist-radios!


Many brands like Wristo & Aitron

Radio Watch from Ultra-Terrestrial's collection -->Link
Sinclair's Accordion Prototype - The first FM radio-watch
Originally featured here --> Link
1964 Sinclair Micro-6 Transrista - Worlds smallest wrist-radio --> Link
Vintage ads from the 50's & 60's for homemade wrist-radios


The man



Vintage Solar Powered Watches - A Partly Cloudy History

Evolution of the Sundial


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

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


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


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

Sicura Ad


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



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


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


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


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

Cristalonic Advertisements


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

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

Vintage Plastic Explosives - Early Polymer Watchmaking

Delrin, Polyamide, Polyacette, Hostaform, Polystyrol, Lucite, Acrylic, Perspex and Bakelite were all part of a new medium of 1960's & 70's plastic watchmaking (the first all plastic watch-->link). With flexible materials came flexible designs and like animated characters in a cartoon, the creators were able to push limits of the physical world.

Some vintage polymer highlights...


70's Buler Volcano

Tekron Cube

70's Mount Royal Curvex

1960's Bullseye

60's Lucerne Cuffbuster

And just to point out, these are all mechanical (manual wind-up and automatic) watches. The Swatch revolution was still 10-15 years away.

'Dictatorship of Exact Time' Tian Harlan's Chromachron

Original 1973 model
(Time shown is approx half past one)

Tian Harlan, architect, engineer, artist develops the communication system 'Chromachron' (Chroma=Color ; Chronos=Time) in 1971. Timekeeping is approximated with a rotating disk revolving around a colored timezone by mechanical (wind-up) movement. Rotation is gauged by motion without demarcation of minutes or seconds. Each color represents an hour and as the cutaway passes through each - time is visualized, as he hoped, with less rigidity. Detailed in Pieter Doensen's book 'Watch - History of the Modern Wristwatch' as the 'anti-stress watch' freeing us from the 'dictatorship of exact time.'

1973-78 Models
(Left=little past 12 ; Right=9:20ish)

Originally conceived as the 'Colour-Time' clock sculpture at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Tian created over 100 variants of the watch (and clocks) through the eighties.


Handball - 1960's Vendome Sphere Watch

Undeniably Verner Panton-esque 1968 ball wristwatch by Vendome. Awkwardly sitting over one inch (25mm) off your arm, this bright orange lucite sphere with Swiss mechanical winding 17 jewel movement was once part of my personal collection - recently rolled onto another wrist.

1971 Tissot Astrolon - First Complete Plastic Watch

Tissot Astrolon Cal. 2250 Plastic Watch & Movement

1971 Tissot 'Astrolon - Synthetic Idea 2001' Wristwatch, the first complete plastic watch. Intended to reduce components needed to assemble a mechanical watch. Successfully cutting the parts from 91 to 52, shortening the assembly by 40 time-consuming operations, the Astrolon or "Sytal", (an acronym for "Systeme Total d'Autolubrification") paved the way for a little start-up known as Swatch. Tissot researched plastic mechanical watchmaking for nearly 20 years before introducing this innovator and ultimate failure.



Beastie Boys Nixon Time Teller P Watches - No Sleep Till Nixon! Custom Designed by Mike D Himself!Watchismo's Top Ten Vintage Plastic WatchesVintage Watching - Two Very Rare 1970 Helmet Jump Hour WatchesHorological Horticulture - 1970's Greenhouse WatchVintage Transistor Wrist Radios - Dick Tracy WannabesVintage Solar Powered Watches - A Partly Cloudy HistoryVintage Plastic Explosives - Early Polymer Watchmaking

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