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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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Seiko Moving Design Collection - The Discus

Seiko Moving Design Collection - The DiscusMore seventies inspired mechanical digital watches keep rotating into modern designs including this "Discus" - from the Seiko Moving Design Collection. Featuring a jumping hour display of spinning discs through a porthole viewer and all under a smoky transparent crystal. Powered by a mechanical automatic movement (Automatic 6R15B 23 Jewels with 6 beats per hour (21,600vph). Selling close to $900 outside the US.

Find out more at the Seiko Moving Design website here-->LINK

A review of the watch by Kong at Watchprosite.

See also;
Seiko Concept Lab - Power Design Project
All Seiko Related Posts
LIP Revival Seventies Mythic Spinning Discs
All Jump Hour Posts




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Finding Proof of the Jovial "Vision 2000"

Finding Proof of the Jovial Recently finding evidence of this rare 1970s Jovial "Vision 2000" from a vintage advertisement, I still had little hope of ever finding photographic proof of it's existence. But thanks to my deep reaches into the crevices of obscure watch collections, a guy from Italy sent me these photos of his well-worn specimen. He described how he found it at an old watchmaker's shop near Venice almost 20 years ago, right before the store went out of business. How do you say "Please sell it to me!" in Italian?

From my original post-->Link


Finding Proof of the Jovial Finding Proof of the Jovial
Finding Proof of the Jovial From the original 1970s ad

Finding Proof of the Jovial
Enter The Watchismo Times 1st anniversary vintage chronograph giveway!-->LINK


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1934 Midget Icebox - The Coolest Watch in the World

1934 Midget Icebox - The Coolest Watch in the WorldWell, maybe you won't know what time it is, but you'll be the coolest cat in that sweaty speakeasy! From an article in the September 1934 issue of Popular Science. Original text below...
1934 Midget Icebox - The Coolest Watch in the WorldICEBOX ON WRIST TO COOL THE WHOLE BODY

"Purdue University physicists say the whole body may be kept cool during the hottest weather by a recently developed miniature refrigerator that straps to the wrist in the manner of a watch. The refrigerator is somewhat larger than a wrist watch and encloses a pellet of dry ice— solid carbon dioxide. As the dry ice evaporates, it forms an invisible gas. Escaping from the case, the gas has the same effect as cold water poured over the wrists. It lowers the temperature of the blood in the arteries and this cooled blood is carried to every part of the body. The metal case is insulated from the wrist by rubber, as the temperature of the dry ice is 109 degrees below zero and its contact with the skin would result in a severe burn. With proper insulation, however, there is no danger of this occurring. And thus the device can be worn in perfect safety."

1934 Midget Icebox - The Coolest Watch in the WorldThe original issue

Via Modern Mechanix

Related Posts;
Other vintage watch ads & videos


Enter The Watchismo Times 1st anniversary vintage chronograph giveway!-->LINK


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Omega Speedmaster "Missions" Collection

Omega Speedmaster Omega Speedmaster After the phenomenal success of the Omegamania auction this summer, Antiquorum is offering many more vintage and contemporary Omega watches at the upcoming Important Collector's Wristwatches auction on September 26th in New York City.

Highlighted here is the rare collection of commemorative Moon Mission watches, a tribute to the legendary 'Speedmaster Professional', which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 1997. Omega offered an exceptional collection of 23 Speedmaster watches presented in a case covered with genuine spacesuit cloth. The case contains a special series of 22 stainless steel Speedmaster watches, each with a different official NASA mission patch on its dial at 9 o'clock: from the August 1965 Gemini V to the November 1973 Skylab SL-4. The collection also includes a replica of the original 1957 Speedmaster. The Omega Speedmaster valise was produced in a numbered limited series of 50: 40 examples for commercial sale, including this one, plus 5 presentation sets and 5 'artist's proof' examples.

Buzz Aldrin above with his velcro'd Speedy.

Omega Speedmaster Estimated between $80,000 and $100,000
Auction-->LINK

And if you prefer the real deal like me, here are a few of their actual Omega moon watches for auction;

Omega Speedmaster 1965 Speedmaster "Pre-Moon Alpha"
est. $2000-3000
Auction-->Link

Omega Speedmaster 1969 Speedmaster Professional
est. $5000-7000
Auction-->Link

Some of the additional highlights of the Antiquorum auction-->Link


Click to find modern Speedmasters
Search for other watches


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Bizarro Buler Beast

Bizarro Buler BeastWhen I say a watch is one of the oddest I've seen, you gotta believe me. This 1970 Buler is one of those and can be distinguished as having "a face only a mother could love". Absolutely enormous bullion sized driver angled case, grooved black slots, atomic green dial, manual winding hexagon crown, and most superbly weird, the original mint leather-cloth mesh band! Even the buckle is leather!

Via-->Link

Bizarro Buler Beast
Bizarro Buler Beast
Bizarro Buler Beast
Related Posts;
Other unusual vintage 60's & 70's watches-->Link



Find other watches here


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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

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1970 Jovial Vision 2000 - Today's Time with Tomorrow's Styling

1970 Jovial Vision 2000 - Today's Time with Tomorrow's StylingEvery so often, I find a really odd watch I've never seen before, never heard of before, and can not live without after. This 70's "Jovial Vision 2000" is one of those, and now one of many vintage Holy Grails I must seek out. Having never seen the actual watch, I'm satiated for now with this original advertisement from an early seventies Basel Fair.

One of a few watches that had half-dials with compressed hours for the covered portion. I am organizing a future posting (next week) of all the unusual vintage varieties with this strange display. If anyone ever does find a Jovial Vision 2000, please email me, share the photos for a follow up and prepare to receive an offer from me. I'd be more than jovial...yes, I just said that. Ugh.


1970 Jovial Vision 2000 - Today's Time with Tomorrow's StylingAd copy; "Vision 2000 The watch that tells today's time with tomorrow's styling"

1970 Jovial Vision 2000 - Today's Time with Tomorrow's StylingSideview

1970 Jovial Vision 2000 - Today's Time with Tomorrow's StylingAd copy; "You may not be able to go to the moon yet but you can already wear this VISION - 2000 watch of outer space concept"

Related Posts;
Paul Smith Half Dial
Double Dial Watches
Amida Digitrend AdOther Vintage Watch Ads



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Japanese Steampunk Watchmaker Haruo Suekichi

Japanese Steampunk Watchmaker Haruo Suekichi
"Haruo Suekichi has made thousands of watches, each with an individual name. And to think it all started with a one-armed man at a flea market in Japan."


Caught somewhere between sadistic torture device and a steampunk gadget, Suekichi's artisinal timepieces are prolifically original, fantastically bizarre, and perfectly timed for The Watchismo Times.

Japanese Steampunk Watchmaker Haruo Suekichi

"Steampunk, a subgenre of speculative science fiction which came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England." Incorporating
retro-futurism styles of fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells.

More excerpts from the Chief interview;

"I started to work in a toy store, as a salesman. Across from the toy store was a watchmaker, and he would sometimes come over during work hours, and we became friends. I asked him if he could teach me how to make watches, and... [nods]."

"
So did your watches start out as unique as they are now, or have you built up to this level of weird?"

"In the beginning, they were pretty simple, a strange drawing maybe, but that's about it. But at the flea market, a one-armed man came up to me. And he said to me, well, with only my left arm, I can't put on a watch. Wow, I thought, he's right...I wonder if I could make a watch like that? So I made - and you can see one upstairs in the showcase - I made a watch that you put your wrist in it and it shuts around your wrist."

Suekichi's gallery-->Link
and more-->Link
Chief interview-->Link


Click photos to enlarge

Japanese Steampunk Watchmaker Haruo Suekichi
Japanese Steampunk Watchmaker Haruo Suekichi
Japanese Steampunk Watchmaker Haruo Suekichi
Japanese Steampunk Watchmaker Haruo Suekichi
Japanese Steampunk Watchmaker Haruo Suekichi
Japanese Steampunk Watchmaker Haruo Suekichi
Japanese Steampunk Watchmaker Haruo Suekichi
Japanese Steampunk Watchmaker Haruo Suekichi


Thanks to Mark & BoingBoing


Click for MP3 Wristwatches


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The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCD

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCD
The Dynamic Scattering Liquid Crystal Display, the precursor to the common gray 'Field Effect' LCD displays of today. Only produced for two years, they are rarer than most other vintage digital LED watches of the seventies. Digits were low contrast silver and only really visible when looking directly at the watch. Pulling and twisting the crown in either direction sets the watch but you must hold it as it advances just one minute at a time.

Relatively obscure to most collectors, the Dynamic Scattering LCDs were difficult to read, housed in giant cases and frustrating to set time. That's exactly why they're so damn cool.


The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDMathey Tissot (Left)
Roamer MicroQuartz (Right)

Some LCD history (via Smithsonian)
(kinda boring so feel free to skip down to the watch photos below)

Liquid crystals are organic substances that reflect light when voltage is applied.

In a watch display, the liquid crystal material is sandwiched in between two layers of glass. A transparent electrode pattern has been applied on the inner surfaces of the glass in the shape of the digital bars used in the time display. The integrated circuit applies voltage to the appropriate segments of the display, which reflect the ambient light to display the time. These molecules are affected by the voltage in such a way that they contrast sharply with the molecules in the rest of the display that do not receive current. Because LCDs reflect, rather than emit, light, the voltage requirements are quite low.

Scientists have known about liquid crystals since the 1880s.

Scientists have known about liquid crystals since the end of the 19th century, but applications appeared only in the 1960s. Friedrich Reinitzer and Otto Lehmann first noted their behavior and named them in the 1880s. European laboratory scientists came to understand the physics and chemistry of liquid crystals during the 1930s, but it wasn't until the 1960s that investigations began in the United States in both basic research and practical uses for liquid crystals.

LCD watches first appeared in 1970, but the display required improvement.

The first liquid crystal displays were developed in 1968 by a research group at RCA's David Sarnoff Research Center, headed by George Heilmeier. This display was based on the dynamic scattering mode. In 1970 Nunzio Luce, Louis Zanoni, George Graham, and Joel Goldmacher left RCA and joined Optel Corporation, where they developed the first LCD display for commercial purposes, including the digital watch display.

Because the DSM LCDs suffered from relatively high power consumption, limited life, and poor contrast, the search continued for a workable LCD. James Fergason at Kent State invented an improved display based on the twisted nematic field effect in 1969. Fergason left Kent State and formed ILIXCO Corporation to manufacture his display. The first LCD watch with an ILIXCO display was marketed by Gruen. The field effect display is the kind most frequently found in today's LCD products.

Much more can be found in the Pieter Doensen book, "Watch - History of the Modern Wristwatch" -->Link

A visual history of some Dynamic Scattering LCD watches 1972-1974;


The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDUnknown Sideview DS LCD

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDVery rare Spacesonic (Spaceman Audacieuse)


The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCD1972 BWC (from extensive digital collection at Magic Digitals)


The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDDS LCD Quartz Module

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDBWC, Milus, Wyler, Glycine, Ditronic

Other brands that produced DS LCD;
Microma, Optel, Elgin, Nepro, Texas Instruments,
Silvania, Rodania, Titus, Helvetia, Computime,
Richard, Pallas, Sandoz and Zodiac

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDJules Jurgensen OPTCOM 1
Top photo shows the low contrast silver display

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCD
The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDLongines / Swissonic 2000

The Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCDWestclox Quartzmatic





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Seiko Moving Design Collection - The DiscusFinding Proof of the Jovial "Vision 2000"1934 Midget Icebox - The Coolest Watch in the WorldOmega Speedmaster "Missions" CollectionBizarro Buler BeastHorological Horticulture - 1970's Greenhouse Watch1970 Jovial Vision 2000 - Today's Time with Tomorrow's StylingJapanese Steampunk Watchmaker Haruo SuekichiThe Rarest Digital Watches - 1972 Dynamic Scattering LCD

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