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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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Astronomic Watches by Christiaan van der Klaauw


Literally out of this world, the classic-cased timepieces by Dutch watchmaker Christian van der Klauuw are astronomically complicated. Inconceivably measuring everything from the position of the planets, the constellations, worldwide sunrises, sunsets, solar and lunar eclipses. Each model is handmade by Christiaan himself resulting in a very limited edition of each. Originally an astronomical clockmaker, the watches were developed after he miniaturized his own highly complicated movements.


Self-lauded as the smallest planetarium in the world, the obviously named 'Planetarium' features a heliocentric revolution of the planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). 


His most recent invention introduced at the 2006 Basel World, the 'Venus' features a very animated dial with separately rotating Earth & Moon and Venus orbiting the Sun amidst the Constellations.


Frighteningly complex, the 'Astrolibium' measures celestial bodies and constellations. 

Astrolibium Guide


A variation of the Astrolibium, the 'Mondial CK1' is customized to where you are located on the globe and features a sunrise/sunset gauge for the rest of the planet. 



One of Christiaan van der Klaauw's original Astronomical Clocks which ultimately led to his miniaturized mechanical universe.

The Highly Unusual Vintage Favre Leuba Moonraider Watch


Simple at first glance, this very rare early 1970's automatic winding 'Favre Leuba Moonraider' is a particularly unusual design with asymmetric stainless steel/fiberglass case (bending further out towards the offset crown), bulging triangular dial and swelling hour markers leading to the date window at 12. Ultimately engorging your collection if you're lucky enough to find one.

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.

The Aurora Clock - Horological Borealis

In honor of the recent solar storm headed to earth, I'd like to remind y'all about the super mod Aurora Clock. You might remember these Northern Light style clocks from the seventies with it's polarized color-shifting light show and rotating planetary seconds sphere inside a tubular polished aluminum case.

Well, either way, Chrono Art is repairing old models and selling new & improved ones with brighter Super Flux variable spectrum LED lighting.


Sideview of Aurora


Pierre Balmain's Anomalies of 1971-73

Pierre Balmain, a traditionally conservative French fashion designer, created an unconventional line of watches during 1971-73 -- most similar to the newfangled Pierre Cardin models of the same years. Minimalist domes, asymmetric wedges, chunky cubes, and panelled plates make up this unorthodox vintage series.

1960's Seth Thomas 'Sethosphere' Mystery Clock

Good thing my wife loves timepieces as much as I do. She agreed this space-age-deco globule of a clock would be an anniversary gift to ourselves. When I first showed her the Seth Thomas 'Sethosphere' mystery clock - movement hidden in brass base & mechanics leading through tube to center sphere - she belted out "We must have this!" Don't twist my arm lady. Fine. It's here, it's queer, get used to it.


Sethosphere Front View 

Whatthefuckwatch by Tokyoflash Japan

Tokyoflash has always brought us great gadget watches flexing new timetelling muscles but this time, you'll rip flesh trying to determine how late you are. The all stainless steel 'Biohazard' Alien Detection Watch has an advanced multi-color LCD display and is summed up like this;
  • Top row - 12 Helix bars, each lit for the hours of the day
  • Bottom row - Blue blocks represent 5 minute increments, green are 1 minute each.
  • The animated 'Alien DNA' calculation in the middle determines the date by the percentage shown - 12.04% = December 4th





Nixie Tube Clock by Klok Modern

Vintage Nixie Tubes from the USSR are reclaimed after 30-60 years in Russian warehouses by Industrial Designer, Mike Mayberry and his company, Klok Modern. Exquisitely displayed in his custom fabricated, limited edition, aircraft aluminum housing and sold as a kit for home assembly. The beauty of the ten layered electrodes glowing orange with overlapping dimension can only be appreciated when it's right in front of you.

Klok K7 Model


1950's Nixie Advertisement

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.

Astronomic Watches by Christiaan van der KlaauwThe Highly Unusual Vintage Favre Leuba Moonraider WatchVintage Plastic Explosives - Early Polymer WatchmakingThe Aurora Clock - Horological BorealisPierre Balmain's Anomalies of 1971-731960's Seth Thomas 'Sethosphere' Mystery ClockWhatthefuckwatch by Tokyoflash Japan

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