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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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Be sure to come check out our new blog at The Minutes where you'll find features like the following and much more!
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DOES YOUR WATCH HAVE BALLS?

The  Van Cleef & Arpels 'Midnight Planetarium Poetic Complication' by watchmaker Christiaan van der Klaauw, is a hypnotic astronomical timepiece bearing a miniature solar system that you can wear on your wrist. Ok, maybe the title of this post is a tad crass but the fact is the watches below have the balls to use spheres of [...]
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the coolest wood watches EVER MADE

There is no denying mid-century design was particularly special for art, cars & furniture but also true for a variety of watch designs. It was a period of experimentation with minimalism, asymmetry and new materials which opened the door for the use of wood in timepieces. Introduced in the late fifties and [...]

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PUTTING SOME STEAM BACK INTO STEAMPUNK

This week, we're revisiting an old friend, Japanese Steampunk watchmaker, Sueyoshi Haruo (also referred to as Haruo Suekichi), featured nearly a decade ago on The Watchismo Times blog. Having created thousands of custom built Steampunk watches, all nearly one of a kind and with completely hilarious mechanical functions like flapping leather dragon wings to celebratory noisemakers and [...]
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WHAT'S THE COOLEST WATCH NEVER MADE?

Far ahead of its time, the 1958 Patek Philippe Cobra concept watch was doomed.  Destined to torment space-age vintage watch collectors like myself, this watch exists only as a one-off prototype designed by renowned avant garde watchmaker Louis Cottier eight years before his death in 1966.  Unique for its linear time display and [...]
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Prototype Patek Philippe Cobra Movement
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ANDREW GRIMA'S UNUSUAL OMEGA & LED WATCHES 1969-76

Andrew Grima was a famous British mid-century modern jewelry designer, commissioned to create unusual one-of-a-kind watches for Omega and Pulsar in the 60's & early 70's. He was commissioned by Omega to create a highly aesthetic avant-garde collection called 'About Time'.  Grima was given a free hand and chose to stick to one principle: he would [...]
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ARE WATCHES ART?

If you ask us, we wholeheartedly believe there has been a new genre of art forming over the past twenty years within the very exclusive world of independent horology.  That said, it's more about motion and machines as the medium but nevertheless, there are some important collaborations that have occurred with watch brands and [...]


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THANK GOD IT'S SEVENFRIDAY

We've been watching  SEVENFRIDAY's growth in their fast & furious few years since inception...and we're hooked, especially the new collections & limited editions available in very small quantities. In pole position sits the  P3B/01 RACER, the newest from the original P Series. Undeniably forward thinking design up & down, inside and out. Hot on its heels is the [...]

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WHAT DOES TIME IN THE 4TH DIMENSION LOOK LIKE?

22 Design Studio's elegant '4th Dimension' Watches feature a staircase of high tension concrete for the dial. From its sculptural time display to the custom shaped brass hands and perfectly styled leather straps, every detail of this wristwatch has been designed to show the beauty of the raw materials. This unique timepiece's tanned leather and [...]

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk Watches

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk WatchesIn the past, I've written about high end masterpieces like Vianney Halter's Antiqua (starting at $50,000 and up) and the artistic horology concept watches of Haruo Suekichi, but it was only a matter of time before affordable Jules Vernesque timepieces were made for those who want to actually own a high quality Steampunk wristwatch. Yes, the term has worn out its welcome but the look is timeless nevertheless -- and how can a riveted porthole watch not be cool?

The brand is Retrowerk of Germany and below, I photographed their off-the-wall collection wristwatches with elements of brass and steel pistons, portholes, rivets, compasses, revolving jump hour discs, screwcap crown covers, chains, automatic rotor mechanisms, and of course, many cogs and gears. The prices range from $429 to $1098 USD.

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk WatchesThe first is the Compass Jump Hour, an extreme multi-leveled timepiece with a partial dial with three discs for hours, minutes and seconds. Protruding up like a periscope is the compass under thick "coke bottle" type glass, almost as if there is a submarine cruising inside your wrist. The automatic winding version utilizes a Swiss ETA 2824 mechanical movement.

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk WatchesProtrusions are a reoccuring theme with Retrowerk - the Piston (above), with namesake piston mechanism-screwcap crown cover and riveted watch case. As I attempt to showcase in my photos far below, each angle of the watch is mechanically sculptural and borders on satisfyingly absurd. Automatic version also features a Swiss ETA 2824 movement.

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk WatchesSide-view of Retrowerk Compass Watch

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk WatchesFull-frontal view

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk WatchesJump Hour display and raised compass

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk WatchesSideways

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk WatchesScrew-cap detatched exposing crown

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk WatchesExtreme view

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk WatchesThe Retrowerk Piston

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk WatchesPiston Crown Cap

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk WatchesRiveted Piston Case

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk WatchesPiston mechanism

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk WatchesAdditional views of the Piston

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk WatchesRivets Rivets Rivets!

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk Watches
A third model features a retrograde display for 24 hour GMT time zone.

Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk Watches
Product Page--> LINK

All Watchismo Times Steampunk Posts--> Link
Japanese Watchmaker Haruo Suekichi--> Link
The Horology of Vianney Halter--> Link


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The Clone of Vianney Halter's One-of-a-Kind Satellarium


The Clone of Vianney Halter's One-of-a-Kind SatellariumA unique Vianney Halter piece will be on show during Salon Belles Montres in Paris (27th to 30th of November).

In 2001 Halter realized a series of 108 Jumping Hour and Moonphase Watches
for Egana Goldpfeil.

The “Faces of Time” project also included a one-of-a-kind watch. For that one, Halter imagined and realized a very special timepiece that was called “Satellarium” due to his very special shape. For this, Vianney worked with the french designer Pascal Pagès who also contributed to the JHMP and to the Opus 3.

This piece is like 3 round cases linked together and inserted into a structure. In the larger case is the Hour and Minute display while in the lower “satellite” case is the moonphase and in the upper “satellite” case is a very unexpected thermometer. The whole is in platinum and powered with an automatic movement.

This unique piece was delivered to Goldpfeil in 2001 and sold. As far as we know, it now belongs to a Russian collector. It was rumored to be for sale four years ago for $450,000 USD.

But the truth is this piece is not that unique as Vianney also made a back-up piece so as to secure the delivery to Goldpfeil. This piece is slightly different than the one delivered to Goldpfeil as only “Vianney Halter” brand name appeared on it while the other one was branded “Gold / Pfeil” on the main dial.

Via Horomundi

The Clone of Vianney Halter's One-of-a-Kind SatellariumThe original Goldpfeil Satellarium

The Clone of Vianney Halter's One-of-a-Kind SatellariumVianney's Jump Hour "JHMP" for Goldpfeil
(photomontage-->link)


The Clone of Vianney Halter's One-of-a-Kind SatellariumVianney Halter's landmark Antiqua
(photomontage-->link)


Vianney Halter Website-->Link

See Also;
All Related Vianney Halter Posts on The Watchismo Times-->Link


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Phinally! Photographs (and Video) of the HD3 Complication Bi-Axial Tourbillon "Vulcania"

I wish watch brands would release real photos along with their Computer renderings. Though it is likely the real watch isn't even completed when you first see them as CAD (above).

Until then, I gotta rely on fellow bloggers like these from ProfessionalWatches who shared this video and shots of the one of eleven HD3 Bi-Axial Tourbillons ($400,000) from the SIHH show in Geneva earlier this month.


Video->Link


For more about this Steampunk masterpiece, read my first feature of the HD3 Complication Vulcania designed by Fabrice Gonet here-->LINK





See Also;
All Tourbillon Posts-->Link
All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link
All Steampunk Posts-->Link



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DeWhat? DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1

DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1Selling for 400,000 Euros at the OnlyWatch auction before it had been shown to anyone, the DeWitt Concept No.1 was a beast to behold last week at Baselworld. Devoloped with French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, this gothic pirate spaceship of a watch is taking the steampunk oeuvre to new heights with its expanding riveted case, flying tourbillon, five barrels and a 21 day power reserve.

I had a private viewing of the watch and took these shots...

DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1

DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1
DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1
DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1
DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1
DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1Some perspective on the size from the DeWitt watchmaker

DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1The entire time I wondered why this watch looked familiar
...then I figured it out!

Related Posts;
All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link
All Steampunk Posts-->Link

See Also;
DeWitt website-->Link


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New Clock & Gauge Robots from Bennett Robot Works

New Clock & Gauge Robots from Bennett Robot Works
A fantastic new collection of robot sculptures from Bennett Robot Works of Bridgehampton NY. Handbuilt by Gordon Bennett from a mixture of found objects both old and new. The parts are found in varous places including garbage dumps, basements, construction sites and garage sales.

They are inspired Norman Bel Geddes and Raymond Loewy whose visions of the "Modern Age" helped shape industrial design of the 40's and 50's. Each robot takes about a month to build, range in height from 14" to 36" (inches) and priced between $750 and $6000. Each is a unique one-of-a-kind sculpture and receives its own numbered metal tag.

New Clock & Gauge Robots from Bennett Robot WorksEolin

New Clock & Gauge Robots from Bennett Robot WorksLindstrom
New Clock & Gauge Robots from Bennett Robot WorksColumbia 2

New Clock & Gauge Robots from Bennett Robot WorksD.C.

New Clock & Gauge Robots from Bennett Robot Works
Sangamo

New Clock & Gauge Robots from Bennett Robot Works
Monarch

New Clock & Gauge Robots from Bennett Robot WorksTelechron 2

New Clock & Gauge Robots from Bennett Robot WorksLambda

New Clock & Gauge Robots from Bennett Robot Works


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All Mechanical Digital - The MECCANICO dG by de GRISOGONO

All Mechanical Digital - The MECCANICO dG by de GRISOGONODe GRISOGONO is about to launch the worlds most complicated Mechanical Digital/Analog watch at Basel 2008. The MECCANICO dG has two time-zones with a traditional analog display on top but one of the more amazing digital displays at the bottom. A pure mechanical digital display imitating LED segments but in fact are rolling tubes! Granted this is a CAD rendering but the real watch will be shown in a few days at Baselworld in Switzerland. I'll be in Basel so stay tuned to The Watchismo Times for the first photos...

All Mechanical Digital - The MECCANICO dG by de GRISOGONO
The Meccanico Press Release;
RETURN TO THE FUTURE!

The inventors and designers of Haute Horlogerie enjoy a rare privilege: the luxury of choice. Existing constructional principles and concepts can of course always be revisited and reinterpreted but a design team can also decide to strike out in an entirely new direction. Founder and president of de GRISOGONO, Fawaz Gruosi naturally favors the second approach. With the MECCANICO dG, the Geneva-based house's latest entry, de GRISOGONO is introducing a design that projects hallowed horological traditions far into the future. With its 651 components, the MECCANICO dG's mechanical movement is one of the most intricate made today. A Haute Horlogerie timepiece with two distinct timezones, it is the first to display both analogue and digital time by mechanical means. This world first - and de GRISOGONO patent! - features a highly complex time mechanism inside a particularly contemporary design.

For his company's fifteenth anniversary, Fawaz Gruosi, founder and president of de GRISOGONO, was determined to break new ground and explore an area no watch manufacturer had ever ventured into: a digital display driven by an exclusively mechanical system. Although it took considerable confidence and even a touch of rashness to involve himself with a project of this kind, Fawaz Gruosi never looked back, intent on leading the brand into uncharted and definitely challenging territory.

With its patented double time display, both analogue and digital, the MECCANICO dG design inaugurates a totally novel concept in mechanical Haute Horlogerie. A single mechanical movement, twin timezones, two types of display - the MECCANICO dG embodies a major innovation, combining for the first time in the history of horology a digital time display and a mechanical power supply.

A NEW DIMENSION

The digital display is a child of the quartz era. At the time, electronics seemed to have won the day and mechanical timekeeping was under threat. Three decades later, magnificently intricate mechanical movements are more in demand than ever and Haute Horlogerie enjoying unprecedented success. The intervening years saw traditional watchmaking recover and reinvent itself. Generating invention after invention, creating ever more stunning, gloriously finished designs, traditional watchmaking has conferred objet d'art status on its most cunningly complex timepieces. Yet up to now, it had never revisited the digital time display. With the MECCANICO dG, this reluctance is now a thing of the past. The design propels horological history forward into a new dimension.

The MECCANICO dG can be described as a dense cluster of microsystems featuring extremely elaborate cam and gear assemblies. Its exclusive de GRISOGONO handwound mechanical movement comprises 651 components. It is composed of an analogue display of the hours and minutes on the upper dial and a digitally displayed second timezone on the lower dial. The mechanically operated digital display of the second timezone shows tens of hours, single hours, tens of minutes and single minutes, all displayed by mobile microsegments driven by an assemblage of 23 cams connected to a set of gears and a triggering and synchronization system.

The time information is displayed by an array of 23 horizontally and vertically positioned microsegments. Vertical segments are 9 mm high and weigh at most 25 milligrams while the horizontal segments measure 2.90 mm in length and weigh only 10 milligrams. The segments have four faces: two opposing visible faces fitted with colored strips and two opposing unmarked faces. Time changes are effected by 90° rotations of the required segment or segments. Involving one to twelve segments, time changes are lightning fast.

GROUNDBREAKING DESIGN

The MECCANICO dG's exclusive Haute Horlogerie technical design is matched by striking contemporary styling. Its intricate mechanical systems are visible through its transparent dial plate. Also featuring colored strips, the analogue time display's hour markers seem suspended in thin air so as to reveal the underlying mechanism. Like every de GRISOGONO movement, the MECCANICO dG's own caliber is meticulously finished and its components blackened. The words “de GRISOGONO” and “Swiss Made” are inscribed directly on the movement while the back of the watch features a nameplate bearing the name “MECCANICO dG”.

Despite the power needed to action the double analogue and digital display and the torque required to effect the instantaneous rotation of the digital display's microsegments, the MECCANICO's handwound mechanical movement, exclusive to de GRISOGONO, provides a power reserve of some 35 hours, visible through a cambered sapphire backplate on a 90° sectoral display on the movement's reverse side.

The MECCANICO dG case does justice to its exceptional movement. Notable for generous dimensions (56 x 48 mm) and camberedlines, water-resistant to 30 meters (~ 100 feet), this pioneering design is available in a choice of styles: titanium, titanium and red gold, titanium and rubber and titanium and platinum. In keeping with the design's futuristic allure, its correctors and the crown guard are fashioned from vulcanized rubber. Its analogue display is set by the crown opposite 3 o'clock while the second timezone is set by a pair of correctors - for hours at left, for minutes at right. Also crafted from vulcanized rubber, the strap is fitted with a deployment clasp buckle featuring the de GRISOGONO crest.

Launched to mark an exceptional horological year at de GRISOGONO, the MECCANICO dG is being produced in a limited edition of 177 watches in titanium and 177 in white gold.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
  • Reference DG 042
  • Caliber Exclusive to de GRISOGONO
  • Movement thickness 11.45 mm
  • Movement dimensions rectangular: 38.10 x 34.70 mm
  • Number of components 651 for the movement, 70 for the case
  • Jeweling 77 (movement and display)
  • Frequency 28,800 v.p.h. (4 Hz)
  • Power reserve about 35 hours
  • Indications Hours, minutes and second timezone
  • Case titanium; 5N red gold; titanium and gold; titanium and platinum, titanium and rubber
  • Water resistance 30 meters (~ 100 feet) = 30 atm.
  • Hands “dauphine” style in 18K red gold
  • Strap black natural rubber
  • Clasp Double deployment construction in titanium and 5N red gold.

See Also;
All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link


All Mechanical Digital - The MECCANICO dG by de GRISOGONOvia Horomundi


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The Car-laboration of Chronoswiss & Spyker

World’s first steampunk car/watch collaboration?
by Alex Doak for The Watchismo Times


The Car-laboration of Chronoswiss & SpykerI suspect Chronoswiss and Spyker’s partnership has soured of late, as the only official sign of their brief dalliance during 2003/4 is buried in the gallery section of the Dutch carmaker’s website… However, as one of the more interesting (ie, less cynical) car/watch brand tie-ins, a proper tribute from the Watchismo Times has been long overdue – especially since Chronoswiss’s signature knurled onion crown forms such a key motif in Spyker’s Steampunk (yes, Steampunk interior design).

The Car-laboration of Chronoswiss & Spyker
The Car-laboration of Chronoswiss & SpykerCheck out how that lush leather cushioning combines with the metallic burred dashplates and exposed gear lever shaft. It could easily be mistaken for the cockpit of an HG Wells contraption, rather than a 500bhp V8 supercar that’ll hit 100kmh in under 4 seconds.


The Car-laboration of Chronoswiss & Spyker
The Car-laboration of Chronoswiss & SpykerSpyker and Chronoswiss first joined forces in 2003. Cantankerous horolo-guru Gerd-Rudiger Lang, who celebrates the 25th anniversary of his watch brand this year, designed the ice-cool dashboard himself, as well as the Chronoswiss-Spyker ‘Double12’ 24-hour pilot’s watch, which paid tribute to (deep breath): Spyker’s aviation heritage (it merged with the Dutch Aircraft Factory in 1914 to make fighter planes); the C8 Double12 R car (top speed in excess of 199 mph, originally priced at a whopping €300,000); and the famous speed races which, in the past, were held in two 12-hour laps.


The Car-laboration of Chronoswiss & SpykerMore gratuitous car porn: this time, the drool-inducing Spyker C12 Spyder, unveiled in Dec 2004. The first Spyker powered by the all-aluminium 6-litre W12 Audi engine, it had an all-platinum Double12 watch to go with it, only 48 of which were made, yours for €34,700 back then.

The Car-laboration of Chronoswiss & SpykerAnd while we’re at it, you may as well drool over this too: Zagato’s interpretation of the C12. Yes, it’s for real. Yes, I want one. No, I doubt very much that Chronoswiss will have the balls to do a watch version. Perhaps Urwerk or Hautlence fancy a try…?

Stay tuned to more stories by UK watch journalist Alex Doak for The Watchismo Times.

Related Posts;
Alex Doak's "Plenty of cracks & scratches, but only one Dent"
All Steampunk related stories-->Link


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Ancient Nerds - History of Computing & The Earliest Calculating Devices

Neatorama.com has a fantastic overview of the history of computing with a special focus of early mechanical calculating devices-->LINK

Some examples from the feature;

Ancient Nerds - History of Computing & The Earliest Calculating DevicesThe 2000 year old Antikythera Mechanism, the worlds oldest computing device (and 1000 years more advanced than comparable mechanisms). Only discovered 100 years ago in a shipwreck.

Ancient Nerds - History of Computing & The Earliest Calculating DevicesWilhelm Schickard’s Calculating Clock (1632) that could add and subtract six-digit numbers (with a bell as an overflow alarm). This invention was used by his friend, astronomer Johannes Kepler, to calculate astronomical tables, which was a big leap for astronomy at the time. For this, Wilhelm Schickard was considered by some to be the "Father of Computer Age."

Ancient Nerds - History of Computing & The Earliest Calculating DevicesBlaise Pascal’s Pascaline (or Arithmetique) from 1645 - The basic mechanism of the Pascaline is a series of gears - when the first gear with ten teeth made one rotation (one to ten), it shifts a second gear until it rotated ten times (one hundred). The second gear shifted a third one (thousands) and so on. This mechanism is still in use today in car odometers, electricity meters and at the gas pumps.

Ancient Nerds - History of Computing & The Earliest Calculating DevicesGerman mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz' Stepped Reckoner of the 17th century was inspired by a steps-counting machine (pedometer) he saw to build his own calculator. Leibniz’s design used a special type of gear called the Stepped Drum or Leibniz wheel, a cylinder with nine bar-shaped teeth along its length.

Ancient Nerds - History of Computing & The Earliest Calculating DevicesCharles Babbage’s Difference Engine from 1822 was considered one of the first mechanical computers. Despite of its unwieldy design, his plan called for a basic architecture very similar to that of a modern computer.

Ancient Nerds - History of Computing & The Earliest Calculating DevicesDuring World War II, Nazi Germany used an electro-mechanical cipher machine called Enigma to encrypt and decrypt coded messages. It used rotors to substitute letters (for example, an "E" might be coded as "T"). The genius of the Enigma was that the machine used polyalphabetic cipher, where the rotation of the rotors allowed each subsequent letters to be encoded in a different manner. (For example, "EEE" might be become "TIF").

See the rest, including the dawn of digital computing here-->Link

via BoingBoing from Neatorama

See also;
All Watchmaking Posts
History of the First Digital Calculator Watches
1960s Juvenia Protractor Watch
Multi-Functional Watches
Slide Rule Wristwatches
Gadget Timepieces


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The Watchismo Times is now 'The Minutes' - Check it out!Retrowerk Watches Riveted Piston Pumping Portholed Multi-Level Jump Hour Retrograde Watches of Germany - Affordable and High Quality Steampunk WatchesThe Clone of Vianney Halter's One-of-a-Kind SatellariumPhoto of the Day - A Mechanical Aural Communication DevicePhinally! Photographs (and Video) of the HD3 Complication Bi-Axial Tourbillon "Vulcania"DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1New Clock & Gauge Robots from Bennett Robot WorksAll Mechanical Digital - The MECCANICO dG by de GRISOGONOThe Car-laboration of Chronoswiss & SpykerAncient Nerds - History of Computing & The Earliest Calculating Devices

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