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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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You Dirty Dirty Horologist - Hardcore Erotic Automaton Pocket Watches 1800s-Today

You Dirty Dirty Horologist - Hardcore Erotic Automaton Pocket Watches 1800s-Today
Antiquorum has offered a wide array of antique erotic automaton pocket dating from past three centuries. If you haven't seen these before, you might be shocked at how graphic these animated depictions were for the time. For additional examples, see my previous post on the subject here--> "Debbie Does Switzerland - Victorian Porn"

"Outside the Abbey Walls" (above)

Outside the Abbey Walls Swiss, No. 1339. Made circa 1910. Fine and amusing, large, 18K pink gold and enamel, hunting-cased, keyless minute-repeating pocket watch with chronograph and painted on enamel concealed erotic automaton.

C. Four-body, “bassine et filet”, engine-turned covers with polished borders, the front cover with a black champleve enamel monogram, polished band, gold hinged cuvette with painted on enamel erotic scene depicting two monks enjoying local hospitality in the woods. D. White enamel, radial Roman numerals, outer minute track and Arabic five minute numerals, outermost fifths of a second divisions, subsidiary seconds. Gold stone-set hands. M. 49 mm (21'''), rhodium plated, fausses cotes decoration, 21 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, cut-bimetallic compensation balance with blued steel Breguet balance spring, index regulator, repeating on gongs activated by a slide in the band. Diam. 61 mm.

You Dirty Dirty Horologist - Hardcore Erotic Automaton Pocket Watches 1800s-Today

    Detail of "Outside the Abbey Walls"

Auctioned for 25,000 Swiss Francs

You Dirty Dirty Horologist - Hardcore Erotic Automaton Pocket Watches 1800s-Today
You Dirty Dirty Horologist - Hardcore Erotic Automaton Pocket Watches 1800s-TodayClose-up of Automaton Erotic Scene at 6 o'clock


You Dirty Dirty Horologist - Hardcore Erotic Automaton Pocket Watches 1800s-TodayAnd of course, the tradition continues to this day, watchmakers create these erotic scenes on the "backsides" of the watches allowing only the wearer to know what carnal mechanics are occurring "under his dial"

N° 01, "Sailing Dream" by Antoine Preziuso

"Sailing Dream" No. 01 of a limited edition series of 30 examples. Made in 1997. Very fine and rare, tonneau shaped, center seconds, water-resistant, 18K yellow gold gentleman's wristwatch with 42-hour autonomy and three color gold erotic automaton scene with an 18K yellow gold Antoine Peziuso buckle. Accompanied by a luxury fitted box.

C. Two-body, massive, polished, transparent case back secured by 8 screws, sapphire crystal. D. Satiné silver with painted radial Roman numerals, outer minute/seconds divisions; on the other side: a multicolor gold erotic scene animated by means of a mechanism hidden in the band and motioned by the winding-crown. Blued steel "feuille" hands. M. Cal. Based ETA 2801, rhodium-plated, "fausses côtes" decoration, 17 jewels, monometallic balance, shock absorber, self-compensating flat balance spring. The erotic automata and the engraved background are in 18K yellow, pink and white gold. Dial, case and movement signed. Dim. 34 x 41 mm. Thickness 10 mm.

You Dirty Dirty Horologist - Hardcore Erotic Automaton Pocket Watches 1800s-Today

Close-up of "Sailing Dream"

Sold in 2007 for 15,600 Swiss Francs

And if you thought this was a perverted subculture of watchmakers, think again, the most respected watchmaker of all time, Abraham Louis Bréguet, watchmaker to Louis XVI and Queen, Marie-Antoinette also produced their own erotica-horologica, like this past auction below, by the way, it sold for 1,500,000 Swiss Francs (about a million dollars at the time in 1990):

You Dirty Dirty Horologist - Hardcore Erotic Automaton Pocket Watches 1800s-TodaySwiss, bearing the signature Breguet A Paris, circa 1825. Fine 18 ct. pink gold quarter-repeating watch with erotic automaton.And here is one upcoming auction for a simple pocket watch with a little hidden door revealing the happy couple. It will be held October 3rd in Geneva Switzerland and the entire catalog can be seen here--> Antiquorum Auction Link

Watchismo's Timewarp - Max Büsser's 19th Century Steel & Gunmetal Pocket Watch Collection

Watchismo's Timewarp - Max Büsser's 19th Century Steel & Gunmetal Pocket Watch CollectionAfter many opportunities to address my proclivities in my Timewarp column in QP Magazine, I wanted to turn the loupe on people who never fail to impress me, to explore what makes them tick. First on my list was modern pioneer, Maximilian Büsser and his rare & unusual 19th century unsigned laminated iron, gunmetal and steel pocket watches.

Click here to read article-->LINK

Ian Skellern's amazing photos of the collection;

Watchismo's Timewarp - Max Büsser's 19th Century Steel & Gunmetal Pocket Watch CollectionGreen enamel Jumping Hour

Watchismo's Timewarp - Max Büsser's 19th Century Steel & Gunmetal Pocket Watch CollectionBlackened steel with full triple calendar on back

Watchismo's Timewarp - Max Büsser's 19th Century Steel & Gunmetal Pocket Watch CollectionBlackened seven day power reserve

Watchismo's Timewarp - Max Büsser's 19th Century Steel & Gunmetal Pocket Watch CollectionSt. Imiers 1100 year anniversary one-handed pocket watch

Watchismo's Timewarp - Max Büsser's 19th Century Steel & Gunmetal Pocket Watch CollectionArticle available in issue 27 of QP Magazine

And of course, Max has just unveiled his remarkable HM2 (Horological Machine No.2) here-->LINK

An interview with Max at PuristsPro-->link

Related posts;
All Horological Machine Stories
Previous Timewarps



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120 Year Old Naked Ladies - 1890 Erotic Pocket Watch

120 Year Old Naked Ladies - 1890 Erotic Pocket WatchOh yeah, naked ladies playing harps... That's hot. Or so it was circa 1890 according to this awesome gunmetal cased erotic pocket watch full of sexy daguerreotype photos of loose Victorian ladies. One disc under the dial reveals a variety of rotating topless gals while the disc on the back exposes some other full frontal centenarian hotties through a porthole...or rather, a peephole.

And I forgot, it also tells the time...

120 Year Old Naked Ladies - 1890 Erotic Pocket WatchPetunia playing the Nippleharp

120 Year Old Naked Ladies - 1890 Erotic Pocket Watch120 Year Old Naked Ladies - 1890 Erotic Pocket WatchThe Caseback Peephole

Via Bogoff ($1750 - & free shipping if you mention Watchismo!) -->Link

Related Posts;
Antique Erotic Automaton
All Pocket Watch Posts



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


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The Wristwatch - Born on a Woman's Wrist

The Wristwatch - Born on a Woman's WristIt's true, women were the first to adorn their wrists with time. Since the mid-19th century, with sporatic examples dating even further back (here), most ladies wristwatches were incorporated into bracelets, heavily jeweled, stylishly decorative, and quite often concealing their functions. Women were at least five decades if not more than a century ahead of the first mens Cartier Santos, a watch made for a pilot in the early 1900s. Ahead of the first military watches that placed strapped pocket watches onto a soldiers wrist.

This history has been beautifully documented in the extensive interactive exhibit, "Fine Watchmaking - A Tribute to Women", an exhibition from the 2007 SIHH. Examples from the show below and the complete online catalogue here-->LINK

The Wristwatch - Born on a Woman's Wrist1868 - First Patek Philippe wristwatch
Made for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary
The Wristwatch - Born on a Woman's WristOne of the oldest known bracelet-watches.
Movement signed Capt & Freundler à Genève, 1813.
Musée d’Horlogerie du Locle, Switzerland

The Wristwatch - Born on a Woman's Wrist1930s Cadenas Watch witch serpentine chain
Van Cleef & Arpels

The Wristwatch - Born on a Woman's WristAdvertisement for the Marquise watch by Baume & Mercier.
Marquise watch. Early 1950s. Baume & Mercier collection

The Wristwatch - Born on a Woman's WristUnusual watch attached to a ribbon

And from the article, "Women and watches - A long standing love affair"

"The wristwatch conquers new fans

With the sleeveless dresses of the Directoire and Empire styles, the bracelet became a blank canvas on which jewelers could express their creativity. Some were inspired to incorporate a timepiece, proving that women, not men, were the first to wear their watch on their wrist. However, not everyone welcomed this innovation. Certain of its detractors even claimed that such small and doubtless fragile mechanisms would inevitably be damaged by the movements of the wrist.

This by no means discouraged Omega, which proposed wristwatches for men and women as of 1905. The watch was seen from a new angle, as a fashion accessory. Women were encouraged to own several and adapt them to their outfit and activities. When, in 1914, the women’s magazine Femina ran a poll of its readers, 3,437 of the 4,350 respondents said they preferred the wristwatch. After the First World War, both men and women adopted the wristwatch for its modern, sporting or avant-garde image. All eyes focused on Rolex when in 1927 Mercedes Gleitze swam the Channel with a waterproof Oyster strapped to her wrist. After the Second World War, society discovered mass consumption and an emphasis on well-being as never before. Life was once again a social whirl and luxury reinstated. Piaget was one of the first to create watches in a jewelery spirit, followed by Jaeger-LeCoultre and Chopard."

For the rest of this article-->Link

Via Journal de la Haute Horlogerie
& Origins of the Wristwatch before 1900

Related Posts on The Watchismo Times;
All Ladies Wristwatch Features-->Link
Jewelry Features-->Link



Find more ladies watches here


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Tic-Tock-Walk - Antique Walking Stick Watches

Tic-Tock-Walk - Antique Walking Stick WatchesAlways the sucker for cloaked clocks & watches, I recently discovered the genre of antique walking stick timepieces and couldn't resist sharing...

Above, a 1900 lion cane with sliding panels for hidden watch, keyless winding by the revolving bezel.

Tic-Tock-Walk - Antique Walking Stick WatchesA fascinating 1900 walking stick topper with bezel rotating like the iris of a camera shutter. Twisting of the bezel revealed the concealed watch. The top was also hinged to house a photograph and to access the winding and hand-setting crowns. Sold for nearly $30,000-->Link

Tic-Tock-Walk - Antique Walking Stick Watches1860 Walking Stick with Sundial inside hinged globe. The sphere made from ivory and horn, the equator in tortoise shell.

Tic-Tock-Walk - Antique Walking Stick Watches1890 walking stick with silver cane handle and patented keyless concealed watch by Albert Bertholet and Louis Burry-Haldi, Bienne.

Tic-Tock-Walk - Antique Walking Stick Watches1815 Snake Stick by Ch(ris)t Moricant à Genève. Concealed watch and tobacco compartment.

All via Antiquorum

Related Posts;
Rolex Lipstick Watch
Omega Ring Watch
Rolex Ring Watch
James Bond Gadget Watches
Subminiature Spy Watches
Sipe Steinheil Spy Camera Watch
Victorian Spy Camera Watch
Dashboard Clock History
Wristwatches of War
Vacheron Constantin Shutter Dial



Find other watches

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Victorian 1886 Spy Camera Pocket Watch

Victorian 1886 Spy Camera Pocket Watch
An update to my original vintage subminiature spy watch-cameras post (link) the other week with this remarkable find (Thanks to Alex at QP). This 1886 Victorian Lancaster Pocket Watch Camera predates what I thought to be the first camera watch in 1907. It just sold at a Bonhams auction for £18,000

From Bonhams;

The Lancaster Ladies Watch Camera was brought into Bonhams by a gentleman whose grandfather had owned it originally. He was a cabinetmaker at the Birmingham-based firm J. Lancaster & Son, probably working on the many wooden cameras sold by the company. The vendor, consigning several watches to one of Bonhams’ sales, noticed that among his collection was what looked like an ordinary nickel-plated pocket watch case when closed – but when he opened it he discovered that it actually contained a tiny camera inside.

Lionel Hughes, Bonhams’ Camera Specialist, was delighted to come across the piece:
“This is a truly exceptional piece, and the price achieved at Bonhams today reflects this,” he explained. “The Lancaster Watch Camera was patented in October 1886 and made until 1890. Such tiny cameras were the forerunners for the ‘spy’ camera – a mechanism disguised as a different object. However, it would have been very inconvenient to use as four very small catches had to be released in order to remove the glass screen and to fit a separate metal sensitised material holder for each exposure. As a result, the model sadly sold badly and is much rarer than the improved version which came on the market in 1890. The ladies’ pattern is therefore particularly special, and only four original models are known to exist."


Victorian 1886 Spy Camera Pocket Watch
Victorian 1886 Spy Camera Pocket Watch
Victorian 1886 Spy Camera Pocket Watch
Related posts;
Subminiature Spy Watches
1950s Minifon Spy Recorder Watch
James Bond Movie Gadget Watches


Click to see one of my favorite new watches under $200

Victorian 1886 Spy Camera Pocket Watch


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Concept Turned Reality - Vulcania by HD3 Complication

Concept Turned Reality - Vulcania by HD3 Complication
A former concept watch called the Vulcania has become flesh and bone. Designed by Fabrice Gonet for the three year old brand HD3 Complication. A trio-collective started by Jorg Hysek where he, Gonet and Valerie Ursenbacher design watches from their wildest imaginations.

The Vulcania name derives from the Jules Verne Steampunk hero, Captain Nemo and the island which was his home port. Like many of his contemporaries, Gonet has deconstructed the watch with its functions in a deeply set three-dimensional display, separating each gauge as a tribute to vintage naval technology both fictional (Nautilus) and fact (Turn-of-the-century mechanical submarines). The hours are determined from the rotating wheel cylinders on the left, the minutes on a disc like a ship's Chadburn Telegraph, a sextant style power reserve indicator, porthole loupe date window, and highlighted by the tilted bi-axial tourbillon. All the watch functions can be seen through its front and rear sapphire glass panels, side-viewing porthole, and the back plate has an etched map with its coordinates engraved on it. The case is titanium and platinum.

I've been pacing like an expecting father for this baby to come out! So pass out the cigars to the lucky few - and by few, I mean only 11 Vulcania will be made. The coming out party will be in Geneva Switzerland at the SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) in April. The price? If you have to ask...

Down Periscope!

HD3 Complication --> Link

Concept Turned Reality - Vulcania by HD3 Complication
Concept Turned Reality - Vulcania by HD3 ComplicationClose-up of rear plate with map/coordinate engraving

Concept Turned Reality - Vulcania by HD3 Complication
Related stories;
Maximillan Busser Horological Machine #1
Vianney Halter's Antiqua & Trio & Cabestan
Jacob & Co. Quenttin
Jorg Hysek Raptor
Hautlence



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Watch built from Bone! Wood you believe?

Watch built from Bone! Wood you believe?Ok, 40,000 unique visitors to The Watchismo Times in two days caught my attention - Due in part to the all-wood pocket watch story picked up by Digg and BoingBoing. Well, if you really want to know more, I got the lowdown on who made these amazing handbuilt & handcarved mechanical watches made entirely of wood, ivory or bone (except for mainspring, balance spring and pivots). A horological dynasty is responsible, the Bronnikov family from Vjatka, Russia. The earliest model appearing in 1837 and rumored to have been purchased by the future Czar, Alexander II. A tradition carried out through the 1800s into the early 20th century by Semyon's sons Mikhail and Nicolai - Producing only one watch per month with approximately 500 ever made, and of those only about 250 have survived today. More about the history below the photos...

Pictured above, the 1865 'Bone Watch'.
Double-body, hinged back cover, polished, bezels with turned ribs at the edges, a small circle in the center. Chain: single and double links, carved from bone, 8 mm ring-links. D. Bone with Arabic numerals on circular cartouches, subsidiary seconds. Bone hands. Made entirely made of bone with pinned bone bridges, excluding the main-spring, balance-spring and pivots, with going barrel, cylinder escapement with bone staff, plain bone three-arm balance, bone index regulator. Back cover signed in Cyrillic. Diam. 50 mm. Selling at auction in 2005 for over $25,000 USD. Close-up photo-->Link

Watch built from Bone! Wood you believe?1865 'Birch Watch' Wood case, movement, bone hands, numbers and handcarved wood chain.
Close-up photo-->Link


Bronnikov's inventive design features a movement which is an integral part of the case, the dial which serves as the pillar plate and the bridges and cock supported by brackets milled in the back part of the band. The same idea was later employed by the celebrated Albert Potter. Bronnikov, A family living in Vjatka, Russia, which specialized in the making of all-wood, and all-ivory watches. The first recorded member of the family was Ivan Bronnikov (c. 1770 - 1860), a skillful joiner and turner. Upon the occasion of an exhibition in 1837, the Vjatka Industrial Town Council asked Ivan to exhibit some objects of his making. He refused, saying he was too old, but that his son, Semyon Ivanovitch (1800 - 1875) would contribute "some small thing". This turned out to be a pocket watch entirely carved out of wood which greatly impressed everyone. It is said that the future Czar Alexander II, then visiting Vjatka, purchased the watch. Encouraged by this success, Semyon continued the manufacture of wood and ivory watches. Semyon had seven sons. Of them, Mikhail Semyonovitch and Nicolai Semyonovitch continued his work, as did Mikhail's son Nicolai Mikhailovitch, who was the last watchmaker in the family.

Vjatka is an important metallurgical center, which suggests that it was not for the lack of metal in the area that the Bronnikovs made wooden watches. Indeed, it would appear that their predilection for wood and ivory and bone was the result of a specific and deliberate choice. As opposed to metal, wood is not subject to the thermal variations created by very warm and extremely cold temperatures. All-wood watches were more expensive than god ones, selling for approximately 120 rubles whereas a gold watch cost from 90 to 100 rubles. The clockwork parts were made of various woods, including walnut, honeysuckle, boxwood, and hardened bamboo ; the cases from birchwood, or boxwood, and the dials were often decorated with ivory or mother-of-pearl. Bronnikov watches feature an unusual type of construction: rather than having the wheels installed between two plates as is usually the case, the dial also serves as the pillar plate, as well as being an integral part of the case. These watches were not intended for everyday use but rather as expensive and rare souvenirs. This was not the first use of wood as applied to watch mechanisms, however: the Russian mechanician Kulibin used wood for some parts of his clocks and "pendulum watches". Skorodumov, a peasant of the Burga village in the Novgorod region, also used wood as the main material for his watches.

As to the number of Bronnikov watches produced, it seems likely that the three watchmaking generations of the Bronnikov family may have made some 500 watches; the production of a greater number would have required an existing watchmaking industry in the town, which seems not to have been the case. The number of surviving Bronnikov watches has been estimated at approximately 250. Although many - but not all - Bronnikov watches are signed, they do not always carry the initials of the maker, making it sometimes difficult to determine which Bronnikov made the watch. The signature is carved on the inside of the back cover.

History and photos by Antiquorum


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Solid Wood 1900 Pocket Watch - Wood Gears, Hands and Case

Solid Wood 1900 Pocket Watch - Wood Gears, Hands and CaseTake a break from the complicated world of mechanical innovation for a few seconds... The orgy of Tourbillons, Forged Carbon, and Silicium Components can fade for a moment while you appreciate this early 1900 Russian pocket watch entirely made of wood. The case, the hands, and the gears, all from a tree - a living material that also marks time with it's rings - natures own clock and a profound medium for a watch.

Solid Wood 1900 Pocket Watch - Wood Gears, Hands and Case
via Casalonga Odd Watches --> Link
(The site is sadly out of date but nevertheless features some fun
nontraditional watch displays)

UPDATE! The history of the wood-watchmakers from Russia who also carved watchworks from bone-->Link

Solid Wood 1900 Pocket Watch - Wood Gears, Hands and Case1865 'Bone Watch' Article-->here


Other wood related features;
Hamilton Electric Wood Prototype --> Link
Swank Woody --> Link


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Wristwatches of War - Trench Grilles and Hunter Guards


Pocket watches were a pain in the ass to fumble around for during battle, something needed to be done to keep soldiers hands on their guns as well as synchronize combat.

"When German Emperor Wilhelm I visited the Berlin Trade Fair and saw some experimental wristwatches made by Girard-Perregaux of La Chaux de Fonds in Switzerland. He gave an order for 1,000 of these for the German Imperial Navy, and as many as 2,000 such wristwatches were delivered in 1880. This began to change in the nineteenth century when watches were first used to coordinate military operations. Pocket watches were awkward to use in combat situations; under a great-coat, on horseback, or under fire, and so military men began fitting pocket watches into cups on specially made leather straps or asking manufacturers to fit them with chains or straps so that they could be worn on the wrist."


Many military watches had a special feature for those "in the shit". A Trench Guard, grid or grille covered and protected the dial with medieval-style armor. Those not intended for war were classified as Hunter cased, often more decorative than protective.

1880 Girard Perregaux for German Imperial Navy

1930 Elgin w/ Trench Guard & Enamel Dial

Eberhard & Co. 14k Hunter w/ porcelain dial

Waltham Trench

Cimier Grille

Movado 18k Decorative Trench


WWI British Air Force Military

Related posts;
Vacheron & Constantin Shutter Watches --> Link
Automobile Radiator Grille Watches --> Link

You Dirty Dirty Horologist - Hardcore Erotic Automaton Pocket Watches 1800s-TodayWatchismo's Timewarp - Max Büsser's 19th Century Steel & Gunmetal Pocket Watch Collection120 Year Old Naked Ladies - 1890 Erotic Pocket WatchThe Wristwatch - Born on a Woman's WristTic-Tock-Walk - Antique Walking Stick WatchesVictorian 1886 Spy Camera Pocket WatchConcept Turned Reality - Vulcania by HD3 ComplicationWatch built from Bone! Wood you believe?Solid Wood 1900 Pocket Watch - Wood Gears, Hands and CaseWristwatches of War - Trench Grilles and Hunter Guards

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