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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 [...]

New 4th Dimension Concrete Dial Watch by 22 Design Studio, the Harbour Edition

4th-Harbour

New 4th Dimension Watch: Harbour Edition

The Harbour Model combines a dark gray concrete watch surface with a brushed stainless steel bezel, silver and blue hands, a polished stainless-steel crown, and a canglan leather band. This color combination exudes a subtle sophistication and elegantly complements formal wear.
Materials: 316L Stainless Steel Case, High-density Concrete, Sapphire Glass Lens, MIYOTA movement, Leather Strap Case Measurement: Ø 42mm D 14mm
4th-harbour-ws
4TH DIMENSION URBAN CONCRETE WATCH
 
4th-harbour-22
4TH DIMENSION HARBOUR CONCRETE WATCH
horbour men 01 1024x1024
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High Tension Concrete Dial
 
12193320 973491282711226 7540312217428303501 n
Custom Brass Watch Hands
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4TH DIMENSION MIDNIGHT CONCRETE WATCH
Time divides and measures the progress of existence. A timepiece displays that time in three dimensions. With “4th Dimension Timepieces” , we bring these dimensions together with an original design. The timepieces’ concrete construction strongly proclaims its physicality while its design, in the shape of a spiral staircase, helps you envision the concept of time by its constantly evolving patterns of light and shade. These timepieces clearly tell the time while quietly engaging the viewer in the concepts of a 4th dimension.
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4TH DIMENSION ORIGINAL CONCRETE WATCH

Maximilian Büsser & Friends - The Smelling Salts of the Watch World...Wake Up and Smell The Space Pirate!

We all know there are cool watches, classic watches and collectible watches -- but then you get to the world of Horological Machines -- in a class of their own.  If that doesn't make sense to you, MB&F watches are quite honestly the Umami, that savory taste you can't quite put your finger on but you know you gotta have it. Without naming names, you very well know what watches are sweet, sour, bitter and most definitely salty!  But what you don't know, that UMAMI is the taste that doesn't get old, it only gets better with each bite!


Maximilian Büsser & Friends - The Smelling Salts of the Watch World...Wake Up and Smell The Space Pirate!


Horological Machine No.6 - now in limited "SV" editions, in sapphire crystal combined with streamlined red gold or platinum. The sapphire crystal alone requires 350 hours of careful machining and polishing, just for a single case - the equivalent of 2 months' worth of working days...

Learn more about this performance art piece . . . mbandf.com/machines/horological-machines/hm6

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)No, not that Woody.

A visual tour of wristwatches made of wood watches from 1590 to 2009.

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)
One of the first wood watches I ever featured at The Watchismo Times, a 1960s Swank, reminiscent of the George Nelson clocks of the time.

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)Also previously featured, the incredibly rare Bronnikov all-wood (and bone) watches of the mid-nineteenth century. Even the movements were made of wood! --> LINK

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)
Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)The wood movement

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)

And reaching as far back as I can, here is a portable sundial made of wood from 1590 which also doubled as a gun powder flask and compass --> LINK


Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)Back in the USSR! This wood cased Raketa watch from an amazing collection of Russian watches --> LINK

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)
LIP
, mostly known for the super-cool watches of the seventies has a very wide array of other unusual watches like this 60's sterling silver bracelet watch with wood dial and curved inlaid wood strips in the bracelet.

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)And some of Richard Arbib's very rare wood dialed Hamilton Electric watches from the 1950s and 60s. Above is the Flight II prototype.

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)The classic design of the Hamilton Ventura also had a prototype with a wood face. Courtesy of Rene Rondeau.

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)And an collection of wood dial Hamilton Sherwood with automatic movements. These did make it to production in the 60s but are quite scarce.

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)More styles of Sherwoods

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)Original Sherwood strap with inlaid wood

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)A vintage Bulova Accutron with wood bezel
(All Accutron Posts-->LINK)

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)An unusual vintage Jowissa wood cased watch

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)The brand new limited edition Quiksilver Ray watch, an eco-friendly concept watch with a case and bracelet made of solid ebony and using a "Green" non-battery automatic mechanical movement.

More about The Ray --> LINK


Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)The Nixon Rotolog, a modern interpretation of the LIP Baschmakoff Jump Hour of the early seventies but now with a interior light and an entire series made with all types of wood including bamboo and teak (shown above)

Nixon Rotolog collection --> LINK

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)One of my favorite modern watches using wood, the Nixon Murf featuring wood veneers cover the top half of the face and two discs for hours and minutes below. Eacy style has a different color light for the dial by pressing the big horizontal crowns. And one of it's truly unique features is the way the time is changed, you unscrew the top crown, and then press down to electrically forward the discs. It looks like a Bang & Olufsen stere turntable!

Nixon Murf collection --> LINK


Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)A pair of swanky ladies watches from the modern brand Vestal utilizing Rosewood, Ebony, and Maple for cases and bracelets.

Vestal Wood Watch collection --> LINK

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)Shooting back up to the higher end of wood watches including the Jaquet Droz above. They have produced watches with all sorts of materials including meteorite.

Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)Last but not least, Svend Anderson's Eros "Navigation Pleasure" model (below). The one-of-a-kind Eros has marquetry work with four types of wood and a secret 10 moving part erotic automaton on the back of the watch.

Related posts on The Watchismo Times;
Watches made of Bone
Meteorite Watches


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Vintage Watching - A Bumper Crop of New Old Watches

Vintage Watching - A Bumper Crop of New Old WatchesJust compiled a collection of oddities and obscurities from the forties through the seventies! So fresh to the site that not all the descriptions have even been written!

Visit the new collection here-->LINK


Vintage Watching - A Bumper Crop of New Old WatchesAll kinds of rare oddball stuff!

Some highlights; 1960s Omega Dynamic, 1950s White Gold LeCoultre, 1970s Wittnauer Futurama Retrograde.

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Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab Studio

Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab StudioArtist Mike Libby's medium consists of dead bugs and watch-guts. His second series of mechanically enhanced insect art (previously featured here->link) has just been released at his Insect Lab Studio and it includes entirely new specimens like the scorpion above. Also new to the collection are grasshoppers, Praying Mantis, and beetles with their entire wingspans displayed with the rest of their horological augmentations.

I asked Mike about the new series and details about the improvements and new species being offered...

  • "The quality of the work all around is notably improved due to higher quality insect specimens (larger ones too) and watchparts, also an improvement in insect spreading/handling skills has certainly made the final result more visually pleasing."
  • "Beetles continue to be a big hit and especially lately since I have learned to include their secondary interior wings (responsible for flight, whereas the first set of wings act as a wing case). "
  • "Development of new work with new specimens. Like I mentioned, scorpions, hoppers and praying mantis are all great new additions to my repertoire and have really challenged my customizing skills. I am always looking for a very thorough way to integrate the parts and gears to the specimen without overloading or suffocating it's natural form and beauty with technology. "How much is too much and how little is just enough?" is a question I ask myself constantly. All in all, the new hoppers (about 5" long!) and the improved beetles are certainly my favorite developments."

Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab Studio
Arachnidae: Name Unknown
Scorpion & steel and brass gears, parts and springs
5” long (8” full length)
Displayed in 6" glass dome & walnut base, $850

Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab StudioCetonidae: Polyphemus Confluens
Flower beetle with steel gears & parts -
4.5" width
Displayed in 6” glass dome & walnut base, $600

Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab Studio

Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab StudioDynastidae: Eupatorus Gracilicornis
Rhino Beetle with brass gears & parts - 5" width
Displayed in 6” glass dome & walnut base,
$650

Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab StudioOrthoptera: Tropidacris Dux
Grasshopper & steel, copper, brass gears, parts and springs -
5”
Displayed in 6" glass dome and walnut base, $900

Buggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab StudioMantidae: Name Unkown
Praying Mantis & brass, and copper gears, parts and springs
Displayed in 6" glass dome & walnut base, $850


Insect Lab Studio-->LINK


Related Posts;
Insect Lab Studio I
Motorcyclogical
Japanese Steampunk
Art of Movements
Wood & Bone Watches
Bennett Robot Works
Mr. Jones Watches
Vasarely Op-Art Watches


Check out my $100-$100,000 holiday gift guide!-->LINK


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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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The 1000 Year Forest Clock - The TiWalkMe Escapement


TiWalkMe is a 1000 year clock in the guise of a forest, with annual tree plantings setting the pace of time, and their maturing the clockwork mechanism. TiWalkMe's purpose is to make deep time visible, and thus to help individuals and society focus on those hard, long term problems which determine our success as a species.

Over the next millennia, the TiWalkMe Escapement will constantly move and bow to the winds of time. Sections age, others regrow, and above all, change is embraced. Details must be left to future generations, but this generation will locate the site, etch the overall plan of paths and trees, and set the clock into motion. Never the less, throughout time three principles should guide its evolution:
  • Principle 1: The slow march of trees across the Escapement must always be visible and unobstructed.

  • Principle 2: The Escapement must adapt to future knowledge and needs, yet remain balanced with the past.
  • Principle 3: TiWalkMe's mission is to bring perspective and insight to its visitors.

Bell & Siphon

Rather than a static network of ponds and streams, the Escapement's pools empty periodically into the stream below. Although pumps or other massive infrastructure could be used to force water across each dam, TiWalkMe will adapt a passive, gravity-powered "bell and siphon" to echo nature's grand cycle. Yet the flow will be as dramatic and as willful as nature's own.

The most elegant and efficient pump in the world is a siphon. Containing no moving parts, requiring no forces other than gravity and surface tension for operation, siphons are at work everyday emptying gas tanks, filtering aquariums, and moving drinking water from reservoir to town. More about the Bell & Siphon system-->Link


Overhead view
More on the design-->Link

Conceptualized locations include larger rural or even smaller scale urban settings. The search continues for funding, volunteers, and site selection.

The interesting man behind the TiWalkMe is inventor, physicist, entrepreneur, designer, former Bell Labs chief scientist, and now venture capitalist Greg Blonder of Genuine Ideas. A mad genius of over 70 patents and thousands of other genuine ideas.

After exchanging some emails with Greg, he summed it up nicely for me...

"My main point is captured by Yogi Berra, who famously noted "you can see a lot just by looking". Imagine walking though the forest in the first year, then the second and third. And tenth with your children. Slow down- think- visualize the paths and leaves in your mind.... What will have changed? What risks are a forest like this likely to face from the ravages of nature, visitors, insects? How can one plan and organize to keep the forest safe and a legacy for future generations? Understand the forest, and you will exercise the very same skills we need to develop to solve challenges never before faced in all of human history.

Realistically, as I've searched for an appropriate site and sponsor, they either specify a conventional park, or a conventional business district with mixed use facilities and homes. Short term thinking, of course. A city which embraced the TiWalkMe forest will become a magnet for associated organizations, and then businesses and jobs. Plus, unlike a woollen mill or high tech park, its base will not migrate away. But few visionaries are in power, I'm afraid."

TiWalkMe Website-->Link


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Clearly Evil - Memento Mori Crystal Skull watch from 1715 - Haunted Horology #4

Clearly Evil - Memento Mori Crystal Skull watch from 1715 - Haunted Horology #4
This skull watch/clock, circa 1715, by watchmaker James Harmar of London was carved from rock-crystal and fitted with a gold-mounted watch. Three-body skull, made of three solid pieces of rock crystal, the top and the bottom mounted in gold engraved frames, the lower frame housing the movement, the jaw articulated on the sides opening to expose the silver champlevé with Roman chapters and half-hour divisions, outer minute ring with Arabic five-minute numerals. Blued-steel, 'beetle and poker' hands. 39.5 mm o, hinged, gilt brass full plate, tulip pillars, fusee and chain for the going train, English single-footed cock pierced and engraved with symmetrical foliage and a mask in the base, rack and pinion with silver plate. Signed on the dial and movement. Dim. Length 85 mm, width 50 mm, height 80 mm. Published in the Sandberg book (Antiquorum), pages 376-377.

Via Antiquorum

All Haunted Horology Posts;
1610 Screaming Skull Clock
Mary Queen of Scots Skull Watch
Rolling Eyeball Skull Clocks
All Memento Mori Posts


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


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The Time that fell to Earth - Meteorite Watches

The Time that fell to Earth - Meteorite WatchesIt seems appropriate to follow up the Omega Moon Mission Collection with another extraterrestrial themed timepiece -- Wristwatches made of meteorite, the truest of space-age materials.

These rare rocks traveled millions of years to find this infinitely tiny speck of a planet, somehow not completely burn up in our atmosphere, find their way to land instead of water, be fortunate enough to be discovered by modern man, delivered to a luxury watch company, and wind up on your privileged little wrist.

"Iron meteorites are composed primarily of various alloys of iron and nickel, and are derived from molten planetary cores that were broken apart billions of years ago. The crystalline patterns within Meteorites are known as a "Widmanstätten Pattern" or structure, named for Alois von Beckh Widmanstätten. These patterns can only form in the vacuum of space where the molten pieces of planetary cores come into contact with very few molecules to which they can transfer their heat and thereby cool. The large metallic crystals characteristic of meteorites require literally millions of years of cooling to form from a molten planetary core fragment. It has been estimated that it took about 1000 years for these molten pieces of planetary core to cool by just 1 degree celsius."

I'm getting carried away...so here are a few examples of meteor watches over the years;

Up at the very top are a variety of Jaquet Droz Meteorite watches. They have been producing many rare mineral dials in recent years and have been using meteorite for some of their most exclusive models.

The Time that fell to Earth - Meteorite WatchesA 2001 Rolex Daytona with meteorite dial

The Time that fell to Earth - Meteorite WatchesAnd the VERY rare Kryptonite Daytona
(some VERY bad watch humor)

The Time that fell to Earth - Meteorite Watches1989 Ulysse Nardin "Planetarium Copernicus"

An phenomenal astronomical watch with six meteorite rings. A domed sapphire crystal divided into 12 sections that start from the center (the Earth) and radiate outward in a spider design. The six revolving meteorite rings are engraved with the names of five planets, each on a gold cartouche fixed with a central disc representing the Sun. The Earth disc fixed to one of the meteorite rings attached to the Moon which rotates around the Earth. The outer gold ring is engraved with the 12 signs of the zodiac and the months. One of 65 produced.

The Time that fell to Earth - Meteorite WatchesAntoine Preziuso's Calibre T21 Muonionalusta Meteorite Tourbillon, No.1 above for the 2005 "Only Watch" auction.

The Time that fell to Earth - Meteorite WatchesMartin Braun "Selene Meteorite"

"What goes with a moon phase better than authentic meteorite?" The oversized moonphase display is one of the most realistic, with accuracy to the hour. Displayed by two dark disks rotating under a translucent moon.

The Time that fell to Earth - Meteorite Watches1990s Corum Meteorite Peory
Being auctioned here-->Link
And the Corum Meteorite Zagami #2-->Link

So, how does one top meteorite as a rare material? Perhaps the answer begins with Romain Jerome. His latest watches have introduced a series made from the actual rusted steel of the Titanic. Incredibly expensive models like the Tourbillon model shown below. Even the dial somehow integrates recovered coal from the shipwreck.

The Time that fell to Earth - Meteorite WatchesRomain Jerome Titanic DNA Tourbillon

Update! I had no idea while writing this meteorite watch story, this deadly Kryptonite-like meteor struck Peru and has been making the locals sick!-->Link

Don't forget to enter The Watchismo Times 1st anniversary vintage chronograph giveway!-->LINK


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The Watchismo Times is now 'The Minutes' - Check it out!Maximilian Büsser & Friends - The Smelling Salts of the Watch World...Wake Up and Smell The Space Pirate!Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)Vintage Watching - A Bumper Crop of New Old WatchesBuggin Out! More Arthropoidal Watchworks from Insect Lab StudioWatchismo's Timewarp - Max Büsser's 19th Century Steel & Gunmetal Pocket Watch CollectionThe 1000 Year Forest Clock - The TiWalkMe EscapementClearly Evil - Memento Mori Crystal Skull watch from 1715 - Haunted Horology #4The Time that fell to Earth - Meteorite Watches

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