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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.

Blockwork Clockworks

Two modern LED block clocks. The Jonas Damon independent cube LED alarm clock. You can stack, align, or zig-zag them however you want.

The Kouji Iwasaki designed wood block clock. The LED digits shine through a thin veneer of wood bright enough to be seen. 


And if those aren't big enough for you, or you're legally blind, check out the 12 foot long self-setting GPS LED wall clock built by Spark Fun Electronics

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


Arthropodal Watchworks - by Insect Lab Studio


Mike Libby found a dead beetle. Upon closer examination, he recognized a connection between the invertebrate creatures and mechanical watches. He now imports exotic specimens for dissection and artistic restructuring using antique balance wheels, mainsprings and other types of cogs for his Insect Lab.



Telechron Robot Clock - Bennett Robot Works

Inspired by modern-age designers like Norman Bel Geddes and Raymond Loewy, Gordon Bennett of Brooklyn creates one-of-a-kind Robots out of antiquated products of the 40's and 50's. Obviously, for thematic purposes, I've highlighted the clock-themed 'Telechron' Robot (right) and DeJur (left) with clock-dial feet but felt this was the first off-topic story worthy at The Watchismo Times. Many are indeed built with old clock parts but that's only the beginning, Gordon assembles them with an uncanny ability to nurture distinct personalities by reincarnating vintage products including 8mm cameras, taillights, voltage meters, tv antennae fire alarms, spark plugs, plumbing hardware, heaters and sewing machines into these immobile robotic sculptures. They are built between 15" and 35" high and can be purchased at bennettrobotworks.com


DeJur Clock Feet



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 

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

'Dictatorship of Exact Time' Tian Harlan's Chromachron

Original 1973 model
(Time shown is approx half past one)

Tian Harlan, architect, engineer, artist develops the communication system 'Chromachron' (Chroma=Color ; Chronos=Time) in 1971. Timekeeping is approximated with a rotating disk revolving around a colored timezone by mechanical (wind-up) movement. Rotation is gauged by motion without demarcation of minutes or seconds. Each color represents an hour and as the cutaway passes through each - time is visualized, as he hoped, with less rigidity. Detailed in Pieter Doensen's book 'Watch - History of the Modern Wristwatch' as the 'anti-stress watch' freeing us from the 'dictatorship of exact time.'

1973-78 Models
(Left=little past 12 ; Right=9:20ish)

Originally conceived as the 'Colour-Time' clock sculpture at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Tian created over 100 variants of the watch (and clocks) through the eighties.


A CLOCKWORK ORANGE Astronomic Watches by Christiaan van der KlaauwNo Words. Just Watch This...Blockwork ClockworksThe Aurora Clock - Horological BorealisArthropodal Watchworks - by Insect Lab StudioTelechron Robot Clock  - Bennett Robot Works1960's Seth Thomas 'Sethosphere' Mystery Clock

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