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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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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


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





'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.


1960's James Bond Gadget Watches by Gilbert & Moeris

1960's James Bond Gadget Watches by Gilbert & Moeris

1965 Gilbert Spy Watch


Spy watches weren't only for the fictional British Secret Service, Gilbert built a surprisingly innovative mechanical wristwatch for factual kids. A mystery dial featured a disk with a hole cut out revealing the 'jump' digital hour, analog hands, world time (necessary feature for spies) and best of all, secret sliding sighting lenses. Good condition models go for over $500 now.

A.C. Gilbert Toy Company built their empire with the Erector Set in 1911.


Sighting lenses

Original packaging

Gilbert offered many other 007 toys

1960's James Bond Gadget Watches by Gilbert & Moeris

A mysterious 007 wristwatch by Moeris
Auctioned November 12th by Antiquorum



Marc Newson 1986 Pod Watch - Pre-Ikepod Mystery Dial

Marc Newson's 1986 Pod Watch (Pre-Ike)

Considering Marc Newson's accomplishments in design, I'd have to assume he started designing out of the womb. 1986, Eight years before the birth of Ikepod, the "Pod" mystery dial watch was created. Spinning disks with dot markers lined the time similar to the Pod Clock below. Likely his first watch project, the name has a deeper meaning now as we see Marc's rich history of watch design grown from this very original Pod.


Marc Newson 1989 Pod Clock

The Aurora Clock - Horological Borealis1960's Seth Thomas 'Sethosphere' Mystery ClockWhatthefuckwatch by Tokyoflash Japan

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