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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.

A Century of Rolex Watches - Antiquorum Thematic Auction

A Century of Rolex Watches - Antiquorum Thematic Auction
Antiquorum celebrates a century of Rolex watches with a thematic sale.

The year 2008 marks the 100th anniversary of Rolex. Antiquorum Auctioneers, the world’s leading auction house for timepieces, will celebrate this important event with the exceptional sale “Revolution: The Evolution of the Rolex Sport Watch” on April 17th at Antiquorum’s US headquarters located at 595 Madison Avenue in New York City.

See highlights of the auction here-->LINK

(Featured above)
Rolex “Space Dweller” Ref. 1016
Extremely rare, first introduced to the Japanese market in 1963, just after a visit to Japan by the Mercury astronauts.
Estimate: $20,000 -$30,000 (US)

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Translation Lost - Brad Pitt Japanese Rolex Commercial

Pitt Rolex Video-->Link

I hope they gave Mr. Pitt as thorough stage directions Bill Murray received in Lost In Translation (as shown below).

Lost In Translation Video-->Link "Mow Intensatay!"

See also;

1970s Timex Commercial Collection
1960s Timex
"Underwater Dating"
1978 Texas Instruments
1961 Bulova Accutron
Laser Beam Wristwatch
A New Age in Quartz
1940s Jam Handy for Hamilton
1970s Seiko Memory Bank
1940's Conquer by the Clock

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At the Auctions - 1930 Tissot 1940 Rolex 1950 Cartier

At the Auctions - 1930 Tissot 1940 Rolex 1950 CartierSome nice looking vintage offerings at the upcoming October Antiquorum auction in Geneva. Above, a 1930s Tissot Staybrite Chronograph with very unusual lugs. Estimate $2500-$4200-->Link

At the Auctions - 1930 Tissot 1940 Rolex 1950 Cartier
At the Auctions - 1930 Tissot 1940 Rolex 1950 CartierAn untouched 1946 Rolex Square Antimagnetique est. $25,000-$32,000-->Link

At the Auctions - 1930 Tissot 1940 Rolex 1950 CartierThis very rare 1940s Audemars Piguet triple date moonphase chronograph is expected to bring in over $100,000-->Link

At the Auctions - 1930 Tissot 1940 Rolex 1950 CartierAnd a 1950 platinum and diamond Cartier "Gouvernail Ronde Squelette" could reach over $200,000-->Link

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 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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Internal Watch

Internal Watch
Designed by Leon Ransmeier for Vlaemsch ( ), this cocooned watch is encapsulated in leather rendering it non-functional as a timepiece. The designer explains, "The hidden watch transcends typical associations of status by isolating the emerging form rather than acting as a flashy signifier."

Although the identity of the encased watch is concealed, its contours suggest certain top-of-mind luxury cliches.

Internal Watch

via BoingBoing, available at Vivre, designed at Vlaemsch ( )

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Giving You the Finger - Rolex & Jaeger LeCoultre Ring Watches

I wonder if it were socially acceptable to wear a watch on every appendage, would I..? Well, I'd likely start with one of these vintage 1950's ring watches. Very rare finger timepieces by LeCoultre and Rolex.

Above is a platinum & diamond set LeCoultre 'Duo-Plan' with an impossibly small dial & movement. Top-hinged for winding and setting of the watch.

Below is the 18k Rolex Precision with engine turned conical cover.

Now, when you give someone the finger, be considerate, tell them what time you want them to fuck off.

James Bond Gadget Watch History - Q-Branch Issues

Original 1962 Rolex Submariner from first 007, 'Dr. No'

James Bond generally prefers wearing a Rolex Submariner or Omega Seamaster throughout the series but when issued a specialty watch from Q-Branch, 007 has worn every gadget from Geiger counters to circular saws. Interestingly, the first James Bond, 'Dr. No' had no real gadgets at all.

Piano Wire Watch

1963's 'From Russia With Love' is the first 007 movie to introduce a multi-function watch, only it's worn by the villain, Red Grant. Fitted with a retractable piano-wire for strangulation.
Grant tried to strangle Bond with the wire aboard the Orient Express during a fierce battle. However when Bond was being choked, he grabbed for his throwing knife and stabbed Grant in the leg, snatching the wire and strangling him.
An ordinary looking wrist watch, but on the side of it was a small tab, when pulled, a long steel wire would retract like a tape measure.

1965 'Thunderball' 'Geiger Counter'
Breitling 'Top Time' Diver Chrono

(No crown, no chronograph pushers)

Bond gave the camera to Domino, with instructions to turn it on whilst aboard the Disco Volante, Domino did this and the device worked well. However Largo came into the room, Domino dropping it in fright, Largo was not a fool and heard the distinctive clicking noise of the Geiger counter. And began to torture Domino, who was saved by Kutze who had a change of heart when the bombing was ordered.
An ordinary small camera, common to the one's carried by tourists. However it contained a Geiger counter device, with it's reading gauge around the bezel of the lens.

Almost timing to real world watch technology innovations, Roger Moore is introduced as the new 007 and with that - some of the most inventive watches of the series are introduced in 1973's 'Live and Let Die.'

1973 'Live And Let Die'
Hamilton Pulsar 'P2 2900' LED digital watch

(non-gadget but latest technology)

Pulsar P2 LED

1973 'Live And Let Die' - Rolex 'Buzzsaw" Submariner
(spinning saw bezel used to cut free of rope)

Bond firstly used his watch for a more entertaining purpose, by activating the magnet and unzipping Miss Caruso's dress. Towards the end of the mission when Bond and Solitaire were being lowered into Kananga's shark pool, Bond used the magnet to get hold of a compressed air bullet. Bond then used the mini saw to cut through the rope around his wrists and free himself. After a fight with Kananga, Bond forced the bullet into Kananga's mouth, making him "bite the bullet".
A standard looking Rolex diving watch with a few added extras:
  • High power electromagnet, which could deflect the path of a bullet
  • The bezel was equipped with a diamond cutting wheel

1973 'Live and Let Die'
Rolex 'Magnetized' Submariner Wristwatch
(Best use - Unzipping a dress,
Most utilitarian - Bullet guard)

1974 'The Spy Who Loved Me'
Seiko 0674 'Ticker Tape' Wristwatch

This device was used to dispatch Bond back to headquarters. He was required to "pull out" of his current "mission", in a warmed up log cabin with a stunning blonde KGB agent.

A digital watch with an in built satellite link, short messages could be sent from MI6 and printed from the watch on a thin spool of tape.

1979 'Moonraker'
Seiko m354 Memory Bank 'Plastique Explosive' Wristwatch

(explosive coil hidden in caseback)

Bond and Holly Goodhead were trapped inside the bunker of a space shuttle's launch pad, under it's rocket boosters. Time quickly running out, Bond removed the explosive, stuck it to a welded exhaust grate and blew it off the wall, making for an easy escape.
A digital watch, with an extended back-plate that could be removed to reveal a small but powerful explosive charge and a detonator wire. The explosive is removed and the detonator wire plugs into the side of the watch, a button detonates the explosive at a safe distance.

Octopussy Wrist Dart Gun

Bond used the wrist dart gun 3 times, once saving his life. Firstly he tested it out in M's office by firing a dart into a painting. Bond's life saving came, when he was in a centrifuge, the control room was taken over by Drax's henchman Chang, who turned up the G's to a lethal volume. Bond flicked his wrist, firing an amour piercer into the overridden stop button, stopping the machine with a short circuit. Lastly Bond used a poison tip to kill Drax, firing it into his heart and forcing him though an airlock into space.
A small gun like device propelled the darts by using pressurised gas, good for 10 firings before refill. The poison tipped darts, were coated with concentrated cyanide, the amour piercing dart had cores of depleted uranium - like the ammunition used in large bore military machine guns.

1981 'For Your Eyes Only'
Seiko H357 Analog Digital Display with scrolling LED message bar

(also Dick Tracy style two-way radio)

A newer version of Bond's mothballed ticker tape watch, the Voice Link watch. Beeped at Bond, just as he was ready for a moonlight swim, Bond threw the watch to Melina Havelock's pet parrot. None other than Margaret Thatcher was on the other end of the line from 10 Downing Street, where Q had wired up the phone to the satellite link.
A digital/analogue combination watch, with a built-in satellite phone to receive calls direct from MI6.

1983 'Octopussy'
Seiko Liquid Crystal TV Watch


Isn't it obvious?

1983 'Octopussy' Seiko G757 Sports 100
Homing Device/Hidden Microphone Monitor

1995 'Golden Eye' Omega Seamaster
Laser emitting, explosive device wristwatch

1997 'Tomorrow Never Dies' Omega Seamaster
Detonator Watch

1999 'World Is Not Enough' Omega Seamaster
Dual Laser/Grappling Hook Watch

"Goldeneye": When Bond and Natalya got trapped inside the ICBM train, surrounded by one-inch thick amour plating. As Natalya pounded away at a computer keyboard trying to trace Boris' location, Bond activated the laser cutter on his watch and proceeded to cut a manhole in the floor of train. With seconds left, Bond ripped Natalya away from the computer, the two dived through the man hole, and ran from the train seconds before it exploded. Later in the mission, Bond had a series of magnetic mines activated in Trevelyan's HQ, and his watch could arm or disarm the mines. Trevelyan, being a former MI6 agent, knew about Bond's watch, he took it from Bond and disarmed the mines.
"Tomorrow Never Dies": Bond picks up a new version of the Omega courtesy of Wai Lin's stock of gadgets. Bond uses the detachable remote detonator to make a booby trap with a grenade and a glass jar. When Bond needs a diversion after Carver shoots his hostage, Gupta, 007 triggers the detonator causing the grenade to pop free and self-arm.
"The World Is Not Enough": Bond first uses the watch to illuminate the inside of the inflated bubble ski jacket whilst himself and Elektra are trapped in an avalanche. The watch is useful later, when stuck in an inspection pit in the nuclear bunker, Bond fires the piton wire to jump 50 feet.
An Omega Seamaster with blue face and bezel. Modified to incorporate a high-power laser diode, capable of cutting through two inches of steel. It was also equipped with a button used to arm and disarm the magnetic mines.
Wai Lin's gadget masters incorporate a detachable detonator into the watch for "Tomorrow Never Dies". Bond notes they have a newer version than his Quartermaster at MI6.
For "The World Is Not Enough", the watch is fitted with a miniature grappling hook which includes a 50 foot high tensile micro filament, able to support 800 pounds. Bond puts this into use to escape a potentially explosive situation. Q-Branch has also incorporated dual high-powered lasers into the design, and the casing is made from titanium.

2006 'Casino Royale'
Back to basics with gadgetless Omega Seamaster
Special thanks to;M16
Pocket Calculator Show
James McMahon
James Bond Dot Com

UFO of the Sea - 1953 "Deep Sea Special" Diver

Side-view of Deep Sea Special

Created to test new endurances of a diver watch, The Deep Sea Special was fixed to the outside of Auguste Piccard's deep sea diving submarine, the bathyscaph "Trieste." It proved itself at a record depth of 10,335 feet (3150 meters) in 1953. Waterproof up to seven miles and capable of withstanding pressure at seven tons per square inch.

Obviously, the appeal to my tastes occurs with the domed bubble crystal and enormous 57mm length. Purely prototypical, approximately less than seven exist with a potential of 35 additional replicas.

A Century of Rolex Watches - Antiquorum Thematic AuctionAt the Auctions - 1930 Tissot 1940 Rolex 1950 CartierThe Time that fell to Earth - Meteorite Watches1970s Rolex "Brownie with Lemon Frosting" GMT Master1950 Rolex Lipstick WatchInternal WatchGiving You the Finger - Rolex & Jaeger LeCoultre Ring WatchesJames Bond Gadget Watch History - Q-Branch Issues

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