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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 [...]

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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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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Clockwiser - Vinta Tilt & Homemade Kinetic Clocks

Japanese design company Vinta has created a wooden table clock that measures the time by rotating on its perfectly round bottom, tilting to one of two models that rotate once every hour or every minute.

Their description;
"We wanted to express the idea of "feeling the time", not "measuring the time". It can be shown from revolving slowly on its own axis once every hour with an ambiguous change in its inclination. And we used the preciseness of a Japanese craftman technique to make this delicate shape to revolve smoothly."

Product Link
Video Link

via Make




The website Instructables offers this step by step guide to making a cool kinetic op-art wall clock-->Link




Source via Make

Related Posts;
Klok Nixie Tube Clock
Vacheron Constantin Astronomic Clock
Seth Thomas Sethosphere
A Clockwork Orange
Aurora Clocks
Talking Voxclock
History of Car Clocks
Clockmaster of NYC
Panasonic See Thru Clock


Find & Compare Watches


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16th Century Gun Powder Flask-Sundial Compass Watch

16th Century Gun Powder Flask-Sundial Compass Watch


Portable watches had only been around a few decades when this multi-function timepiece was built in southern Germany circa 1590.

Consisting of a round powder flask made of rosewood with inlaid and engraved rosette-shaped ornaments of brass and bone. A small clock with 1-12 hours twice situated on the outer ring. The small funnel of bone is closed with a springy lid made of brass. Below the center under the engraved lid with a transversally placed hinge, there is a horizontal sundial with indication of the hours from six o'clock in the morning to six o'clock in the evening. A small compass with north-south indication but without correction for the magnetic pole. The string gnomon is stretched by opening the lid and is only valid for one latitude. On the side of the flask, there is an opening to a funnel-shaped small pipe which is placed in the socket and allows for filling up the powder flask. Diameter 10.8cm


From the Beyer Watch and Clock Museum in Zurich-->Link
Museum Collection Photomontage-->Link

Related posts;

Wood & Bone Pocket Watches

Wristwatches of War


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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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Diamond Skull Nixon Rotolog for Barneys NY

Diamond Skull Nixon Rotolog for Barneys NYYou're not gonna see me spotlight too much Bling here at The Watchismo Times...But this is a bit different. It's the Diamond Rotolog by Nixon. Their retro watch collection that borrows heavily from the 1970s Direct Read/Jump Hour style display (As I write about often here-->Link) and famously for their wood series which feature inlaid bamboo and teak.

Nixon has been featuring skull-print Rotologs exclusively at Barney's New York in recent months but now they stepped it up a carat. These are encrusted with 764 white diamonds and 1,087 black diamonds for the skull pattern, a stainless steel case, Japanese Quartz movement and LED lamp for lighting the spinning disc display.

LINK

Diamond Skull Nixon Rotolog for Barneys NYRotolog Wood Series



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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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1970s Panasonic See-thru Clock Radio


The first of a few features about transparent mystery dial timepieces, both wristwatch and clock oriented. I recently bought this oddball vintage Panasonic (model #RC-6500C) clock-radio on Ebay and was just blown away with it's design -- Appearing to be floating in space, the hour, minutes, seconds and alarm are split into four layered clear disks spinning in a porthole for both clock and radio. Each disk is a gear in itself with the contacts of the outer teeth & notches hidden by the case. The concept has also been miniaturized for some spectacular watches, stay tuned...

See my short video below showing off the clock's transparency. Once I find someone to repair the lamp feature, the displays will again glow blue for night viewing.







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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 Watchismo Times is now 'The Minutes' - Check it out!Time for a Woody - Wood Watches Over Time (1590-2009)Tic-Tock-Walk - Antique Walking Stick WatchesClockwiser - Vinta Tilt & Homemade Kinetic Clocks16th Century Gun Powder Flask-Sundial Compass WatchWatch built from Bone! Wood you believe?Diamond Skull Nixon Rotolog for Barneys NYSolid Wood 1900 Pocket Watch - Wood Gears, Hands and Case1970s Panasonic See-thru Clock RadioBlockwork Clockworks

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