Wednesday

"Wake up! Time to Die" - 19th Century Victorian Skeleton Automaton Alarm Clock - Haunted Horology #5

Yup, I'm quoting Leon Kowalsky's parting words from the futuristic movie Blade Runner... I just saw the latest director's Final Cut at the Ziegfeld theater in Manhattan recently and must say, it was one of the best cinematic experiences of my life. If you get a chance to see it on a big screen during the current re-release, do it!

This antique 19th century alarm clock (circa 1840-1880) couldn't be further from the future and wish there were more information about its functions to share with y'all but alas, you must imagine the Steampunk-esque automaton mechanics for yourself. I will say the obvious; the skeleton is sitting on an alarm bell, the coffin-boat, complete with Chadburn Telegraph is the clock dial and there are two holes in the coffin that might have something (or someone) that pops out.


via Ingenious.org.uk

See all the posts from my Haunted Horology Week;
1610 Screaming Skull Clock
Mary Queen of Scots Skull Watch
Rock Crystal 1710 Skull Watch
Rolling Eyeball Skull Clocks
All Memento Mori Posts



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Tuesday

Horological Peephole! First Peek of the HM2 by Maximilian Busser & Friends

Sure, I feel guilty looking at the HM2 in a very private moment. But I just can't help myself, it's a damn nice looking watch!

Within a week of being publicly exposed in full-frontal glory, the MB&F "Horological Machine N°2" can only be seen with these advance elemental photographs. Showing the crown (with the iconic HM2 "battle axe" rotor design on it), a portion of one display and at least two indications, and what appears to be some sort of bad-ass futuristic motorcycle engine! We shall see...stay tuned.

The case alone is made up of 102 different coponents, setting itself as one of the most, if not THE most complex watch cases ever made. Max mentioned to me that the case construction is inspired by a game he used to play as a kid… called Meccano, where parts are bolted together (similar to Erector sets).


Perhaps a grip for your thumb to adjust the crown?

Crown with HM1 "Battle Axe" Rotor Design

The entire sneak preview - Next week!

All Related MB&F Post Links;
MB&F HM2 Friends Photo
MB&F HM2 Movement
Max Busser Interview
Early Designs & Sketches of the HM1
Horological Machine No 1



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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


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Monday

TIME OF DEATH - Antique Rotating Eyeball Skull Clocks by Oswald - HAUNTED HOROLOGY #3

I recently featured the antique rotating eyeball clock genre (here), but since I can't seem to stop featuring death related timepieces, here are a few more of the very rare skull versions. These eight day novelty clocks were built by Oswald of Germany between 1926 and 1944. These models are quite hard to find and generally cost a few thousand dollars.

The dials are represented as the eyes separating the hours on the left and minutes to the right. Most of their collection feature cross-eyed genies, monkeys, gnomes, owls, and dogs (LOTS of dogs).

Patent information here-->Link



Related posts;
1610 Screaming Skull Clock

Mary Queen of Scots Skull Watch
All Memento Mori Posts
Other Oswald Eyeball Clocks

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Friday

HORROR-OLOGY - 1610 Mechanical Screaming Biting Skull Clock with Animated Snakes for Eyeballs!

Never mind this skull & crossbones automaton clock is nearly 400 years old, just look what it can do! Way scarier than any special effects from Pirates of the Caribbean.

During the first minute, the skull's expression seems to smile, the second minute it seems to laugh, the next appears to scream and finally, the jaws snap shut, as if the skull were trying to bite something. At the same time, one of the snakes slowly sinks back down into one of the eye sockets, while the other slowly comes out of the other eye, before retracting suddenly, as the first snake again springs out from its eye-socket. And to view the time, just open up the skull cap! It sold recently for $135,000.


Designed & built in 1610 by Nicolaus Schmidt der Junger (Augsburg, Germany) as a skull set on two crossed shinbones and mounted on a gilt brass tripod, the hinged skull cap (restored) disclosing the dial. Later hexagonal ebony molded base. D. Silver champlevé enameled dial with floral decoration. Gilt brass single hand. M. Hinged oval gilt brass full plate with urn pillars, fusee with chain, verge escapement, plain steel two-arm balance without spring, gilt brass pierced and engraved irregular cock secured by a screw, with matching click for the ratchet wheel set-up. The movements of the automaton jaw and the snakes in the eyes are controlled by two six-spoke cams driven by the fusee and revolving twenty times an hour, so that the jaws take three minutes to open and then close suddenly while the snakes alternately pop out of, then return back into, each eye socket, twice a minute. Height 14 cm, including the base. Back plate signed.

You can see the open-skull dial of the clock in the background

Movement: fusee with chain, verge escapement, plain steel two-arm balance without spring

Provenance: Previously in the collection of Charles Georgi, one of the commissioners in charge of the Musée Rétrospectif de la classe 96 (horlogerie) at the 1900 Paris Universal Exhibition, this watch was exhibited there in a showcase dedicated to this famous collection. According to Mathieu Planchon, the author of the catalogue, in addition to his collection of early watches and table clocks, Charles Georgi at one time owned on of the best “Cabinets de Curiosité”, upon which the organizers drew heavily, to fill most of the gaps in the various classes of the Musée Rétrospectif.

Related Posts;
Mary Queen of Scots Skull Watch
All Memento Mori Posts
Hatching Astronomical Clock

Via Antiquorum

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The Latest Timewarp is LIP Smackin Good!

Here is my fourth "Timewarp" column for the 26th issue of QP Magazine. This time I feature the innovative French brand LIP and their incredibly advanced Mach 2000 and others from the revolutionary designer series of the early seventies.

Click to view the article-->Link

Past Timewarps (Sideview displays, Macho 60s & 70s vintage chronographs, and the 1971 Pierre Cardin Espace watches)-->Link



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Thursday

10....9....8....7....6....5....4....3.....HM2!

It's just about blast-off time for the next Horological Machine of Maximilian Büsser & Friends. Max has just sent me the official team portrait (a new crew is assembled for each machine) and as many of you know, this is the second landing for the the MB&F brand and we're all less than a two weeks away from seeing their craft!

Yeah, way too many space travel references, I know. But you gotta admit, the HM2 does look other-worldly, based solely on the advance viewing of the movement a while back. Still, nobody really understands where this might be going. (see the HM2 movement below) One thing is certain, the HM2 is likely to wear you, not the other way around.

And nobody really knew who he was working with on this latest project...until now. Max described it as "A truly incredible adventure with a wonderful team. Few of these great artisans-creators have had any media limelight at all, even Jean-Marc Wiederrecht who is probably the most prolific movement creator of the last fifteen years, but who is so shy of publicity that the biggest problem was to convince him to appear openly on this project, has rarely been seen at all!"

Watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, Designer Eric Giroud, and Captain Max

HM2 Movement

Read more about the reclusive watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht here-->Link
Maximilian Busser & Friends website-->Link

Related Posts;
HM2 Movement
All other MB&F posts



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Wednesday

Haunted Horology Week! Mary Queen of Scots Skull Watch

I'm celebrating the week leading to Halloween with a variety of spooky timepieces!

Not long before Mary Queen of Scots had her own head chopped off, she had this bone chilling silver skull watch made. The case is opened by dropping the under jaw, which turns upon a hinge, while the watchworks occupy the place of the brain.

Likely one of the earliest examples of horological "Memento Mori" (artistic reminders of ones mortality).

See all my past Memento Mori watch posts-->Link


Sideview

The original engraved dial with 18th century modified to a balance-spring movement by J. Moysan of Blois, France.

Early representations of the watch
(before photography proved its existence)

It is believed Mary gave this watch as a gift to Mary Seaton, one of her maids of honor. The skull is of silver gilt and is engraved with lines of Horace, figures of Death with his scythe and hourglass, Adam and Eve, and the Crucifixion. The lower part of the skull is pierced to emit the sound when it strikes, being cut in the form of emblems of the Crucifixion. The works occupy the brain's position in the skull fitting into a silver bell which fills the entire hollow of the skulL The hours are struck on this bell by a small hammer on a separate train..

She sure must have been a barrel of laughs...

There's something about Mary...

Related Post: 1810 Skull Pocket Watch-->Link



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Tuesday

Triangulorology - Thirteen Three-sided Timepieces

Tired of circular and rectangular shaped cases? Me too! So then, here is a varied collection of triangular watches over the decades...

1950s Cartier driver sideview watch
"Baguette à cadran incliné et mouvement Duoplan"
Dial is hinged at the apex allowing to rotate on axis

1970s Jaeger LeCoultre

1959 Patek Philippe prototype designed by Gilbert Albert
(valued well over $100,000)

1940 Jaeger LeCoultre "Duoplan" driver style sideview watch
(smallest mechanical movement)

1990 Gerald Genta "Les Nights"
with triangular hands and pyramidal stepped bezel

1961 Prototype Hamilton Electric Ventura
Mahogany & Mother-of-Pearl Pacer Prototypes

And there can't be any definitive triangular retrospective without the mysterious world of Masonic watches...

1940s Cervine Masonic Wristwatch

Other Masonic Watches
Top: 1920 Tempor 8 day keyless Dashboard Timepiece
Bottom: 1930 Tempor & Hiram Pocketwatches

1950s Louvic Mystery Dial
(hands on discs)

Unknown 1970s dynamic scattering LCD sideview
Very rare triangular prototype


Photos via Antiquorum and Rene Rondeau


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Monday

REMINDER! Watchismo Times Anniversary Chronograph Giveaway!

A little over one year ago today, I decided to share my particular and sometimes peculiar horological tastes of extraordinary antique, vintage and modern timepieces on this blog. All part of a sincere and sometimes obsessive attempt to spread my passion for perfect design, complex watchmaking, and appreciation for the unusual.

To celebrate, I'm giving away this 1970s vintage chronograph pictured above. Complete with original gradating circular cut racing bracelet, stainless steel case, automatic winding mechanical movement, and original box -- all in fantastic condition.

To be in the running, all you have to do is enter your email below. Your entry will also subscribe you to the regular email updates to the blog. That ain't so bad, is it? Anyone already subscribed by email updates will automatically be entered into the giveaway, no need to re-enter. And for all my feed subsribers that want to be entered into the giveaway should also enter their email below.

Deadline for submissions is by Halloween (October 31st, 2007). The winner will chosen (by random) by the lovely Mrs. Watchismo and announced the following week.

Good luck!

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Primo 4 - Mermod Frères Mechanical Musical Wristwatch

Out of business since the stock market crash of 1929, Mermod Freres is a horological zombie rising from the dead with the newly introduced, "Primo 4", its first ever mechanical wristwatch with four disc musical function. Using the old fashioned steel comb, the watch plays four tunes. Since it costs an arm and a leg, of course they'll put any tune you want on it but the standard pre-selected songs include; Mungo Jerry, "In The Summertime" and Queen, "We Will Rock You". If I ever find an audio example of the watch, believe me, I'll will share it with you!

So, combining your grandmother's music box collection and a macho sized 45mm watch this is sure to appeal to, er, umm... Well, I'm not really sure...but he's out there!

I'll consider buying it if they include The Ramones, "I Wanna Be Sedated"


Related posts
Musical Watches


Mermod Frères website-->Link
Musical & Mechanical @ Europastar-->Link


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Friday

Afraid of the Deep End - Eterna Kon Tiki Diver

An anticipated model from Eterna, the Kon Tiki Diver. A behemoth of a watch at 46mm, ETA 2897 with power reserve display, hinged case, and more than a year overdue with a potential November release.




via The Watch Quote & Chad the Watch Guy
Eterna website-->Link


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Thursday

Sony Ericsson Bluetooth Watch Redux

It's time to introduce another new contributor here at The Watchismo Times! Jason Alan Snyder of EvilRobot.com has his time sensitive feelers deeply embedded in the ever evolving world of high-tech gadgetry. Today, he introduces the latest Sony Ericsson Time Masters Bluetooth watch...

"So, just yesterday I got my usual Sony Ericsson email update - but this one came with a special surprise. One of my favorite gadgets was inside - the bluetooth enabled wristwatch.

This time SE hits us up with not one but three versions of the this awesome gizmo. The three models have been given the monikers of "Classic," "Music," and "Executive." The only real differnce between the three is design. Something sporty with an orange bezel (Music), one with a metal band (Executive), and a leather strapped version (Classic).

So, what's it do?

- Vibrating call alerts
- Remote Control for your phones music player
- See what track is playing
- Handle calls using the keys on the watch (Mute or Reject)

I know, some of you are saying - "Wait a 'sec this isn't new." You're right. In many ways this is just a refresh of the MBW100 that cameout in late 2006 with some added display functionality. It'sbasically the same basic thing. But these look less like Tron's cock ring and more like something you might want to wear to work or the pub and not feel like total Poindexter with the ladies."

Visit: http://www.sonyericsson.com/timemasters3/

As a futurist, technologist and marketer, Jason Alan Snyder has spent more than a decade within advertising and media companies, innovating products and services that connect audiences to the people and things they care about. Jason led product design and prototyping for AOL Time Warner, redesigning AIM, AOL email and other consumer products. Before AOL, he also led the design for the community and collaboration products that have become Yahoo! music (LAUNCHcast) as well as the design for the user experience of TiVo. Jason is a published speaker and lecturer about technology, community and futurism.


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Wednesday

Reminder Watch - 1970 LIP "Memo"

Just came across this strange vintage LIP "Memo" from 1970. At first glance, a typical looking vintage watch but look at the rotating bezel, it contains a variety of images intended to remind the wearer of something they need to remember. A phone, an envelope, a car, a heart, and a few others not shown.

A little bit more advanced than tying a string around your finger but not quite as modern as a Post-it note.

Call your mom

Get a lube job

Do you really need a reminder?

Wow, email in 1970!


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Tuesday

Vintage Watching - LIP Sector Retrograde, Unusual Heuer, and a Sandoz Mystery Dial

Click to view LIP Retrograde auction

This week on Vintage Watching, I'm featuring one of my favorite watches, the 1973 LIP sector retrograde. They came in a few styles and rarely found for sale. The one above features double retrograde hands (they fly back to the left instantly when reaching the far right) showing hours on bottom and minutes on top.

Click to view the Heuer Auction

Just when I think I've seen every oddball Heuer chronograph of the sixties & seventies, I stumble upon another like the one above. Featuring a very unusual off center 60 minute register. (Update - This might be a fake according to vintage Heuer expert Jeff of OnTheDash.com) Oh well...


Click to view Sandoz Mystery Dial auction

I've seen a few interesting vintage mystery dials from Sandoz, but this unusual 70's "Duplex" above features double-sided hour and minute hands that alternate in length and color when rotating into the visible top portion of the dial. Paul Smith also created a contemporary watch with this style of display->link. Day and month are displayed vertically in the lower obscured hemisphere. Supercool!

Related Posts;
Retrograde Watches
Mystery Dials
Vintage Heuer



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