Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A NEW WATCHISMO STORE LAUNCHED! Hundreds of Vintage Watches and New Brands

Hey Watchismophiles! Just wanted to let you know first about the brand new Watchismo.com store that recently launched, and to give you a brief walk-through the offerings. I have just added hundreds of vintage timepieces and new models from around the world - including LIP (France), Nixon (California), Nooka (New York City), Mr. Jones (London), Alessi (Italy), Issey Miyake (Japan), Pierre Junod (Switzerland) and Botta (Germany) watches.

Forgive my shameless self-promotion but since there are no other sites quite like ours, I'm very excited to share my personal vintage collection specializing in rare Jump Hour styles in addition to some of the coolest and affordable new watch designs of today.

A few sample pages from the vintage watch section of Watchimo
(hundreds more listed)

Below, our pride and joy, LIP watches of France. We offer LIP exclusively at some of the coolest stores in the US - Barneys New York (nationwide), Moss (Soho NY & Los Angeles), Museum of Modern Art New York (MoMa), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Taubman Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Takashimaya (NY), Propeller Modern (SF), and Paul Smith

Buy them at any of those locations or direct at Watchismo!

More about LIP history-->LINK

Nixon (below), a brand we admire for their vintage-inspired, forward looking models such as the direct-time technology of the Murf and Rotolog!

Nooka, (below) an independent New York City company with truly original interpretations of timekeeping! No hands, rarely a digit - it's time for a change...

And the thinking man's and woman's timepiece, the conceptualist designs of Mr. Jones! A UK designer, famous for the "Accurate", a happy-go-lucky watch reminding you of death every minute of the day... (below)

Issey Miyake (below), with some of the most modern styles from Japan including the supercool minimal TO mystery dial and the color-combination mathematical perfection of the Trapezoid chronographs!

Another brand new watch at Watchismo are the one-handed German watches of Botta. Forget two hands, that's so second-milenium. Life is more complicated now but time is being reduced with the unique Botta UNO and Solus.

Pierre Junod of Switzerland produces watches designed by some of the worlds best designers and architects (Arne Jacobsen, Richard Meier, Massimo Vignelli, and more)

And finally, a behemoth of modern design, Alessi (below) and their incredibly affordable line of stylish watches. Famed desingers from around the world contribute to the long history of the Italian company.

Summed up, Watchismo is a store built from a very personal passion for great design, affordable individuality, and an obsession for being on time.

LIP Product Page-->LINK

Watchismo and LIP featured in recent press (below);

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Monday, November 3, 2008

SPACEMAN-TIME CONTINUUM - The Spaceman Watches of 1972-77

All obsessions have their own unique Big Bang and appropriately enough, my compulsive watch collecting was born from these Spaceman watches of the seventies.

Below is an article I wrote for QP Magazine reminiscing about going back to the future with these Spacemen.

TIME-SPACEMAN CONTINUUM - Spaceman Watches of 1972-1977
Leaving New York one chilly winter day, late in 1999, I found myself come unstuck in time and arrive in Basel at the dawn of 1972.


My time travel led me to a world filled with hundreds of Spacemen, sitting undisturbed in a Basel watch factory with no plans of visiting the moon anytime soon. This grounded crew was actually a secret stash of vintage Spaceman watches I unearthed at a former distributor of the timepieces designed by Andre LeMarquand, an architect from Neuchâtel . The futuristic watches had fallen out of style during the 80s and 90s but I was ready to fly them out of their dark Swiss graveyard and back onto the wrists of space-age sentimentalists like myself.

In the late sixties Claude Lebet, owner of the Bulle based watch brand Catena asked Le Marquand to create a timepiece inspired by man’s conquest of the moon and the astronauts who made it there. Mr. Le Marquand provided him with his first wristwatch design called, what else, the "Spaceman".

The Spaceman was unlike anything seen before and Catena introduced the fleet at the Basel Fair of 1972. The large oval case appeared to be docked on your wrist held by a triple-forked Corfam strap by DuPont. The case also had a coned dome crystal half concealed by a coloured metal visor that allowed viewing of the dial to only the wearer. All hands and markers were perfectly seventies orange with models in a variety of colours only possible during that special decade.

The watches were powered by automatic and manual winding mechanical ETA movements and were distributed by a variety brands, among them Jules Jurgensen, Fortis, Tressa and Zeno.

Automatic Spaceman Audacieuse

The success led to the development of new Spaceman a few years later, an audacious design by Le Marquand and appropriately named, the "Audacieuse".


The new Audacieuse was angular yet aerodynamic, looking more like an early miniature prototype of a B2 Stealth Bomber than a watch. The extreme design was square with a hooded dial, similar to the original semi-sideview concept. The straps were oversized and wide as the case itself, available in stainless steel or colored leather. A few very rare models with mechanical jump hour digital displays were also out there and a few quartz-digital "Spacesonic" were produced until the Spaceman series came to an end in 1977. Having completed his mission, the Spaceman stepped aside for the next giant leap in timekeeping – light emitting diodes (LED) and liquid crystal displays (LCD).

1977 LCD "Spacesonic"

My close-encounter with the past was fuelled by reading Pieter Doensen's rare book, "Watch - History of the Modern Wrist Watch". This was been my launch pad to the world of vintage-modern watch design and technology and it has been described as the "the first comprehensive study of the collectible modern wrist watch". Flipping through the book, one can feast their eyes on Richard Arbib's Hamilton Electrics of the fifties & sixties, Roger Tallon's LIP Mach 2000's of the seventies and a multitude of other horological advancements over the past fifty years. But it was the futuristic charm of Andre LeMarquand's Spaceman that first abducted my interests.


All White Spaceman Audacieuse
(manual winding)

Very Collectible Audacieuse with Lighting Display

Gloss Burgundy Audacieuse

Leather/Woodgrain Audacieuse

Ultra-Rare Tiger Eye Dial Version

Assorted shots of the Audacieuse

VERY RARE Spaceman Jump Hours (above)

Prototype Dynamic Scattering LCD Spacesonic

Inner dial of the Spaceman Oval


On-the-wrist Shots

Brown Oval (Corfam Straps)

Blue Oval

Red Oval

Original Spaceman Advertising (Click to view)

Spaceman Watches

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