Dominic Wilcox‘s series of miniature time-based sculptures uses vintage mechanical watches and customised model figures.
Fantastic Voyage by Slinkachu
September 19, 2009
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Hybris Mechanica a Grande Sonnerie (the most complex watch in the world), Gyrotourbillon, and Reverso Complication a Triptyque.
This is apparently some holy grail of sonnerie watches…in addition to [the Westminster] melody as a chime, the watch features two others, as well as a silent mode. What does this mean? You know those Casio watches that beep at certain intervals? This watch does that same thing, but instead of a beep, you get a little song that is based on tiny hammers and gongs and a ridiculously complex ballet of gears and “magic”. —aBlogtoRead
The three-piece set is presented in a 1.3 ton leather-coated safe with an electronic locking system that has room for 8 more watches…for a grand total of $2.5 million.
September 8, 2009
November 27, 2008
Academy Open Répétition Minutes by ZENITH
“Considered as the most successful expression of watchmaking art, the Minute Repeater was created for clocks and pocket watches over 300 years ago when candles were in use in order to allow time to be read at night. Nowadays, only very few watchmakers are capable of manufacturing such a marvel in a wrist watch…ZENITH was capable of combining the Minute Repeater mechanism with the mythical El Primero Chronograph. This Hyper Complication, a world record in the watchmaking industry is equipped with the new 4043 caliber, comprising a total of 461 components and 45 rubies.” [via Professional Watches]
A minute repeater is a complication in a mechanical watch that audibly chimes the time at the press of a button. Separate tones are used to distinguish the hours, quarter hours, and minutes. [The repeater is not to be confused with the striking feature of grandfather clocks, which cannot chime on demand – only at regular intervals.] A chronograph is a mechanical watch with both timekeeping and stopwatch functions. The two complications together boggles the mind, since I cannot comprehend either existing without circuitry (metals & jewels alone can do this?)
I have to wonder why women’s mechanical watches so rarely take on this kind of look :\
Intriguing horological machines from the creative label MB&F:
“Horological Machines are as much, if not more, art and sculpture as they are micro-engineering: they are machines which tell the time rather than machines to tell the time. By designing and constructing three-dimensional machines rather than wristwatches, MB&F are able to break free of the constraints imposed by traditional horology and create kinetic art.”
[via Maximilian Busser & Friends]
October 25, 2008
I hold a disdain for the watches of the Digital Age, mass-manufactured electronics housed in technicolor shells – their battery-powered pacemakers depend on the same lifeless quartz. The casings impress me not. Their interiors are ugly nothings compared to this:
Have you ever witnessed the movement of an automatic? They have entrancing heartbeat-like oscillations. The precision and craftsmanship involved in designing and building a mechanical watch is fascinating. The end product is so incredibly organic, for something made completely of metal and precious stones. I love skeleton watches, built to showcase the insides.
Unfortunately, a high-end automatic is beyond my budget, but it’s on my wish list for the future. I won’t settle for less. There’s something awful about owning something that costs less to replace it than to repair it (unsustainable, much?). I’d much rather have something irreplaceable, to treasure and maintain.
[Quotes via The History and Evolution of the Wristwatch By John E. Brozek]
Less than 100 years ago, no self-respecting gentleman would be caught dead wearing a wristwatch. In those days of yore, real men carried pocket watches, with a gold half-hunter…
Wristwatches, when they first came out, were looked down upon by watchmakers as nothing more than flimsy women’s jewelry.
Wristlets, as they were called, were reserved for women, and considered more of a passing fad than a serious timepiece. In fact, they were held in such disdain that many a gentlemen were actually quoted to say they “would sooner wear a skirt as wear a wristwatch”.
But things quickly changed.
…soldiers discovered their usefulness during wartime situations. Pocket watches were clumsy to carry and thus difficult to operate while in combat. Therefore, soldiers fitted them into primitive “cupped” leather straps so they could be worn on the wrist, thereby freeing up their hands during battle.
Makeshift wristwatches allowed the easy synchronization of troop movements, artillery fire, and naval attacks.
After the Great War, many soldiers returned home with souvenir trench watches—so named for the trench warfare in which they were used. When these war heroes were seen wearing them, the public’s perception quickly changed, and wristwatches were no longer deemed as feminine. After all, no one would dare consider these brave men as being anything but.
The modern wristwatch, born of military necessity, inspired the watchmaking community and gave rise to companies such as Rolex, Cartier, Patek Phiillipe, and Jaeger-LeCoultre.