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More Vintage Wristwatch Cinema

Hamilton’s “How a Watch Works” from 1949 has now been added to the to the video library.

It’s a great view if you’d like to be able to understand the workings and theory behind the operation of mechanical watch movements, even if you otherwise might not have any interest in vintage watches.

Link: Hamilton’s “How A Watch Works“, 1949

Posted in Vintage Watches.

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Vintage Christmas Watch Ads

Omega, 1933

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Posted in General, Vintage Watches.

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Watch Manufacturers and Collaborative Relationships

TAG Heuer Meridiist Luxury Mobile Phone

It’s Not Just Sponsorship Money any More

Interesting story in today’s NYT about watch manufacturers and the promotional relationships that have grown beyond the simple payment of prootional consideration fees.

The TAG Heuer Meridiist mobile phone line has long been a topic of discussion and in some case derision, as skeptical fans and collectors pointed to the apparent disparity with the brand’s core products and accusing TAG of simply exploiting existing luxury distribution channels and markets.  Critics of Omega have long complained that the ostensible association with NASA was tenuous at best, and only in the last few years (see Michael Phelps, Beijing 2008) that it has begun to become clearer to collectors the extent of Omega’s involvement development participation.

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Posted in Modern Watches.

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Moshi Voice-Activated Alarm

MOshi Speak n set touch voice activated clock

Moshi Speak n set Voice Activated Alarm Clock

As recently detailed in the New York Times, a new line of advanced voice-activated alarm clocks from Moshi allows the user to set and hear the alarm and time by voice.

Coupled with a large easy-to-read display, the clocks promise to be especially useful to the visually impaired. The voice recognition technology is also touted to to be superior that that of many competitiors, making use of samples of more than 1,000 voices to aid in recognition.

The Moshi clocks are avaialbe direct from the manaufactuter or for pre-order on Amazon:

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Posted in General.

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Unusual Pocket Watch Fobs: Fully Functional Pinfire Pistols

These tiny pinfire pistols were once worn as fobs on pocketwatch chains, the part that hung from the chain coming out of the pocket in which the watch was carried. The fob made it easier to pull the watch out of the small pockets in which the watches were carried that were small and tight for security. These particular functioning pistol fobs were made by Austrian watchmakers as novelties and fire 2mm blank cartridges from the function revolving cylinder.

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Posted in General, Vintage Watches.

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Wristwatch Cinema: Hamilton’s “What Makes a Fine Watch Fine”, 1947

I really enjoy watching this every now and again. If you don’t own any of those old American-made vintage Hamilton wristwatches already, you’re going to want to after watching these videos.

This short was commissioned by Hamilton and produced by the Jam Handy Organization in 1947 as a training tool for its sales force and marketers. It’s especially for those not familiar with the history or design of vintage movements

The first 5 minutes or so are a little cheesy, but gets much more interesting afterward when highlighting some of the details of the manufacturing process, like how how steel was painstakingly alloyed into Ellinvar Extra to make harisprings and how the factory in Lancaster, Pennsylvania used to make a huge batch of bread dough every morning to use for removing dust from watch movements in the era before Rodico putty.

So sit back with a snack and a drink and enjoy:

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Posted in Vintage Watches.

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How to Wear a G10/”NATO” Watch Strap

Mounting the watch on a G10/"NATO" strap.  Photo: Mk.II Watches

Mounting the watch on a G10/"NATO" strap. Photo: Mk.II Watches

To longtime collectors of course this is perhaps old news, but it can be confusing to new collectors.  I’ve come across several of the J. Crew Timex “Military” watches in the wild where the owner has simply cut off the excess and wears the strap with the tail tucked under the keepers.  While effective in a sense, this method is not the most correct and also gives up part of the advatage of the G10 design that would allow it to be resized for wear over coats, wetsuits etc.

Bill Yao at Mk.II Watches has a pretty great illustrated guide that shows how to attach the watch to the strap.

It might seem complex at first, but it requires only a bare minimum of practice and once you’ve managed it one or two times it becomes second nature.  ZULU and RAF-pattern type straps are worn using variations on the same technique shown here.

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Posted in Military Watches, Straps.

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President Barack Obama’s Jorg Gray Secret Service Watch


Please visit us at www.BaracksWatch.com

Jorg Gray chronograph similar to that worn by President Barack Obama


The UK’s Times Online published a bit yesterday detailing the discovery of US President Barrack Obama’s Jorg Gray Secret Service chrono by collector Jeff Stein, crediting him as “foremost among the watch detectives” in the process. (congrats, Jeff!)

Of course, Jeff had a published an account already earlier this spring (International Watch Magazine, April 2009) on his quest to identify Obama’s watch, but it seems that awareness has now been seeping into the mainstream and these otherwise unremarkable chronos are quickly becoming a minor worldwide cultural phenomenon and attracting the attention of major media outlets.

In contrast with the high-end watche chosen by many world leaders, the last several US Presidents including George W. Bush and Bill Clinton favored simple Timex watches while in office, perhaps for their implied association with the “working man” or for Timex’s perceived image as an “American” brand.  Obama had been known previously to wear a Tag Heuer 1500 purchased following his graduation from Harvard Law School.

However, on the occasion of his birthday in April 2008, Obama was presented with a Jorg Gray chronograph by his Secret Service protection detail which seems to have seldom left his wrist since.

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Posted in Modern Watches.

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