Horologio Blog

Horologio Blog
2017-01-19
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It's no secret that many a U.S. president has loved wearing watches. Over the years, we have brought you a variety of stories about their preferences. However, with the inauguration taking place tomorrow we found an interesting story to share. It seems that nearly all of the U.S. presidents since the late 1950s have received a Vulcain Cricket Alarm watch at the inauguration.

Vulcain is an old Swiss brand that once had strong U.S. distribution. The company is best known for its invention of the Cricket alarm wristwatch — one of the earliest and loudest alarm watches. The first was unveiled to the world in 1847 as a mechanical marvel that sounded so much like a cricket when sounding that it was once mistaken by the Secret Service as a bomb.

Former President Harry Truman often wore his own Vulcan Cricket watch during his presidency. Since then, it became a sort of tradition for the brand to gift a Cricket to each president for his inauguration. The brand's Cricket watches retail for about $7,000 to $20,000 and it is expected that one will be gifted to Donald Trump. It is still unclear which model he will be gifted.

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2017-01-17
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Yesterday, in Geneva, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) opened its doors to retailers and press from around the world. This by-invitation-only watch exhibition is one of the two most important shows of the first quarter of each year (Baselworld in March is the other). At this exclusive event, more than two dozen top watch brands and independent brands are showcasing their newest watches — watches destined to set the trends on wrists around the world for 2017.

The majority of the luxury brands exhibiting here are from the Richemont Group and they have spent years preparing their newest movements, calibers, complexities and works of art. Additionally, many other brands take advantage of the fact that so many watch lovers flock to the city for SIHH and piggy-back on the event — showing their newest timepieces in hotels that dot the city and surround the famous Geneva lake and fountain. The event promises to be full of new products, news and excitement, all of which we will bring to you in the coming weeks.

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2017-01-12

For those who believe that every second counts, this story is for you, because the year 2016 got an extra second added to it. That second, referred to as a "Leap Second" was added right as 2016 turned to 2017 — or at 23:59:59. Instead of the atomic clocks jumping to 00:00:00, they officially stood at 23:59:60.

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This was done to keep time as precise as possible, much like the reason we add a Leap Day once every four years.

Leap seconds are added to compensate for the fact that Earth's rotation is gradually slowing down, and to make sure that our precise clocks remain in sync with how long a day lasts on Earth.

"This extra second, or leap second, makes it possible to align astronomical time, which is irregular and determined by Earth's rotation, with Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) which is extremely stable and has been determined by atomic clocks since 1967," noted the Paris Observatory in France in a statement. The Observatory houses the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS), which is responsible for synchronizing time.

While Leap Days are predictable, Leap Seconds are sporadic. In fact, over the past 45 years, we have added a Leap Second 27 times. The less predictable nature of the Leap Second makes it virtually impossible to build into a watch or clock.

For those who want more information about the Leap Second, universal time, the evolution of GPS and satellite timing, we suggest you take a look at the extensive report by Jack Forster of Hodinkee. You can read his story at this link.

Credit: Image by NASA.gov.

2017-01-10

While wristwatches did not officially go into serial production until the early 1900s, these watches do have a long and fascinating history. In fact, centuries ago, pocket watches, brooch watches and other pieces were adapted to be worn on the wrist. Some brands still debate who developed the first wristwatch predominantly made for this purpose.

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Historians can confirm that the wristwatch was used on the battlefield in the late 1880s as a safer means for soldiers to read the time and synchronize time without having to pull out their pocket watches. Girard-Perregaux was the first brand to produce large quantities of wristwatches for the German military in the 1880s.

Even earlier, in 1868, Patek Philippe is credited with making an elaborate gold bracelet watch for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary. It was designed specifically for use on the wrist and is documented in the Guinness World Records.

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Breguet also lays claim to having created a watch specifically for a woman’s wrist — half a century earlier than Patek Philippe. An entry was made in the Breguet archives that states that in response to a commission from the Queen of Naples, dated 8 June 1810, Abraham-Louis Breguet began creating a unique watch for the wrist. The wristwatch, Breguet No. 2639, was completed two and a half years later on December 21, 1812. It featured a gold guilloché oblong-shaped case and was a repeating watch held by a wristlet of twisted hair and gold thread.

Today, the Queen of Naples watch is nowhere to be found, according to Breguet's official website. No public or private collection lists it on its inventory. Does it still exist? All watch lovers hope that it will one day reappear.

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2017-01-05
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"The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" The famed line from the classic fairy tale Chicken Little has all new meaning when it comes to meteorites and watches. In fact, when the sky has fallen, certain savvy watch brands have scooped up the material to make entrancing watch dials of it.

While there may be a dozen brands that turn to meteorite for luxury dials, these are definitively rare. When a meteor shower occurs, the chances of particles hitting Earth without disintegrating are incredibly miniscule. But it has happened, and in those instances rock hounds and others have discovered them, documented them and — in some cases — bought them. Because meteorites are made of metals and have inclusions of iron or nickel in them, the mysterious material from outer space makes for a striking and luxurious watch dial.

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2017-01-03

Globally recognized as the authority on color, Pantone, an X-Rite company, has announced the color of the year for 2017: Greenery. The color has a Pantone number of 15-0343 and is a refreshing, revitalizing symbol of spring and new beginnings.

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The color is a yellow-green shade that recalls spring  foliage and the great outdoors. It is not as dark as a grassy green and, according to Leatrice Wiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, “Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the hope we collectively yearn for amid a complex social and political landscape. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate, revitalize and unite, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”

Greenery is now being pulled to the forefront in fashions, accessories and — as we will see as the year moves on — watches.

2016-12-29

It is that time of year when we all reflect back on what 2016 brought our way. We want to thank our loyal customers and our new customers for your continued interest in the products that we select and curate specifically with you in mind. This has been an historic year filled with many memorable moments for us — and hopefully for you.

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We've had a lot of fun presenting the informative articles that ran on our blog and our other social media channels. Among the strongest pieces were auction reports that demonstrated how watches keep their value, and educational pieces that described breakthrough technology and amazing functions. We love to share our passion about watches and time.

As we close out 2016 and look to ring in 2017, we look forward to bringing you more exciting watches, incredible techniques in the watchmaking process, and great behind-the-scenes looks at the brands that bring us time... day in and day out.

The year begins with the world's most exclusive luxury watch exhibition, the by-invitation-only Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. Our reporting will start in January.  Then, the subsequent months will bring us Baselworld and a host of exciting wristwatch events wherein we will see the newest, latest and greatest watches making their debuts. These will be the watches that will mark the trends for 2017 and we look forward to bringing them to you.

Meanwhile, we wish you a very Happy New Year!

2016-12-22
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In a holiday pinch? Unsure what to get your mom, dad, son, daughter, husband, wife, girlfriend, etc.? We have the answer and it is all about time. Watches are the perfect gift because they show you took time to think about what the recipient likes and to go in person to find the timepiece that matches his or her personality and lifestyle. It also shows you know time is important and with every glance at their wrist, they will think of you.

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Finding the perfect watch doesn't mean you have to break the bank. Great watches can be had at all prices, from entry level to uber-lush for both him and her. Stop in and let us help steer you in the right direction to find a watch that's in your budget and will definitely put a smile on your loved one's face.

2016-12-20

As we come down to the wire on holiday shopping days left in the season, there is always a temptation to rush and do some purchasing in places you may not necessarily be familiar with, including online. However, according to The Counterfeit Report, this is the season when shoppers are moving too quickly and not paying close enough attention — leaving the door wide open to those who trade in counterfeit merchandise.

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According to The Counterfeit Report, a counterfeit awareness and consumer advocate, more than 90% of holiday shoppers plan to go online to buy gifts at bargain prices.

"Consider the economic and personal risk of buying counterfeit goods, and be very skeptical of any online product, unless purchased from authorized retailers," advises The Counterfeit Report.

Consumers are easily deceived and unknowingly purchase counterfeit products that can go undetected until after the holidays when the product fails to continue working or is returned. Last year alone, counterfeiting became a $1.7 trillion global criminal enterprise.

While consumers can compare the authentic items and potential counterfeit counterparts on The Counterfeit Report's website, if you are shopping for watches or jewelry, we suggest you shop with a jeweler you trust.

Protect your hard-earned dollars by following these tips from The Counterfeit Report:
• Buy jewelry and watches only from an authorized retailer and, if possible, make the purchase in the store, with face-to-face interaction.
• If you buy online, look for sellers with clear return policies and good ratings.
• Always buy with a credit card, and never with cash, PayPal withdrawals or wire transfers.
• Always retain the disputed product; it is your only proof of receiving a counterfeit.
• If a refund is denied; notify your credit card company that you have retained the counterfeit product and are disputing the charge.

We know we can provide a wonderful, fully-backed shopping experience when it comes to watches and jewelry. Stop in any time, even last minute, and shop with confidence.

2016-12-15

Shinola — it's a name many Americans well remember. Once a black boot polish used during wartime to keep boots looking great, the brand had a legendary following. Then, just a few years ago, the Shinola name was purchased and has re-emerged as a brand intent on offering everything from watches to bicycles, and from leather goods to audio goods — all with some portion of production here in the USA. This year, Shinola had several outstanding watches to attest to its once-again strong following. Here we bring you three top contenders.

Shinola Guardian

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A versatile watch that can easily be dressed up or down, The Guardian offers key Shinola DNA accents, including wire lugs, signature screw-down crown, soft surfaces, and  a brand new rounded square shape. Named for the building that sits at 500 Griswold Street in Detroit, where Shinola's main workshops are located, the Guardian is an affordable take on time.

Shinola Cass

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Opting for a square shape to breath exciting new life into a predominantly round watch world, Shinola unveils the Cass. The stainless steel watch features a simple navy mother-of-pearl dial with railroad tracking on the outer edge and square seconds sundial at 6:00. A double-wrap leather strap and wire lugs offer fashion-forward appeal and comfort.

Gomelsky By Shinola

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The newest addition to the brand's Gomelsky line features the use of gemstones for dials. This version offers a malachite and sandstone dial with 56 diamonds surrounded by a polished stainless steel case. It is one of the more expensive watches in the Shinola lineup thanks to the gemstones, but still comes in at a nice price.

Stop in any time to see our complete lineup of Shinola watches.

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