Horologio Blog

Horologio Blog
2017-07-21

Heading to New England any time soon? Love clocks, or just looking for something a little off the beaten path to do that is quite different? We suggest you visit the self-described "Old Cranks" at the American Clock and Watch Museum in Bristol, Conn. The museum offers an Old Cranks tour with one of four volunteers who visit the museum on a regular basis to wind approximately 60 to 70 of the historic clocks on display.

As the "Old Cranks" work their way through the museum’s eight galleries, visitors can watch the volunteers wind different kinds of timepieces, and hear the fascinating stories about the history of the clocks and of the watch industry in America. The Old Cranks even discuss what makes a clock tick. The Old Cranks are the people responsible for turning the clocks forward or backward during Daylight Saving Time — beginning and end. It is a wonderful tour of sound, sight and education.

The American Clock & Watch Museum offers Old Cranks tours on the first and third Fridays of each month from 10 – 11 a.m. The tours are included with the price of museum admission.

Images courtesy of American Clock & Watch Museum, Bristol, CT 06010; www.clockandwatchmuseum.org.

2017-07-18

In November, the seventh annual "Only Watch" auction will take place in Geneva with 49 luxury watch brands (thus far) donating a one-off watch for the charity auction. Only Watch is organized by the Monaco Association against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and the auction is led by Christie’s auction house. Proceeds go to the fight for a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

For the first time, in addition to individual participating brands, there are also some partnerships and even a watch school donation from WOSTEP. Some brands are even kicking in special events or brand ambassador meetings to up the ante on the bidding. Some of the watch brands we carry are donating timepieces, as you can see on this page. Over the coming months, we will bring you a closer look and complete details of some of the unique watches that will be up for bid.

2017-07-13

We say it time and again, a good watch holds its value — not just for a few years, but easily for a century or longer. Recent auctions are a prime example. One auction that was held by Boston-based RR Auction witnessed the sale of items owned by notorious gangster Al Capone.

A diamond-studded, unusually shaped pocket watch that had belonged to Prohibition-era mob boss sold for an impressive $84,375. The timepiece was a triangular platinum-cased watch with cushioned corners. It was made by Illinois Watch Company and the bezel was set with 72 diamonds. The case back reveals the movement within and has the initials AC engraved on it. The watch was sold with its original 12-inch watch chain made in 14-karat white gold.

Interestingly, Capone had incredible style, and was often seen wearing fedoras, tailored suits, the best shoes and even jewelry. The watch was a  natural fit. The watch was accompanied by a letter of provenance from Capone's great grandson. So, hold on to those watches and continue to look for special pieces that will bring enjoyment and value for decades to come.

It is fun to note that at the same auction, a three-headed snake ring owned by Bonnie Parker (of the famed Bonnie and Clyde duo) sold for $25,000, and Capone's hand-written musical manuscript (Humoresque) that Capone penned while in Alcatraz sold for $18,750.

2017-07-11

Ulysse Nardin has just unveiled a new timepiece in its Marine collection — and this one sets a new opening price for the brand. The Marine Torpilleur watch is named for the small ships of the 19th century that were sleek and fast for their time. Because Ulysse Nardin has a rich history with marine watches and chronometers, the fit is perfect.

The new watch offers a sleek silhouette and measures just 42mm in diameter. Crafted in stainless steel, the Marine Torpilleur is offered in three versions, each of which houses the slimmed-down UN-118 caliber with silicium technology and 60 hours of reserve. The COSC-certified watch is water resistant to 50 meters. On the dial: Roman numerals, power-reserve indication, subsidiary seconds hand, “1846” in red. The steel versions are offered with either a white or blue dial, and there is one model in steel with 18-karat rose gold.

2017-07-05

Yesterday we celebrated the 4th of July – Independence Day — which honors America’s hard-won independence from Great Britain, and our adoption of the Declaration of Independence. While the dazzling fireworks and sumptuous picnics made the day delightful, the holiday also inspired us to show off some beautiful timepieces in red, white or blue.

These colors are beautiful on watches and can be worn throughout the year. In fact, blue is one of the hottest colors trending this season for watches, especially for men. For women, red is proving to be a popular color, especially in straps. Red is also a great sports-watch color. White is simply timeless. This is a great time to show off your patriotic spirit, so stop in and our superb staff will help you find the perfect watch.

2017-06-28

If you are a watch lover, you may want to consider switching professions. A career in watchmaking can have a hefty payoff. While watchmaking as a profession may sound a bit boring, at first, it actually is quite the contrary. Watchmakers have to be patient and disciplined, yes. But they also have to be creative and curious. To be a master watchmaker, one needs to think outside the box and envision the future of this 500-year-old profession.

The number of professional watchmakers has dwindled over the past decades, especially in America. The upside is that skilled watchmakers are now in high demand.

Most watchmaking schools offer comprehensive courses developed with one of two guiding programs (SAWTA or WOSTEP). Both have strong curriculums that require 3,000 hours of training (two years), and apprenticeships. SAWTA stands for Swiss American Watchmakers Training Alliance, which currently collaborates with the three largest watchmaking schools in the United States, having a combined capacity of 42 students per year. WOSTEP stands for the Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Education Program.

Other schools with a traditional curriculum have degrees that can be accomplished anywhere from a year’s time to 24 months. Many of the schools offer scholarships and full-tuition opportunities. In terms of annual salary, depending on where in America one locates, a watchmaker can earn between $45,000 and $100,000 a year, or more.

2017-06-22

If you own a mechanical watch, you need to be aware that magnetism can affect its accuracy. Mobile phones, microwaves and certain electrical instruments can have an effect on the accuracy of a mechanical timepiece, depending on the proximity and duration of exposure. Additionally, certain medical testing equipment can have an adverse effect, which is why patients are often advised to leave their watch at home or in a locker during testing.

Of course, there are watches on the market that are designed to be anti-magnetic. Essentially, an anti-magnetic watch can run with minimal deviation in time tracking when exposed to magnetic fields. The International Organization for Standardization has issued a standard for magnetic resistant watches: ISO 764 Horology- Magnetic. It states that a watch must keep its accuracy to +/- 30 seconds a day to be magnetic resistant.

Among the ways certain brands build anti-magnetic watches include building movement components using alloys that are insensitive to magnetism. Such alloys include Glucydur, Nivarox and Elinvar — which you will find in some of the finest sport and dress watches in the world. They have been used for more than half a century for different parts. Today, many brands are also using alloys for their mainsprings and hair spring, which also helps.

Additionally, some brands avoid the magnetism issue by housing the movement in a soft iron (or similar material) case. This is especially true of pilot watches and sport watches. It should be noted the magnetic fields we encounter day to day are typically not strong enough to do damage to your mechanical watch. If you have a job where you are continually exposed to magnetic fields, stop in and talk to us about the right watch for your wrist that is anti-magnetic and still suits your needs.

2017-06-20

Tomorrow marks the first day of summer, and with it comes a host of wonderful outdoor activities — most of which involve water. Before you dive in, make sure the watch on your wrist is ready to take the plunge with you.

Even though a watch may say it is water resistant, it may not be resistant enough — plain and simple. In order for a watch to be classified as water resistant — and to rate the depth to which it can be submerged — it has to undergo rigorous pressure tests. If your watch doesn't say water resistant, it isn't.

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If the watch you are wearing says it is water resistant, it will typically have the depth to which it can be worn. It's important to note that watch brands use a number of methods to mark their watches for water resistance, including feet, meters, Bars and ATM (atmospheres). To simplify these terms, we offer some basic breakdowns:

1 Meter = 3 feet rounded (actual is 3.28 feet)
1 Bar = 33 feet rounded (actual is 33.455 feet)
1 ATM = 1 Bar or 33 feet rounded

No watch is water resistant to just three feet or 1 meter. Most will say 5 bar, 10 bar, 20 bar and up, for instance. You can find the markings denoting the water resistance of the watch either on the dial or on the caseback.

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Generally, a good rule of thumb is if a watch isn't water resistant to at least 50 or 100 feet it shouldn't go in a pool. For instance, if a watch is water resistant to 30 feet, it may not have water-tight gaskets or screw-in crowns, and water could seep inside when the watch is exposed to pressure or direct flow. Our guidelines: We will swim with a watch that has a screw-in crown and is water resistant to at least 200 meters. We will dive with one that is resistant to at least 300 meters. Additionally, never operate the crown or try to set the watch while in the water or while it is wet.

2017-06-15

The season of Dads and Grads has arrived and both of these events present perfect opportunities to give the gift of time — in the form of a wristwatch, of course. Even better, we have watches to suit all budgets and all types of fathers and graduates.

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Not only are watches a constant reminder to the wearer that you took the time and effort to find the right gift, but also they will think of you each time they glance at their wrist. Additionally, some watches have casebacks that are perfect for engraving a special, heartfelt message.

Maybe the college graduate in your life would like a sporty watch, or has an eye on something a little more dressy, but still casual enough to be worn to work? Perhaps that father of yours — or the father of your children — has a hobby that would be a perfect fit for a chronograph, a water watch or an aviation watch?

Whichever the case, we have the right watch for you, so please stop in and see us soon and we can help to steer you in the right direction, while you buy with confidence.

2017-06-13

With Father's Day around the corner, we think it is a good time to take a look at a gift that will track time for him until the year 2100 (at least): a perpetual calendar watch. Essentially, a perpetual calendar watch is a mechanical timepiece that tracks a wealth of calendar information and properly displays it. That information typically includes day of the week, date of the month, leap years and moon phases.

The most important thing to understand about a perpetual calendar watch is that the mechanics inside the watch accurately and automatically track and portray the exact date of the month, whether the month has 28, 30 or 31 days in it. It even accounts for leap year.

Most are built to track time until the year 2100, when they will need to be opened and readjusted by a watchmaker (ideally on March 1) because in the year 2100, we will be skipping our regularly scheduled leap year. Leap years occur every four years, with the exception of century years. There is an exception to the exception, however. If the century year can be divided by 400 (as in 2000), it remains a leap year.

Perpetual calendars are extremely complex and typically hold hundreds of tiny mechanical parts inside. Among those parts are date, day and month wheels, and, in the case of a moon phase indication, a specially made disk. Because of the extensive work that goes into building one, a perpetual calendar watch generally commands higher prices, but these are very popular watches today thanks to the useful functions and classic look. Each watch brand that offers a perpetual calendar has a slightly different design or display. We invite you in to take a look at our perpetual calendars perfect for Father's Day.

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