martedì 30 aprile 2019

Vintage Timepieces - Bulova

Baselworld 2019 featured an interesting exhibition of vintage Bulova watches. The Accutron and its many declinations obviously took the lion’s share.

Fra le attrazioni di Baselworld 2019 va ricordata la mostra di orologi vintage Bulova. La parte del leone è naturalmente toccata all’Accutron nelle sue numerose varianti.


venerdì 26 aprile 2019

Vintage Ad - Cyma (1938)

ENGLISH (il testo italiano è sotto l'immagine) 
"Perfect timing under all climates and conditions" – This 1938 ad about the Cyma waterproof watches includes a mention of the shock absorber “fitted to the gents watersport watches”, which “is specially constructed to hold a large quantity of oil and to prevent the same flowing away from the pivot”. “Watertightness is permanently secured” by the design of cases in which “no perishable materials are used” – waterproof timepieces often featured cork or leather gaskets. Cyma was a trademark registered by Tavannes, a prominent company whose production plant employed 2,000 people at the time.
Interested in vintage watch ads? Visit the page about Watch Ads, my two-volume pictorial history of communication and design in 20th Century watchmaking.
Click here to display and download a 20-page preview of Volume 1.
Please note that the vintage ads presented in this Blog are not featured in the Watch Ads books.

"Precisione assoluta in ogni clima e situazione". In questo annuncio del 1938 sugli orologi impermeabili Cyma si cita anche il dispositivo antiurti “adottato nei modelli da uomo per gli sport acquatici, (…) progettato appositamente per trattenere una grande quantità di lubrificante e impedirne lo spargimento dal perno”. “La tenuta stagna è assicurata in permanenza” dalla costruzione di casse nelle quali “non si usano materiali deperibili”: spesso gli orologi impermeabili avevano guarnizioni di sughero o cuoio. Cyma era un marchio registrato da Tavannes, fabbricante di primo piano che in quegli anni dava lavoro a 2.000 dipendenti.
Ti piacciono le pubblicità d'epoca? Visita la pagina su Watch Ads, la mia storia illustrata in due volumi della comunicazione e del design nell'orologeria del Novecento. 
Clicca qui per visualizzare e scaricare un'anteprima di 20 pagine del Volume 1. 
Gli annunci pubblicitari d'epoca presentati in questo Blog non sono inseriti nei volumi Watch Ads.


lunedì 22 aprile 2019

SIHH 2019 (5)

This is the fifth of a series of posts featuring a few pieces seen in Geneva at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, the year’s first watch show.

Altiplano – Equipped with the ultra-thin automatic caliber 1203P, this 40mm pink gold timepiece features a meteorite dial and is limited to an edition of 300 pieces.

PoloThe steel 42mm case hosts a green dial that changes in tone and intensity depending on the angle of light that hits the guilloche surface.


Excalibur Huracan Visible through the titanium sapphire crystal case back, the skeleton automatic RD630 caliber offers a 12° angled balance wheel representing the movement signature associated with Lamborghini Squadra Corse.


Fraise – The Fruit line features color-gradient cases made of Carbon TPT®  combined with Quartz TPT® of a different hue for each model.

Skeleton X – The openworked movement is part of a geometry featuring an X formed by four of the indexes, framed in a rectangle, in turn inside a circle.


Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin – The 41.5mm pink gold case is just 8.1mm thick and hosts the self-winding in-house 1120QP caliber.

Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar - A patent-pending system enables instantaneous switching between Active mode and Standby mode. The latter steps in during long periods of stasis when the watch is laid flat and a high-frequency balance would drain the mainspring with no added advantage.

martedì 16 aprile 2019

Vintage timepieces - Longines Stop Seconde (1940s)

A simplified chronograph of the early 1940s.
Check out our YouTube channel for more video clips about vintage watches!

Un cronografo semplificato dei primi Anni 40
Visita il nostro canale YouTube per guardare altri video sugli orologi vintage!

giovedì 11 aprile 2019

Vintage Timepieces - Elgin Art Deco (1928)

ENGLISH (il testo italiano è in fondo alla pagina) 
This Elgin timepiece dating back to 1928 is a fine example of an American-made watch of the Art Deco period. The complex lug design of the white gold-filled case was made possible by newly introduced methods - stamping (or die striking) allowed for sharply incised engravings, mass production and competitive prices. The dial with luminous hands and hour markers was also a popular feature at the time. The in-house movement was produced from 1917 to 1929.
Founded in 1864 in the Illinois town that gave the company its name, Elgin reacted quickly when the wristwatch came into fashion and was hugely successful in the 1920s. Its plant was the largest watch manufacturing complex in the world and employed 4,600 people. In 1952, Elgin and Lip from France revealed the world's first electromechanic movements, but their development took a decade longer. By this time, the company had started a decline that ended in bankruptcy in 1966. 
Functions Hours, minutes. 
Size  41 x 24 mm, thickness 7 mm. 
Case White gold-filled, snap-on back. 
Movement Grade 444, manual winding, diameter 22 mm, 15 jewels, cut bimetallic screw balance, flat hairspring, 18,000 bph.

Questo Elgin del 1928 è un gradevole esempio di orologio americano appartenente al periodo Art Deco. In questo e altri esemplari simili, la complessa architettura delle anse fu resa possibile all'introduzione della sagomatura mediante stampaggio del metallo gold-filled, la placcatura tipicamente americana. Un metodo che consentiva di produrre in serie casse riccamente decorate a un prezzo competitivo. Un'altra caratteristica apprezzata dai clienti dell'epoca era il quadrante con indici e lancette luminescenti. Il movimento di manifattura fu prodotto dal 1917 al 1929.
Fondata nel 1864, nella città dell'Illinois che le diede il nome, Elgin adattò rapidamente la propria strategia commerciale quando l'orologio da polso divenne popolare e questo ne fece una compagnia di grande successo negli Anni 20. La sua fabbrica era il complesso produttivo più grande del mondo nel settore dell'orologeria e dava lavoro a 4.600 persone. Nel 1952, Elgin e la francese Lip presentarono i primi movimenti elettromeccanici del mondo, ma il lancio sul mercato fu possibile solo nel 1962. In quel momento, Elgin aveva già avviato un declino che sarebbe terminato con il fallimento nel 1966. 
Funzioni Ore, minuti. 
Dimensioni 41 x 24 mm, spessore 7 mm 
Cassa Placcata (gold-filled) oro bianco, fondo chiusi a pressione. 
Movimento Tipo 444, carica manuale, diametro 22 mm, 15 rubini, bilanciere a viti bimetallico tagliato, spirale piana, 18.000 alternanze/ora.
"If you will take care of me, I will serve you faithfully for many years to come" - signed "Your Elgin", these recommendations to the owner came with the original box and papers.
"Se ti prenderai cura di me, ti servirò fedelmente per molti anni": firmate "Il tuo Elgin", queste raccomandazioni al proprietario facevano parte della confezione originale.

domenica 7 aprile 2019

Baselworld 2019 (3)

This is the third of a series of posts featuring the new models on display at the world’s biggest watch show.

Flying Grand Regulator Skeleton – The 30 timepieces of this limited edition feature a dial in galvanic black with contrasting accents in red and yellow, light blue and orange, or red and coral. Activating the crown triggers a slide that blocks the balance spring, so that the seconds hand can be stopped and precisely set.

Sub 300 T.Graph – The “Anniversary” reinterpretation of the 1969 divers chronograph features a 43 mm gold case, the original Valjoux 7734 movement, as well as the patented unidirectional rotating bezel with dual indication of the dive time in minutes and the depth in feet for a no-decompression ascent.

MogadorThe 45.4 mm case made from satin-effect grade 5 titanium hosts the LM-35 movement that won the latest International Chronometry Competition following four months’ worth of tests. The dial offers a view of the tourbillon’s rotating cage, where the balance spring, anchor and anchor wheel perform a full rotation every minute.

Tangente Sport – The Neomatik date caliber is protected from shocks and water (up to 1000 feet) by a stainless steel reinforced case, sealing, sapphire crystal glass back, and crown protection. The specially developed bracelet consists of 145 individual parts screwed together by hand and comes with the in-house deployant clasp.

Spring Drive Chronograph – The new design of the Grand Seiko Sport collection celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Spring Drive movement. The latter’s high resistance to shock and temperatures guarantees a precision of 0.5 seconds a day in the most demanding conditions. The 44.5 mm case in high-density titanium is Zaratsu polished.

Black Bay P01 – Based on a prototype developed in the late 1960s, this divers’ watch features a hinged end-link with rotating bezel blocking system at 2 o’clock. The in-house self-winding movement is a COSC-certified chronometer that provides a 70-hour power reserve. The 42 mm stainless steel case is entirely satin-brushed.


martedì 2 aprile 2019

100,000 VISITORS!

ENGLISH (il testo italiano è più in basso) has just exceeded the 100,000 visitors mark - not bad for an independent website almost exclusively dealing with watches past and present. My hearty thanks go to all you readers. Your response is a much appreciated recognition of the effort I devote to producing quality contents. The occasion deserves a celebration. What about a selection of the images I posted over these years? Enjoy!

ITALIANO ha appena superato la quota di 100.000 visitatori. Non male per un sito indipendente dedicato quasi esclusivamente all’orologeria di ieri e di oggi. Desidero ringraziarvi di cuore. La vostra risposta è l'omaggio più gradito all’impegno con cui mi sforzo di creare contenuti di qualità. L'occasione merita di essere celebrata: per esempio con una panoramica delle immagini postate in questi anni. Buona visione!