the art of keeping time
April 9, 2007 11:22 PM   Subscribe

Top 100 watch sites on the web. Strangest watches, odd watches, tactical sniper watch, geek watches, TokyoFlash watches, abstract LED, math watches, Pimp watches, micromechanical engineering for connoisseurs. Nooka watches, USB Data Storage watch, dot matrix watch, futuristic cool vintage 1, 2 and 3, funkadelic diamond rotolog, not fussy about the exact time watch, Rolex or replica?, horological hallucination watches, solar powered braille watch, Philippe Starck style, war watches, our growabrain's super collection of timepieces. A brief history of watches.
posted by nickyskye (34 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know anything about watches, but that Opus 6 watch in the "micromechanical engineering" link is incredibly awesome. Too bad it's probably also incredibly expensive, I don't even wear a watch, but I'd consider wearing that.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:43 PM on April 9, 2007

All those watches and I still can't find a digital wristwatch that chimes every 15 minutes when I want it too.
posted by bigmusic at 11:50 PM on April 9, 2007

Those timeflex watches are crazy.
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:54 PM on April 9, 2007

Did anyone else have one of those enormous, clunky Soviet miliary watches, back in the late eighties? I kind of miss mine.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:54 AM on April 10, 2007

Thanks for the links nickyskye!
I’ve always wondered about this particular brand of watch which I’ve seen on the wrists of the armed forces, and have secretly wanted to have for its leather strap and metallic body (which I find to be an irresistible combination), but have given up the hope of wearing ever since Iraq happened.
posted by hadjiboy at 1:01 AM on April 10, 2007

Get lost.
posted by strawberryviagra at 3:00 AM on April 10, 2007

All those watches and I still can't find a digital wristwatch that chimes every 15 minutes when I want it too.

I'm not at all sad that you can't find this watch since you will live longer and somebody else won't have your murder on their conscience.
posted by srboisvert at 3:04 AM on April 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

Does anyone really know what time it is? Does anyone who isn't educated stupid really care?
posted by Eideteker at 3:34 AM on April 10, 2007

Oh man, I really want that "Gérald GENTA - Retro" under the odd watches link.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:43 AM on April 10, 2007

hadjiboy: I’ve always wondered about this particular brand of watch which I’ve seen on the wrists of the armed forces, and have secretly wanted to have for its leather strap and metallic body (which I find to be an irresistible combination), but have given up the hope of wearing ever since Iraq happened.

the link: Please Note that we give preference to members of HM Forces and Police Firearms Officers when supplying this watch. We can supply to members of the public if stock allows.

I thought that was just marketing BS.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 3:49 AM on April 10, 2007

But, uh, things are a little tight right now and I don't have $8571 to spare...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:49 AM on April 10, 2007

Neat. The pendulum watch and Ludwig Oechslin's celestial watches are particularly interesting and beautiful. Of course, you could just DIY.
posted by caddis at 4:07 AM on April 10, 2007

Those tourbillon watches are both fascinating and gorgeous.

Awesome post, nickyskye. I have a life long love of these damn things, and these links will keep me busy all day.
posted by psmealey at 4:11 AM on April 10, 2007

I hoped that the sniper watch was some kind of rifle disguised as a Watch with scope included.

Too bad the sniper rifle is not included.
posted by darkripper at 6:53 AM on April 10, 2007

My favourite watches are those of Christiaan van der Klaauw especially the one with the working astrolabe and the one with the fully functional orrery.
posted by atrazine at 6:58 AM on April 10, 2007

How about some spy-cam watches?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:59 AM on April 10, 2007

Just like #2.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:01 AM on April 10, 2007

Oh, forgot to add skeleton watches (my fave).
posted by nickyskye at 7:55 AM on April 10, 2007

Nice link. I was a frequent contributor to Timezone (and Watchnet) about 9-10 years ago. At that point, those were the only sites around for people with an interest in horlogerie, but there has been an explosion in the past 5 years.
posted by psmealey at 7:59 AM on April 10, 2007

My friend had to wear a special monitoring watch for a brain experiment he was in. It was black, thick and hexagonal and pretty sexy, I thought.
posted by Citizen Premier at 8:52 AM on April 10, 2007

That's interesting psmealey. Were/are you a watch collector or did you like the science/art of it or what? Would love to read anything you wrote on watches. Would you consider putting a few links in this thread?
posted by nickyskye at 8:54 AM on April 10, 2007

I'll see if I can dig some things up, been a long time.

I was, for a time, an avid collector (Ulysse Nardin, IWC, Breitling, Patek Phillippe, Jaeger le Coultre, Audemars, etc.) but marriage and buying a house put an end to that. I did manage to hold onto my favorite, however, and IWC Doppelfliegerchronogpraph.
posted by psmealey at 8:56 AM on April 10, 2007

OK, what's the difference between the astrolabe watches made by Ludwig Oechslin and Christiaan van der Klaauw ?

I would love to have either one, but they cost more than an average automobile.
posted by Nyrath at 9:02 AM on April 10, 2007

Other then being executed by different designers, I think they both contain the similar orders of complication, Nyrath. Oechslin's design for Ulysse Nardin has been out for a while (over 10 years or so) and Van der Klaauw's is more recent. It's been about 7 years since I looked by the Nardin Astrolabe but it was fetching about $180,000 back then. Not sure where it's at today.
posted by psmealey at 9:13 AM on April 10, 2007

Still more on Ludwig Oecshlin. Also, not to be missed, A. Lange & Söhne, the only high end watchmaker in current production not to be based in Switzerland.
posted by psmealey at 9:27 AM on April 10, 2007

wow, psmealey, so cool you were/are a collector and also glad that you married and got a house. Not a bad trade off. ;-) So what does your IWC Doppelflieger chronograph look like and why did you keep that one compared with the others? Don't mean to be snoopy, just curious. It's always wonderful when somebody has a passion for something and really knows their stuff, as you obviously do.

Got to skedaddle to work. Got to be on time, lol, not something I'm as good at as I'd like to be.
posted by nickyskye at 10:07 AM on April 10, 2007

The Doppelfliegerchrono is a massive aluminum case chronograph with a split second hand, and a black crocodile strap.

I liked it because unlike, say, a Rolex, which tend to attract all sorts of unwanted attention (Rolexes are well made, but they are too flashy and not particularly well regarded by people with watch people), it is at watch that is special enough that people who don't know much about such things still seem to like it, but watch people go nuts for it. It's an instant conversation starter. Also, as a relatively big guy, I can't wear some of the smaller or thinline watches, and it looks as good with a suit or a tux as with a t-shirt. It's a great all-purpose watch, while at the same time, being special and unique (relatively).
posted by psmealey at 10:18 AM on April 10, 2007

I've used a phone as a clock for too many years, and can't get used to having something on my wrist - so my wife got me a Swiss Army pocket watch! I was overjoyed to find out that they make them.
posted by mrbill at 12:37 PM on April 10, 2007

Tourbillons! Beautiful things- and this is one of the neatest I've seen in recent years:
part one:gyrotourbillon 1
part two:gyrotourbillon 2
part three:gyrotourbillon 3

And more from the author, from the timezone site:
posted by drhydro at 12:38 PM on April 10, 2007

Man that is a NICE watch psmealey! I used to be a watch person too. I have lots of low end samples that I like. But the only nice watch I own is a Breitling cronograph that I snuck back through customs after a trip to Paris so as to avoid paying the import tax. (shhh, don't tell anyone)

One of the coolest pieces I have seen was an antique masonic watch. very similar to this but gold and worn on the wrist.
posted by vronsky at 12:53 PM on April 10, 2007

Thanks, vronsky. I still love it, 6 years running! As much as I enjoy the Astrolabe, I would never think to own it, it's just too complicated for my feeble brain.

I would however, enjoy owning the Ulysse Nardin Perpetual. It has a wheel that makes a full revolution once every four years! Though it's not a visible complication like a Tourbillon, it's certainly a mental one that I think is pretty fucking cool. I think this watch can be had for a mere $90,000 bucks. Oh, well.
posted by psmealey at 3:52 PM on April 10, 2007

This seems like a good place to park the USSR Time site.
"The Revolution in Russian horology began for me somewhat later, in 1999, when I came across a wrist chronograph on eBay made from the recycled titanium casing of an SS-20 missile. It was manufactured in the early 1990s by the First Moscow Factory (Poljot) to commemorate détente with the U.S. Out of curiosity, I decided to buy it. When I opened the box, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The case was a solid ‘brick’ of expertly machined titanium with a beautiful high-precision movement inside (a Poljot 3133, to be exact). I was hooked."
posted by tellurian at 9:01 PM on April 10, 2007

psmealey, enjoyed knowing the subteties of your sophisticated choice.

Nyrath, I got such a rush looking at the astrolabe beauties. Incredibly lovely.

vronsky, that masonic timepiece is way beautiful.

wow tellurian, cool story and neat site. I love the clunky efficiency Soviet watches. So definitely Made in the USSR. Had to see the brick of a titanium watch he got, this is it.

When I got hooked on watches in the late 1980's, it was for all the wrong reasons. Not beautiful machinery, not sophistication. It was that a handful of companies in New York made watch prototypes for the popular market, which I sold as a street vendor. Silly -and cheap- things with cheap battery run insides but marvelous designs with flip tops, buttons to push and the entire watch would pop up like a jack in the box, weird sliding covers. Dumb and delightful. Then when all the folks from the USSR came to NYC after the Berlin Wall tumbled and detente, I sold Soviet watches on the street, slowly getting to know the real things, beautiful timepieces. And now my enchantment is simply on the web, in pictures and websites. An affordable collection, :)
posted by nickyskye at 2:38 AM on April 11, 2007

I keep thinking about the other meaning of "watch", "monitor"...which would make this FPP a watchwatch.
posted by watsondog at 2:17 PM on April 11, 2007

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