“This is, of course, the most important watch museum in the world,” Ludwig Oechslin says unapologetically as I sit across from him with my steaming cup of espresso during a jovial chat in the museum’s conference room. If there is one thing Oechslin does, he tells it like he sees it.
Angular Momentum may be known to the watch enthusiast as the boutique brand having produced such colorful and unique timepiece lines as the Axis, Time Explosion, Tec & Art, Color-Tec (which featured an innovative and colorful “mosaic” steel), and Eglomisé (“reverse painting” in French).
Toys! For almost every person in the world, toys are a staple of childhood. Depending on your place of birth and socioeconomic background they may have been the newest video game, hottest action figure, or a hand carved figurine passed down from a grandparent.
Whatever they were, the toys of your childhood helped you develop your imagination, motor skills, and understanding of complex concepts only discoverable through play.
My first rule when it comes to collecting is to avoid setting too many exclusionary rules.
I am sure that there are many theme-centered watch collectors who put emphasis on things such as owning one of each Omega vintage chronograph from a certain year or Elgin railroad watches of a particular decade. These people might consider what I do far too haphazard to be labeled “collecting,” for instance.
If, however, I force myself to set criteria for what constitutes collecting to me, I keep coming back to two rules for myself: passion and enjoyment.
And this is perhaps best defined by asking yourself, “Are you emotionally engaged with the items you collect, be they watches, cars, or bottle caps, and do you take advantage of all of the enjoyable aspects of owning them?”
With watches, I believe, the former criterion – passion – is what separates collectors from investors and accumulators. Which brings me to the second criterion: deriving the full enjoyment from the things you own.
For those living in the Northern hemisphere, which I guess is the majority of you, here are a few photos that will hopefully help chase away the winter chill and damp, at least for a few minutes anyway.
Konstantin Chaykin, the Wonderboy Russian Watchmaker – my name for him, hopefully he doesn’t mind – is a serious contender for being crowned one of the most progressive and talented watchmakers alive right now.
Previous models like the Levitas, Lunokhod, and his incredible clock creations that feature Jewish and Islamic calendars show that he is both creative and a top-notch complication specialist.
With his most recent creation, the aptly named Cinema watch, he stumped and astounded me with a creative direction that did not leave me wanting. The Cinema features an animation, or more correctly, stop motion recording of a horse at full gallop.
The mechanism used to create said animation? Why that would be his own miniaturized version of Eadweard Muybridge’s Zoopraxiscope. (One of the most awesome names for any machine ever; it even rivals one of my own wordinations!)
Here is something a little different that was sparked by disaster and created a legacy, especially in Russia, with regard to the design of clocks and watches in telegraph and radio rooms ever since.
The year is 1912 and it’s a cold April night as the Titanic speeds its way through iceberg-infested waters in the north Atlantic. I’m sure you all see where this is going so I will spare you further James Cameron-esque imagery and simply remind you that tragedy struck the luxury liner in the form of an iceberg, dooming what was thought to be an “unsinkable” ship.
Thousands of lives were lost needlessly and not simply because the ship sank; many factors aided in making that night a true tragedy instead of simply a failed voyage. One of those factors was communication and the complete lack of regulation over an international system.
That night there were huge amounts of chatter over the radio waves, and as the Titanic sent out its distress signal she found it hard to get through to other ships. The ones that it did get through to were either too far or too late.
Because of the ice, a few ships simply couldn’t come without risking their own hulls. In the aftermath of investigations that followed, it was found that poor (or nonexistent) regulation over the use of radio signals, especially those at sea, were partially to blame.
It was all over the news just six weeks ago: Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47, had died at the age of 94. The weapon originating in post-World War II Soviet Union is one of the most widely used assault rifles in the world thanks to its low production costs, relatively simple design, durability, easy use, and – let’s face it – availability.
Exploration, diplomacy, and research; these are the core values of Starfleet. Starfleet, to the uninitiated, is the deep-space exploratory organization around which the fictional Star Trek universe revolves. Basically the space-nerds of the future.
A galaxy like our own Milky Way is a wondrously thin disk of stars, planets, and gas clouds orbiting a super massive black hole. I would venture to say it is one of the most fundamental shapes in the universe as a majority of all visible mass is held together in one of these magical space-plates.