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Category Archives: History

Time, Astronomy and the Upcoming Solar Eclipse

  Time and astronomy have long been linked. Since the dawn of man, we have planted and harvested according to the moon. Many an ancient ritual was performed to honor the sun, and our first abilities to measure time came with the advent of sundials and similar structures. Over the centuries, we learned to better measure time — moving from tracking seasons to tracking months, then days, hours, minutes, seconds and fractions of a second. Additionally, today, many watch brands track the moon and its phases, along with a host of other information, in astronomical timepieces that are a true wonder. Because time and astronomy are inextricably linked, we want to bring your attention to the fact that ... [Read More]

John Hardy Designer Spotlight | Naga: A Legend Reborn

john hardy naga dragon collection
John Hardy has presented the first collection under new Creative Director Hollie Bonneville Barden: the re-interpretation of the brand's legendary icon Naga. John Hardy's Naga Collection is based on a powerful story of love and protection. The Naga dragon lives alone on the Tiga Gunung volcanoes, but his one true love, the pearl, lives in the sea. At Twilight, the dragon dives into the sea to visit and kiss the pearl. On his way back to the volcanoes his wet scales send water upon the rice fields, making the soil fertile and rich. The John Hardy Naga Dragon was first introduced in 2008 as the jewelry designer's first figurative piece. Black woven leather, silver and precious 18K gold, and ... [Read More]

‘Old Cranks’ Make History Come Alive at the American Clock & Watch Museum

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 ... [Read More]

Gangster Al Capone’s Diamond-and-Platinum Watch Sells at Auction for $84,375

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 ... [Read More]

Don’t Miss the Patek Philippe Art of Watches Grand Exhibition in NYC

In what may be one of the largest-ever Patek Philippe exhibitions, and most likely the largest-ever watch brand presentation in New York, Patek Philippe brings 450 historic, legendary and current-day timepieces to the forefront. Beginning July 13 and running until July 23, the Patek Philippe Art of Watches Grand Exhibition is free and open to the public. For this amazing showcase of time and innovation, Patek Philippe has taken over the entire space of Cipriani 42nd Street — and has even built a second floor in the historic space. The brand has divided the space into 10 different rooms to showcase its innovation, its watchmaking prowess and its watches. From a theater room and a U.S. historic room ... [Read More]

Jackie Kennedy Onassis Watch and Painting Up for Bids at Christie’s New York

Christie's Auction House has announced that at its upcoming June 21 New York Rare Watches and American Icons Sale it will put up for auction a watch owned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The Cartier Tank watch, which the former First Lady wore for years and can be seen in many photos of her, is estimated to sell for between $60,000 and $120,000. Jackie Kennedy © Getty Images courtesy of Christie's Auction House Apparently the watch was a gift from her brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill in 1963 and has an engraving on the caseback: "Stas to Jackie 23 Feb. 63 2:05 AM to 9:35 PM.” The 2:05 a.m. to 9:35 p.m. engraving references the beginning and end times of the 50-mile hike that took ... [Read More]

The Serenity in the March Birthstone

We could not let March pass us by without giving special recognition to the birthstone, Aquamarine. Derived from the Latin word aqua meaning water and marina meaning; its fresh watery hue is like a cool plunge into a refreshing pool. A welcomed imagery after the frigid winter months. With its soulful shades of blue, this month's birthstone is synonymous with serenity and harmony. Aquamarine was adopted as the modern March birthstone by the American National Association of Jewelers back in 1912. Long before that the Ancient Egyptians placed this gem in tombs to aid souls in their afterlife journey. The years in between saw it being used to enhance mental clarity and public speaking skills by the ... [Read More]

Clock Lovers Won’t Want to Miss a Special ‘Winterthur’ Webinar This Sunday

If you love clocks and their history, you may well be interested in the upcoming webinar being offered by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC). The webinar is entitled "Hidden History: Clock and Watch Records in the Riggs Archive at Winterthur." Taking place on Sunday, March 19, at 7 p.m. EST, the presentation will be made by Bob Frishman, a full-time restorer of antique clocks since 1992. He regularly lectures on the history, science and culture of timekeeping. The webinar is free. You can register for it at NAWCC.org. If you are interested but not available on March 19, you can view a recording of the session as long as you have registered. Winterthur's clocks number ... [Read More]

Understanding What a Chronograph Is and How It Came to Be

understanding chronograph
Chronographs are watches that track intervals of time. For instance, they can monitor laps around a track, the time it takes to hike a mountain or how many minutes it took you to grill that burger. A basic chronograph has an independent sweep second hand and typically hour-counters and minute counters. Generally, a chronograph can be started, stopped and returned to zero by successive presses on a chronograph button on the case side. The amount of time a chronograph can track varies depending on the watch. Most offer up to 12 hours, 60 minutes and fractions of a second. There are also different types of chronographs, including some that can time multiple events at once. Also, chronographs often ... [Read More]

Jewelry, Watches Owned by Famed Writer Jackie Collins to Be Auctioned

jackie collins
Always wish you could own a piece of Hollywood? Well, this could be your chance, as Bonhams gets ready to auction the jewelry and art that famed writer Jackie Collins kept in her much-loved Beverly Hills home from 1992 until her death in 2015. Collins was an avid collector of fine art, sculpture, jewelry and watches. Portions of the proceeds from the auction will be donated to support the empowerment of young women in the arts and education. The auction, "Jackie Collins: A Life in Chapters," will take place on May 16 and 17 at Bonhams Los Angeles. Highlights include a  6.04-carat diamond and platinum ring (estimated at $100,000-$150,000), and watches by Patek Philippe, Harry Winston, Chanel and ... [Read More]