When it comes to iconic dive watches, I am sure we all have many of the same ones pop to mind, most often coming from Rolex and, due to their more recent resurgence, Panerai. Back in the 1950s, though, there was another brand that produced what I feel is an iconic diver as well – the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. That is the watch we will be going through in today’s edition of Historical Horology.
When it comes to mechanical time keeping, the oscillator is truly what allows the measurement of time. Take, for instance, a grandfather clock – it is the frequency of that pendulum swinging back and forth, at a constant rate, that allows the internal gearing to tell us the time. While things are on a much smaller scale, the same sort of principle applies to watches, be they mechanical or quartz watches. The humble oscillator has some really rather interesting developments recently, and that is what we will talk about in today’s edition of Historical Horology.
When it comes to watches, many brands seem to have an iconic model that comes to mind when you hear the name of the brand. For Omega, that watch is (for me, at least) the Speedmaster. This is a watch that started life in the late ’50s, and has seen some interesting developments. Read on for a dive into the history of the Omega Speedmaster.
I do not know about you, but for me, Longines is a brand that has not occupied a lot of space in my watch-related focus. To be sure, I am well aware of the brand, and run across their print ads with some regularity. Today, you might be familiar with their sponsorship in horse racing, or perhaps their aviation history. Let’s take a peek a bit further back, however. Today’s edition of Historical Horology will go back to the start of the Longines brand.
I like dive watches. My first automatic, years ago, was an inexpensive (Freestyle I think) dive watch that I purchased because I started diving. For years, my daily watch was a Eco-Drive titanium dive watch. My first purchase on kickstarter (and the direct link to me writing for this site) was an Anstead dive watch. My first high end watch is likely going to be the Omega Seamaster in orange (one I run out of other things to spend $6,000 on). But let’s be honest, these are no longer tools for diving, rather they are fashion choices.
When it comes to watches, there are generally two camps – those who are interested in where our modern watches originated from, and those who could care less. Now, the second camp, I am guessing we lost those people as soon as they saw the title of the post. Those of you left, well, welcome to the first camp. In today’s entry in the Historical Horology series, we will talk about who created the first chronograph.
If you spend any amount of time looking at the dial of a Rolex, you’ll notice the wording that shows up. Look at another one from a different lineup, and you’ll see the same words appearing – certified chronometer. Far from being a bunch of marketing fluff, this is something Rolex rather prides themselves on, and made the decision from early on that all of their watches would carry this certification. As with all things, it had to start somewhere, and that’s what we’re talking about today – the first Rolex Certified Chonometer.
When it comes to aviation watches, and chronographs specifically, Breitling is a brand that is no doubt near the top of the list for most people immersed in that particular style of watch. And when you hear Breitling, you probably call to mind the Navitimer, as it’s just about the iconic model for the brand. What you may not know is that they had another equally capable watch, the Breitling 765 AVI / Co-Pilot.