When asked why he threw the watch out the window, the little boy answered, “I wanted to see time fly.” OK, it is an old, bad joke (and one of my dad’s favorites), but that sentiment is part of the reasoning why (at least in my mind) you buy a watch with an exposed fly wheel. The Thomas Earnshaw 1805 Grand Calendar is a pretty watch that isn’t going to break the bank, and you get to watch time fly, or at least wiggle back and forth.
There are a variety of finishes and styles available for dials these days, and you can pretty easily find something that is to your liking. If you want something that is unique to the piece, but do not actually want to go the route of a custom watch, natural materials are your friend. This often takes the form of colorful stones (think marble) or even semi-precious stones. For something a bit more “out of this world”, you might opt for something like the Thomas Earnshaw Meteorite.
I have long been fascinated with skeletonized watches. Apart from the sweep of the second hand, there is not a lot to indicate that a watch is an automatic, especially if it is on your wrist and the caseback is not in view. With a skeleton, the guts are on display with the balance wheel, at the very least, ticking away the time. The Earnshaw Longcase brings a skeletonized automatic down to an attractive price point, with the list at $600, but the street price often significantly lower.