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Historical Horology – The Mechanical Oscillator

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.


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Watching the Web for October 11

Welcome back to our weekly installment, Watching the Web, where we have a quick look at some interesting watches and articles that have popped up over the last week (or so), as well as taking a second look at what some of our more popular articles this week were. Today, I will point you toward an open letter from Ariel at ABTW to the watch industry, and a review of a very cool bullhead pilot’s watch.


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Borealis Sea Diver, Go deep for less

What are the key features you would like in a basic dive watch, beyond the requirements for lume, pressure and a bezel? Sapphire crystal? A reliable automatic movement? A little flair? The Borealis Sea Diver is their entry level diver which offers a lot of value at a price point below $250, plus a clean, modern design.

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Rhynofit Rubicon, Keeping you on the level

OK, we have already established that cars and watches go together hand in hand, but even more than cars, aviation pairs with watches in a big way. My favorite type of aviation watch is an instrument style, and I want to highlight a new company’s second crowdfunded cockpit instrument watch. The Rhynofit Rubicon is styled after the artificial horizon used to give an indication of level flight in the absence of other cues, say at night or in the fog. As a visual style, I think this inspiration works well as something that is instantly recognizable, but not distracting to the actual reading of the watch.

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Division Furtive Type 50, Straight Ahead

As the old saying goes “there is more than one way to skin a cat.” With watches there is more than one way to display the time. There is, of course, the circular display, with lots of variations, and then there are text displays, be they digital or printed, like the Devon Tread. Division Furtive Type 50 watch is not content with these options, and uses a linear display, two rows of LEDs for time, date, moon phase and chronograph functions.

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Azimuth Watches on Touch of Modern

A new watch sale popped up on Touch of Modern for Azimuth Watches. The site has three distinct and different designs for this Swiss watchmaker that does things… a little differently. Touch of Modern is a member-only sales site, so if you are not already a member, you can sign up through this link.

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Rossling & Company Automatic, Still Thinking Thin

The rise of crowdfunding has really opened up watchmaking to new entrepreneurs and enthusiasts wishing to make their mark on the industry, and put their product on your wrist. The first product out of the gate is interesting, but for me, the real test comes with the follow up watches. The Rossling & Company Automatic is the firm’s sophomore effort, back on Kickstarter, that builds on their first watch offering, keeping a similar aesthetic, but adding a mechanical movement.