The Historical Horology series has one that has become a good bit more infrequent, and I have played around with some different ways of approaching it in the more recent appearances. Today is another experiment, one that I hope you will find a bit easier to consume. It’s a bit more of a roundup (rather like our Saturday posts), and gives you some bite-size summaries into some deeper topics. Today, we have articles covering watches that Elvis Presley owned, an editorial about the earliest form of chronograph, and then an article about the very first watch created by Giulio Papi.
First up, let’s talk Elvis. The King may have left the building, but his legacy – and interest in anything attached to him – certainly lives on. It seems that Presley certainly had a thing for watches, and this article over at Quill & Pad covers some of the watches that he owned, as well as one he managed to make famous. While some of the watches he had (such as the Omega Constellation) would certainly seem at home on wrists today, there are others (such as the Rolex King Midas) that are certainly a product of the era they were created, and would look rather out of place in this day and age. About that watch that Presley helped to make famous? Well, you’ll just have to check out the article to get that tidbit of information.
Chronographs are a category of watches that we have written about (including in the Historical Horology series link) a good bit, as they continue to hold interest for many folks. As you likely already know, the monopusher style of chronograph was popular for some time, and has made a bit of a resurgence as of late. While it certainly looks interesting (or at least different from what we are used to these days), Ariel Adams argues that they are actually rather primitive. In this article he delves into the history of this style/complication. While he does not necessarily say that the monopusher is worse (or better) than the twin-pusher, he makes the point that consumers of these types of watches (ie, chronographs) should understand the history, and know the sort of “pecking order” that exists.
Finally, we have another article from Quill & Pad that highlights the sort of thing that many collectors (and even regular watch fans) dream of coming across – the very first piece created by someone consider to be a luminary in the modern world of watches. Now, this is not like that story of the guy who pulled the equivalent of a barn find at his local resale shop, but it still presents a very interesting sort of quest. Through a visit to a shop (well, several, as it turns out), a rare watch was produced with an absolutely unquestionable authenticity (documentation matters!). Rather than try to rehash this one any more, I’m just going to point you to the article, which is a very good read.
And with that, we’ll wrap things up. Feel free to let us know in the comments what you thought about this style for the Historical Horology series. Additionally, if you have something you think would make a good candidate for this series, feel free to drop us a line as we would love to know what interests you most when it comes to this sort of history. Until next time…