Historical Horology

Home Continuing Series Historical Horology

Historical Horology: A Little Bit about Frédéric Piguet


Frédéric Piguet has as their claim to fame (well, at least one of their claims) for having produced what was, at the time, the thinnest hand-wound chronograph movement in their Calibre 1180. First introduced in 1987, the 1180 measured in at only 3.95 mm. This was a risky move at the time, as quartz watches were still all the rage at this point.
The move, as it turns out, was quite a prescient one. Not only have mechanical watches had a comeback, the 1180 has become the basis for many other brands’ chronographs, especially once the automatic version (the calibre 1185) was introduced.

Historical Horology: What Is A Regulator Watch?



This is a question I’ve had bouncing around in my head a good bit as of late. This is primarily due to the number of new models we’ve seen this year carrying the regulator name (as well as an upcoming hands-on review we’ve got in the works). So, I thought others may have the same question, and it was worthwhile to cover it.

Historical Horology: The Watches of Jacques Cousteau


It has been some time since we have had a Historical Horology post, so I would say we are long overdue.  For whatever reason, I was just not running across a lot of interesting material about watches of the past.  That is, until I came across a recent three-part series that dug into the watches that Cousteau and his Calypso team wore.

Historical Horology: The Micro Rotor



I’m a big fan of mechanical watches (because it’s a miniature machine on your wrist – how is that not cool?), but when you get into automatics, you invariably see case thickness increase (as compared to a hand-wound), due to the space needed for the rotor.  Well, all the way back 

Historical Horology: The NATO Strap

AVI-8-Flyboy-Automatic (2)

In this week’s installment in our Historical Horology series, we’re going to focus in on a watch, well, accessory, that most of you likely have at least one of – the humble NATO straps. These bits of woven nylon are the perfect combination of robustness and affordability, and can change the look of a watch in a hurry. But do you know how the strap came to be?

Historical Horology: The Evolution of Wrist Watch Sizes



A few weeks ago, we had a quick overview of some of the complications that have come into being over time. Of course, all those functions (as well as personal tastes) have helped drive the size of watch cases (spoiler alert: they’re really only gotten bigger). Read on for some information on how the watches have changed.

Historical Horology: Explaining Watch Terms



When it comes to you, dear reader, I tend to make the assumption that you have a more than passing knowledge of watches, with an idea of at least some of the components that make up a watch, be it quartz or mechanically-driven. That said,

Historical Horology: Repairing A Watch



One nice thing about our watch “hobby”, specifically with the mechanical side of things, is that it’s an old one.  This is why you can get a book that was originally published in 1948 and reissued today, and still learn practical and valuable lessons.

Historical Horology: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Clock



Perpetual motion. That’s been the dream, the myth, that so many have chased after in the past. Sure, we might think that we’ve gotten close with our automatic mechanical watches. While those certainly are an engineering marvel in their own right, they still rely on our input to store energy – and they will, at some point, require maintenance of their various small bits and pieces.

Historical Horology: The Seiko Monster


Welcome to our latest edition of Historical Horology, the series where we dive into some aspect of the history of watches and watch making.  While we often hop into the wayback machine for this series, this time around we are focusing on something a bit more recent, and on a watch that many of us either currently own, or have owned in the past – the Seiko SKX779, aka the Seiko Monster.