Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Golden Age of Watches?

Found an interesting post along with string of comments over at the Fratello Watches wristwatchweblog. Are we currently living the Golden or Silver Age of mechanical watches? Have a read and then you decide:


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Tachymeter Instructions

I found some good instructions for how to use a tachymeter scale on a chronograph from www.righttime.com.
Q. What is a TACHYMETER (TACHYMETRE) scale and how does it work?


The tachymetre scale can be used to compute many things, but it's primary purpose is to compute the speed after noting how long it takes to travel a fixed distance (e.g. one mile or kilometer). The dial is a scale which computes the function: Tachymetre Dial = 3600 / Elapsed Time in Seconds

The scale is valid for all elapsed times from 7.2 seconds to 60 seconds. If the duration of the event is outside this range, then the answer on the dial is invalid.


For example, suppose you wanted to measure the average speed a racecar was traveling. After starting the chronograph function when the car passes the starting line, and stopping it after the car travels exactly one mile, you note that the chronograph hand is pointing at the 4 o'clock position (i.e. 20 seconds have elapsed) Looking beyond the 4 to the Tachymetre dial reveals the chronograph hand pointing at 180. This means that the average speed of the car would be 180 MPH.

Let's say, instead of the race car speed, you are measuring something much slower, like sailboat speed. In this case, you need to use a shorter distance because the elapsed time must fall within the 7.2 - 60 seconds range. For this example, let's say it took 36 seconds for your sailboat to travel 1/10 of a nautical mile. Reading the tachymetre dial gives a speed of 100 knots. However, since we only traveled 1/10 of a nautical mile, the actual answer is 1/10 of that or 10 knots.

Now let's say you wanted to measure the speed of a VERY, VERY fast airplane: after traveling 10 kilometers, you noted that 10 seconds have elapsed. The tachymetre dial gives an answer of 360 but we traveled 10 Km. Therefore, the answer is 10X360, or 3600 km/hour.

There is really nothing magic about using the Tachymetre dial to measure speed. You can also use it to measure other things, like gas consumption. Suppose it took 50 seconds to burn up a gallon of gasoline. Reading the tachymetre scale shows that you are burning 72 gallons of gasoline per hour


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Interesting Bit of History

For someone like myself interested in watches as well as World War II history I found this little exerpt from HR: Watches Magazine interesting:
During World War II, Schaffhausen was the only Swiss town bombed by Allied forces. On April 1st, 1944, as a result of a fatal error, the IWC factory was hit by a bomb which, fortunately, failed to detonate after crashing through the rafters. The flames from incendiaries exploding nearby penetrated the building through the broken windows, but were quickly extinguished by the company's own fire brigade. (The U.S. claimed that pilots had mistakenly identified Schaffhausen -- the only sizeable chunk of Swiss territory on the north bank of the Rhine -- as a German target. They apologized profusely and paid out compensation, only to make the same 'mistake' again on February 22, 1945).
An honest mistake? or the workings of various American watch company executives conspiring to damage the Swiss watch market?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Power of Color

I finally saw one of those new 50th Anniversary Rolex Submariners with the green bezel. The most amazing thing though is that it is just like the black bezel Submariner but retails for $2,000 more from Rolex. That's some expensive ink! Now green is my favorite color so I will agree that it should sell for more, but $2,000 is a good chunk of money. Aftermarket inserts are selling on Ebay for less that $100. But even with the $6,250 suggested retail the thing is selling. It's all about the marketing and branding right?

Here are some colors that didn't make the cut for the 50th Anniversary of the Submariner:





Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Price Increases

So rumor has it that the big three watch manufacturers (Patek, Rolex & Cartier) are going to be bumping up the retail prices on their watches next month. This follows a fairly dramatic price increase last year at this same time. Good news if you just purchased a watch for the holidays (as the resale value of your watch could also be increasing). But it may be bad news if you are waiting until next month to buy that new watch. We'll just have to see how much of change they implement.

I read a pretty informative article today about the weakening dollar and the effect that will have not only on imported goods from Europe but on our economy as a whole.


Monday, January 10, 2005

Another blog huh?

They say a new blog is created now every 7.5 seconds. So who needs another one right? Well if you are reading this then maybe you do. I figured if nothing else then a good blog about fine Swiss watches would at least help me learn more about them. (So forget you, this is all about me.)

For 4 years now I have worked for Gray & Sons Jewelers putting together a monthly catalog, updating the website, sending out emails, etc. I have had probably billions of dollars worth of watches and jewelry pass through my hands, their images captured by my Canon EOS D60, their description recorded into countless Word, Simple Text, & Quark documents. I've had to research numerous watches on the web & in reference books. With that said I readily admit that with only 4 years of experience I am far from being an expert on the topic. I hopefully though will be able to gather information as I find it and make comments when necessary. I will leave it to the real experts out there to hopefully read and add their own wisdom as they see fit and ideally bring us all a little closer to Swiss watch enlightenment.