James Bond, Agent 007, has been linked with gadgets for decades. From the Aston Martin to the Rolex to that mini jet, the Bond movies have cemented these images in our minds. But the very first official James Bond watch didn’t come from Rolex, Omega, or even Seiko: It came from an obscure company called Moeris, which has a surprising connection to those companies!
Browsing through the archives of Europa Star, I came across a groundbreaking watch I had never encountered. The Jean d’Eve Samara was not just the world’s first automatic-winding quartz watch, it was also a remarkably novel design! My research rabbit-hole lead me to learn not just about this watch but about an entire dark corner of horology.
The Storm Microcamera is something special only because it’s so darn odd. It’s not very functional or useful, but it looks cool and is excellently designed and made. It’s everything that “mushroom brands” like the Xeric aren’t. And I like it.
Swatch is perhaps the most famous brand of Swiss watch (sorry, Rolex!) but they’re not known for luxury timepieces of high horology. No, Swatch is the brand that saved the Swiss industry, sold millions of watches, became a cultural touchpoint, and enabled the most powerful and profitable watch cartel the world has even known. That’s why this watch is so surprising!
How would you like to own an extremely rare and interestingly complicated watch from a legend of independent Haute Horology? This worn but interesting world timer watch was constructed by Svend Andersen in 1992 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ journey to the new world. And it’s definitely worth the starting bid of € 4,000.
Some grails are special because of their association with history (see my piece on the “Scuderia Ferrari” Zenith, for example), while others are just plain odd. This is the latter. The Girard Perregaux Casquette (Ref. 9931) is a mid-1970’s LED quartz watch with innovations throughout. It’s just too bad the quartz revolution ended with a whimper instead of this kind of excitement!
It used to be that Grand Seiko was the one and only grail for watch lovers looking for a new, reliable, and above-all Japanese timepiece. But now that Grand Seiko (and Ananta) are available worldwide, attention has turned to Seiko’s other Japanese-only brands, including Credor. And when it comes to attainable Credor grails, few can match the unique combination of features found in this Seiko Credo Signo GMT, ref. GCBZ995.
Not everyone is into quartz watches. That’s understandable. But anyone who appreciates history and technology would be interested in the story of the first quartz watch. At the end of the 1960’s, which itself was something of a golden era for mechanical watches, two competitors raced to bring quartz clock technology to the wrist: Seiko won and came to dominate the market with low priced models.
There are few watches as immediately recognizable as the Hamilton Ventura. Still in production today, the “Elvis Watch” was a massive success when it was introduced in 1957 and represents the decade remarkably well.