It’s been said that God, or the Devil (your mileage may vary) is in the details, and nowhere is that more true than in the various narrowly focused worlds of connoisseurship. Stamp collectors may have their British Guiana 1 Cent Magenta, but watch collectors and enthusiasts have an inexhaustible cornucopia of minutiae over which to obsess as well. Whether it’s vintage Speedmaster logos, the most intimate details of the private lives of Rolex bracelets, or the profound cloud of mystery surrounding the origins of that most ubiquitous of all pieces of horological equipment – the spring bar – we watch lovers love nothing better than to investigate, perseverate over, and interminably argue about the fine points of watches, clocks, and general horology.
Here are six of our favorite stories where we went deep, and then went deeper.
A Clock Worth Stepping On
On the corner of Maiden Lane and Broadway, in New York’s financial district, a clock has been sitting embedded in the sidewalk since 1899. The clock was originally put in place by the corner’s tenant, William Barthman, a jewelry retailer, and in one form or another a clock has been ticking away at the same location ever since.
The design of the clock has changed over the years, and William Barthman, though still present downtown, is now at a slightly different address, up the street at 176 Broadway (the current corner tenant is now, rather unglamorously, a Vitamin Shoppe). And the sidewalk clock is one of those things that most pedestrians probably walk over without a second glance or second thought. But behind its apparent banality is a deeper social history of both New York, and the history of the city’s public clocks, which Stephen Pulvirent dug into in his “Story of New York City’s Sidewalk Clock.”
That Time We Took You Through The Restoration Of A Vintage Quartz Watch
The Girard-Perregaux watch that we looked at in this story is practically a laundry list of things most watch enthusiasts love to hate. It’s really got it all. It’s quartz, it’s battery powered, it’s got an oh-so-seventies blobby cushion case; it’s got a fairly cheesy dial designed to look like a printed circuit board, and a …read more