Fun Fact Friday

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Fun Fact Friday

Post by richtel »

Many will have heard the name Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823), horological innovator and founder of the Breguet company, now the luxury branch of the Swatch group. Regarded as the leading watchmaker of his day.


Someone who studied under him in Paris in 1822 was a young Isambard Kingdom Brunel, later to become arguably Britain's greatest engineer, responsible for many of the country's engineering marvels- Great Western Railway, Paddington Station, Clifton Suspension Bridge and the SS Great Britain amongst many acheivements.


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Re: Fun Fact Friday

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

Now that I didn’t know. Thanks for sharing; maybe this topic could develop into a runner?
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Re: Fun Fact Friday

Post by richtel »

Fun fact for Friday 28 April.

We’re all aware that clockwork mechanics have been used for everything from toy trains to animated mechanoids and automatons, but here’s an application for high-end watchmaking of the day.

This is a high end mechanical timer being used to measure the time in flight of bombs dropped from aircraft during WWII. It was made for the Italian Air Force by Universal Geneve and retailed by A. Cairelli Roma. The timer features a modified high beat (36.600) Valjoux 067 movement.

The following is a description of how the timer was used (from Christie’s auction website):

The luminous numerals indicate the distance travelled by a dropped bomb in hm (hectometer: 100 meters). The operator, knowing the launch altitude, would set the arrow at the corresponding distance. Then, he would use the crown to start the timer, and press the button once the hand reached the desired distance to stop it. When the bomb is dropped, one more push on the crown would set the hand in motion counterclockwise, thus starting the countdown to the moment the bomb would reach the ground. At this point, another push on the button would stop the timer, and a last activation of the crown would reset the hand.
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Re: Fun Fact Friday

Post by richtel »

Friday 5th May.

The day before the coronation it might be interesting to take a quick look at our King's reported watch collection. It would appear that he's quite the enthusiast with a raft of high end marques.

Patek Philippe 3445 Calatrava
Parmigiani Fleurier 18K
Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronograph.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
Cartier Santos
Breguet (custom)
Hamilton RAF Pilot’s Chronograph
Patek Philippe 2503
Patek Philippe Disco Volante 255
Casio F-91W

Not being familiar with Parmigiani (nope, not related to cheese) I took a look at the collection- https://parmigiani.com/en/. While I'm not sure about some of the styling of some models in the range, there's no doubting the stunning design of the movements.


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Yep, I might have been kidding about the Casio ;)
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Re: Fun Fact Friday

Post by RichM »

^^^ I really enjoyed this - thank you!
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Re: Fun Fact Friday

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Friday 12th May

We're all familiar with pocket watches which we can imagine being pulled from a waistcoat pocket on a long elaborate chain for inspection by a well-heeled gentleman with a magnificent beard. Well, I do anyway. But what was there before the pocket watch?

One possible candidate predates the traditional pocket watch and goes by the unlikely name of the Nuremberg Egg.

Nuremberg in the 15th century was home to some of the world's best craftspeople and blacksmiths of the time and the refinement of the torsion spring around 1530 (sometimes credited to a Peter Henlein of Nuremberg but already in widespread use) made it possible to reduce the size of gravity-driven tall clocks to something that could be small enough to place on a table or a shelf. Further size reduction led to something that could actually be carried or held in the hand. Variants were in a general spherical or flattened format and could be carried in a purse or worn on a cord or chain around the neck.

The origin of the reference to an 'Egg' is less about the shape and more about the language derivation of 'little clock' but indeed some were oval. Some were even built into a large perforated spherical ball to resemble a golden pomander.

It's easy to imagine how such curiosities, with further refinement and miniaturisation through the 16th and 17th century, inevitably led the Nuremberg Egg evolution into the pocket watch we'd all recognise.


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There's a great article at https://www.daviddugganwatches.co.uk/on ... l-mystery/
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Re: Fun Fact Friday

Post by richtel »

Friday 19 May

Some higher end watch straps are made from shell cordovan leather. But do you know where it’s from?

Shell cordovan or cordovan is a type of leather made from the fibrous flat connective tissue (or shell) rear end of a horse- yep, it’s equine leather. The name comes from the city of Cordoba, Spain where it was first produced by the Visigoths in the seventh century.
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Re: Fun Fact Friday

Post by ajax87 »

No way! I always wondered about cordovan leather. Now I know, thanks!
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Re: Fun Fact Friday

Post by missF »

Love this thread :clap:
(And I’m off to learn about Visigoths too :lol: )
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Re: Fun Fact Friday

Post by magicman »

Regretting that Cordovan Steak I had last week.

Regrets Steve
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Re: Fun Fact Friday

Post by Deej »

magicman wrote: Fri May 19, 2023 7:23 am Regretting that Cordovan Steak I had last week.

Regrets Steve
:lol:

Cordovan Findus crispy pancakes anyone?
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Re: Fun Fact Friday

Post by jkbarnes »

richtel wrote: Fri May 19, 2023 2:39 am Friday 19 May

Some higher end watch straps are made from shell cordovan leather. But do you know where it’s from?

Shell cordovan or cordovan is a type of leather made from the fibrous flat connective tissue (or shell) rear end of a horse- yep, it’s equine leather. The name comes from the city of Cordoba, Spain where it was first produced by the Visigoths in the seventh century.

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This I knew! I was always under the impression though that it’s technically not leather, as it’s not actually hide. I only say that because anytime I spoke of cordovan as a leather, there was always that guy who said, “Well, it’s not actually a leather. That’s a common misperception.”

For the longest time, I thought cordovan simply referred to a color! Specifically, the burgundy color of classic penny loafers.

I never knew the bit about the Visigoths. That’s cool! Now I will forever picture Visigoths wearing burgundy colored cordovan penny loafers!

By the way, I’m not trying to be “that guy.”
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Re: Fun Fact Friday

Post by nbg »

Deej wrote: Fri May 19, 2023 9:34 am
magicman wrote: Fri May 19, 2023 7:23 am Regretting that Cordovan Steak I had last week.

Regrets Steve
:lol:

Cordovan Findus crispy pancakes anyone?
Many years ago I remember ordering beef wellington in a pub. The service was rather slow. When our food finally arrived I cut into my beef wellington, to find….

That it was salmon en croûte! :lol:

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Re: Fun Fact Friday

Post by richtel »

Friday 26 May

We've all seen sunburst dials on a watch- the brushed lines that magically reflect light radially from the centre of the dial and appear to rotate as you move the watch. But how are those made?

For most sunburst dials, it's actually really simple- the effect is brushed onto the dial with a large diameter stiff brush wheel at high speed as the dial is rotated. The dial is then layered with transparent coloured paint or enamel.

Here's a video of a machine making the brushed dials. It's likely that the two large wheels on the machine are of different grade- first a coarse brush, then a finer brush to achieve a uniform brush effect.



There are other ways to achieve similar effects. One way is by hand. AnOrdain made sunburst dials by hand- each line being painstakingly etched by drawing a tool across the surface of the dial- a process taking 100 hours and ultimately leading to a watch costing $6000.

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Re: Fun Fact Friday

Post by iain »

@richtel Thanks for that video, I have wondered how this effect was achieved. I suppose the challenge is getting the speeds of those two wheels exactly right so the brushed lines run straight.
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