based on quartz technology, the Swiss fought back by resurrecting the digital. Late to embrace quartz, the Swiss based these digitals on all they knew - mechanical movements [Swiss watchmaking today is doing well owing to a renewed interest in mechanical watches and some innovations in watch complications]. These mechanical digitals had a brief heyday, and the surviving pieces are all interesting from a design sense. Most had to be large to accomodate the overlapping wheels, and some were huge. Many ended up looking a bit gaudy. This one just looks like bad sci-fi, sort of Ground Control to Major Tom.
This might be one of the ugliest watches I own. It was bought together with a better watch which I wanted, so I was forced to buy it too. Mechanically, it is fine, but it's just huge, clunky, sharp and heavy. It could double as a weapon if you find yourself up against a few hooligans. This is a 'jump hour' watch. I actually hate these. The minute wheel roams, and the hours jump. It uses the same type of movement as an ordinary mechanical watch. Jump hours have been around for quite some time, at least since the 1920s - earlier? When American and Japanese manufacturers began making LED and LCD watches
Here is Daisy Duck. This is part of an 'official' Walt Disney series of character watches from the 1950s, some sort of special edition to celebrate Mickey Mouse's 25th birthday. It's pretty rare. Look at the neurofibromas all over her arms. All of these children's character watches used very cheap unjewelled movements and sold for a few dollars. Amazingly, many of them still run today. They were sort of the 'original Swatch,' not designed to be repaired or otherwise tinkered with. By the time the thing breaks down, the kid is grown up and no longer is supposed to be interested, right? Wrong. Vintage character watches, especially Mickey Mouse and other Disney creatures, sell for pretty high prices.
Postscript: Daisy Duck has since been sold to a woman in Florida. Bless her.
Vulcain, a Swiss maker, was known for somewhat odd dial and case design. This one is a sort of funky-colored watch with green thick radium painted numbers, a copper inner dial, and dark brown outer dial. With its red second hand, nothing makes sense. I really like this watch, I only wish it was a bit larger. It may have actually been a ladies watch. Vulcain is most famous for the 'Cricket' alarm mechanical watch. I have not heard a Cricket, but it is supposed to be loud enough to wake you down to a GCS of 4. I have a very wimpy Bulova Wrist Alarm which is sounds more like a fruitfly than a cricket. To see a 'blueprint' diagram of a Cricket, click here.
Postscript: since the original creation of this page, someone emailed me, asking if he could buy the watch I labeled above as 'ugly.' I told him it didn't work. I told him I hated it. Still he wanted to buy it. Some girls mothers are bigger than other girls mothers.
Which watch does the President of the USA wear? Click his picture to see...