Categories:
Historic, Futuristic and The Connections That Are Enigmatic
Authored by: Sean  

There are plenty of watches today that come with multiple alarms. But can you even imagine a time when the function of the alarm was done by an actual human being called a knocker upper? He would walk around the town and use various implements to wake up people. He would go rat-a-tat-tat on the windows with heavy and long sticks. He would continue to do so until his client woke up.

 

 

Image Source – https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8212/8307971612_8386baeb33_b.jpg

 

A lady knocker upper called Mary Smith, would send a stream of well-aimed peas at the window of her clients.

 

These human alarm clocks worked between 1870 and the 1940s in countries such as England and Ireland. The knocker upper was paid to wake up people – 6p a week. That may have seemed a princely sum of money back then but today, watches can cost staggering sums of money! So, can you imagine an individual shelling out $42 million to make a grandfather clock? Sometime in the future, thanks to the work being done by Jeff Bezos, the world will be able to get a mammoth grandfather clock. But instead of chiming every hour, this clock is going to sound the alarm, so to speak, anywhere between once in a year to once in 10 millennia.

 

Image Source – https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/91/Jeff_Bezos’_iconic_laugh_crop.jpg

 

The aim of this watch is to wake up people to their long-term responsibilities and get them to start thinking about the future as well. Bezos- the CEO of Amazon, technologist and strategic mastermind- has changed the landscape of e-commerce completely. He has also been in the news in the recent past for striking a $250 million deal that will see him buying The Washington Post. If you are talking about staggering sums of money, then tourbillon watches are the crème de la crème. For instance, you need to shell out $4.6 million for a Louis Moinet Meteoris tourbillon watch. Way back in 1795, another Louis, Abraham Louis Breguet was associated with plenty of inventions, including the tourbillon. Basically, this is an addition to the watch that helps counter the effect of gravity. The work done by Breguet way back in history has led to some amazingly accurate watches even during that time. The work being done on tourbillon has resulted in watches being able to withstand the force of gravity in some awesome ways.

 

Just as Breguet changed the future of the tourbillon watch way back in the past, the work done by Vianney Halter could easily belong in the realm of science fiction. Halter has come up with a Deep Space tourbillon and this watch is definitely going to be the benchmark to follow in the future. You can actually see the kind of intricate mechanisms that have gone into making this watch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video Source - https://youtu.be/-dU-qhOq25s

 

Visibility is one thing that was never a part of the mysterious clocks of the past. No, really, they were actually called mystery clocks or Mystérieuse, for very good reasons. Considering the fact that the name of illusionist Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin is associated with such a clock, way back in the 1800s, mystery clocks are indeed extremely intriguing.

These clocks were ornate and were products of some extraordinarily fertile imaginations. The turtle clock actually had a small turtle swimming around in a dish of water and pointing to the time! If the object of the mystery clocks was to be totally enigmatic, then  watches which are open hearted or have exhibition case backs leave little to the imagination. Watchmakers may have taken the lessons of the mystery clocks and then gone completely the other way!

 

In the future, watches such as the Devon Tread 1 Exoskeleton are going to be relevant in so many ways. Animal magnetism, a machine on steroids and the watch of the future – it has been called all this and more. Interestingly, one watch of the future, built on the foundation of enigma, literally, is the Bremont Codebreaker. It is a tribute to the work done by code breakers at Bletchley Park during WWII.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video Source - https://youtu.be/0_UI96agEaE

 

At the end of the day, just like a knocker upper, there was/is a human mind and body at work in the production of the watches of the past and of the future. The enigmatic ways in which the brain can work and craft watches is what will stand the test of time.

 

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