The world of horology is one of many dichotomies. The opulence of Baselworld and events like it stands in stark contrast to the realities of homegrown and/or artisanal brands devoid of the big marketing bucks (side note: check out this week’s podcast interview with Ian Schon of Schon DSGN if you haven’t done so). And yet, these two extremes do, in fact, co-exist within the watchmaking spectrum. Though the glitz and glamor can at times allure and overwhelm, what brings me back to my foundational love of horology and watches is learning about the grit, instinct, and precise talents of the men and women working behind the scenes doing cool things. Meet one of these people: Brittany Nichole “Nico” Cox. She’s an antiquarian horologist, and she’s one of a few in the country. She runs a workshop in Seattle where she does important restoration and conservation work on automata, or machines running on watch or clock-based mechanisms that are designed to mimic living things, such as birds or flowers. As she herself puts it, she’s basically a “mechanic from the 17th century.”
Check out these two short videos we discovered focused on Brittany and her incredible work.