Watches, Stories, and Gear: the Next Enormous Super Collider, Chinese Pocket Watches, and the Surprising Joy of Vintage TV Ads

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“Watches, Stories, and Gear” is a roundup of some of our favorite watch content on Worn & Wound, great stories from around the web, and cool gear that we’ve got our eye on.

This installment of “Watches, Stories, and Gear” is brought to you by the Windup Watch Shop.


Worn & Wound
The PX Watches of Vietnam

This week we’re bringing back a story from April of 2018, in which Oren Hartov takes a look at some of the key watches of the Vietnam era. These watches fall into the category of “PX” materials, or “post exchange.” They weren’t actually issued by the military, but were commonly available to purchase at military installations. There’s a different type of collectors market for these (they lack the caseback markings of issued timepieces), but there’s a ton of variety in PX watches, and they have an obvious charm and tons of history. 

Read it here


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Engadget
CERN Approves Plans for a $23 Billion, 62 Mile Long Super Collider

Engadget reports on plans for a new, very expensive, and very large particle accelerator that would absolutely dwarf the Large Hadron Collider, which was designed and built to find the elusive Higgs boson particle (which it did, in 2012). The new “Future Circular Collider” would be 62 miles in circumference, and theoretically be able to produce the Higgs boson at a greater rate than the LHC. The scope of the project is incredible – it would be one of the largest and most complex machines ever built, by almost any measure, and construction isn’t even scheduled to begin until 2038. Plenty of time to raise the $23 billion it will take to build the tunnel, right?

Read it here


Tatler
Why Vintage Chinese-Market Pocket Watches are Making a Comeback

This one is a must read for anyone interested in vintage, pocket watches, and off the beaten path horology. In the 18th and 19th centuries, many of the world’s most important watchmakers made extremely special pocket watches just for the Chinese market – they were notable symbols of status, and designed with flourishes that were less common in watches made for European customers. Many of these watches disappeared following the Communist Revolution of 1949, and this article details the effort among Chinese collectors to bring them home. The watches are truly beautiful and impressive, and represent a piece of history that many collectors have yet to discover.

Read it here


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New York Times
In Vintage TV Ads, A Curious Fountain of Hope (And Cheese)

In this piece on the New York Times, critic Eve Peyser dives into a somewhat unlikely comfort during these last several months of social isolation: YouTube compilations of old TV commercials. Against all odds, not only have these little nuggets of 80s nostalgia been preserved for the digital age, but there seems to be a real audience for them in 2020. Peyser describes putting them on as background noise, as a way to temporarily transport herself to a simpler time. Marketing, production methods, and the products themselves have changed a lot in 40 years, and watching these clips you can’t help but wonder what a new generation will think of today’s TV advertisements, and if they’ll someday be watching them to relive a time and experience nearly forgotten. 

Read it here


Rancourt & Co.
Classic Ranger-moc

Rancourt & Co. is a shoemaker based in Maine that has been crafting shoes the old-fashioned way for over 50 years. Like a lot of businesses, they’ve struggled over the last several months in a downturned economy ravaged by a serious public health crisis. As a way to stay afloat, and to simultaneously provide their customers with a chance to purchase shoes at a much lower cost, Rancourt & Co. is offering many of their most popular shoes, like the Classic Ranger-moc linked here, at wholesale pricing through a crowdfunding model this summer. It’s a simple process: Rancourt will collect orders, and once a pre-established goal is reached for a particular model, production will begin, and you wind up with your shoes 8-12 weeks after initially placing an order. If that time frame is too long to wait, Rancourt is still offering shoes at normal prices with regular shipping, but this is a way to help the brand and get a nice discount. Check out their site at the link below for more information, and additional styles that can be ordered as part of this promotion. 

Shop Rancourt & Co. here


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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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