Watches, Stories, & Gear: Atomic Clocks and 19th Century Snowball Fights

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“Watches, Stories, and Gear” is a roundup of our favorite content, watch or otherwise, from around the internet. Here, we support other creators, explore interesting content that inspires us, and put a spotlight on causes we believe in. Oh, and any gear we happen to be digging on this week. We love gear.

Share your story ideas or interesting finds with us by emailing our Managing Editor at [email protected]

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

Snowball Fights From Another Era

Hey, it’s Saturday. Do you want to just relax and smile for a minute? We know you do. If you need help in that regard, we highly recommend taking a look at this short clip of French people throwing snowballs at each other. What makes this one kind of magical is that the footage is from 1897, and has been digitally restored and colorized, creating a scene that looks both incredibly familiar and completely alien. We’ve all been in a snowball fight at one time or another, probably as children, but there’s something about seeing adults (with 19th century mustaches and top hats!) taking part in something so juvenile that is hysterical and charming. Originally filmed by the Lumiere brothers, this early movie captures a very specific, seemingly unrehearsed moment in time, and is guaranteed to make you temporarily forget about the turbulent year recently behind us.

Tracking Time …On Mars

In the watch community, space travel is a minor obsession for many of us, thanks in large part to the Omega Speedmaster and it’s critical connection to NASA history. So this video might be of interest to some readers, as it asks (and answers) a fundamental question related to time and space exploration that will almost certainly need to be addressed in the coming decades (fingers crossed): how do we keep track of time on Mars? Once you realize that days and years mean something fundamentally different on a planet that’s about 50 million miles further away from the sun than the earth, you begin to see that we’ll have to come up with a different way of measuring the passing of time if we intend to travel to the Red Planet someday in the future. The question, at least for us, then becomes what kinds of watches will do that job. Hopefully we’ll find out sooner rather than later.

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A Different Kind Of Apple Leak

The Apple Watch may be old news these days, being on its 6th generation already, but there was a time before its launch when speculation and hype were in overdrive, even among some watch enthusiasts. Apple is notoriously tight lipped about its products prior to their official launch, so in some sense it’s no surprise that it has taken this long for a pre-production leak of the Apple Watch to make the rounds. YouTuber Apple Demo has released footage of a prototype housed in some kind of protective casing, allowing the user to manipulate the UI and navigate a pre OS 1.0 build. The video offers a rare glimpse into the development process of such a product, and makes you wonder what might be floating around out there right now.

Putting Wrist Bound Chronometers To Shame

If you’re into hyper accurate timekeeping, and we’re not talking Spring Drive accurate, we’re talking atomic level accurate, you’re probably familiar with cesium 133 based timekeeping. Their consistency in absorbing and releasing energy produces radiation of exactly the same frequency of 9,192,631,770Hz making for accuracy in the realm of +/- 1 second every few million years. If you see room for improvement there, you’re not alone. Scientists have employed quantum entanglement to average out the tiny movements made by cesium 133, creating an even more accurate clock. If you had set it running at the beginning of the universe some 14 billion years ago, it would only have lost around .1 seconds by today. All that’s left now is to house those entangled particles in a rotating cage to average out the effects of gravity, of course, and fit the whole thing into a sub 40mm case.

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Timex Japan Resurrects Expedition Atlantis

If you’ve got a soft spot for ‘90s Indiglo Timex watches you’ll be pleased to know that the Expedition Atlantis is back. New colors accent a design that screams ‘90s adventure like rollerblades and cassette players. At just $85 the Expedition Atlantis, part of the Nuptse collection, gets you more than nostalgic good looks, as this one packs all the alarm and timing functionality you could ask for, right down the Indiglo button at 10 o’clock. Bust out your windbreaker and hit up these new models from Timex Japan right here.

eBay Finds: Vintage Bulova President

Here’s a nice vintage gem to start off the New Year! This vintage 1941 (the ‘*’ date code on the movement corresponds to 1941) Bulova President F watch is a beauty. Original two tone dial shows a lovely patina (in my opinion). Most often these are found in either ratty condition or re-dialed, it’s refreshing to see such a beautiful original dial. Seller states the movement was serviced, and it has a NOS crystal, both a nice touch. The rolled gold case is excellent, and it even has the original signed crown. Yes, these are pretty tiny by today’s standards, but what it lacks in size it makes up for style. Snag this one and be ready to dress in style for the next post-Covid cocktail party!

View auction here. 

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