1. Ever wonder why the standard hand placement on advertisements for many watch brands show the hands at 10:10? Although there are different theories, the most likely is that the hands make a sort of smiley face (happy time), nudging the consumer to try to prolong that feeling by handing over a bunch of sad faces on $100 bills. So when did the tradition start? Although there doesn’t seem to be a concise date, it became standard practice by Rolex in the 1940s. Notice the ad below from 1928, found on The Advertising Archives, showing the placement on all the watches at 10:17. Why 10:17? No idea. So if you want to boost your mood ever so slightly throughout the day, simply set your watch at 10:10 and use your phone to check the time.
2. You’ve done your research to find the perfect watch. You love the quality of the in-house movement, the perfect color on the dial, the precision feel of the bracelet, and the 300m water resistance rating. You keep it clean, get it serviced regularly, and expect to wear it for years to come. It’s been a few weeks since you’ve worn it, but this week will be different. So you take it out of your case, unscrew the crown, give it a full wind, set the time, and smile a bit every time you glance down. Then the next morning, as you usually do, you take a shower with your watch on. Because why not? It can easily handle it. But then later that day you bump it and the crown moves. Oh no. You forgot to tighten it the previous day when you set the time. And now that beautiful movement is full of water. As a watchmaker and repair center, that happens more often then you would think, and can quickly ruin your week. If you shower with your beloved watch, take that extra second to check the crown and avoid the horror of a rusted movement.
3. It was 1955, and a small company in Japan had just decided on the name SONY in its effort to become a global brand. Bulova, which just 3 years earlier had developed the first functional fully electronic watch, the Accutron, made an offer to buy 100,000 of the fledgling company’s new transistor radios. The catch? Bulova wanted their name on it, not Sony’s. For aspiring global market leader, Akio Morita, that wasn’t an option. Neither party would concede and the deal fell through. Who knows, in a different universe, you could have been listing to your music on a Bulova mp3 player or smartphone.
4. An ugly duckling from a Swan: In 1645, a small English Navy warship called the Swan was captured by the commonwealth of England, and used for their own efforts. But the victory was short lived, as the ship sank in s storm off the coast of Scotland in 1653, carrying with it a time capsule of the era. Among the historical treasures found in the wreck was a surprisingly well preserved (relatively) pocket watch. What makes this watch special? Aside from being over 350 years old, it is the only known example from watchmaker Niccholas Higginson of Westminster. Although the timepiece looks like a hunk of rust and barnacles from the outside, x-rays taken in 1994 showed the inner workings including the surviving brass gears, even showing the watchmakers engraving. The watch is kept safely in the National Museum of Scotland, so the chance of adding a Niccholas Higginson piece to your collection is probably not great.
By: Carey Brown