Tag Archives: Vintage Watches

Alessi Tic – Designed By Piero Lissoni

Born in Brianza in 1956, Piero Lissoni got his degree in Architecture at the Milan Polytechnical University in 1985; the following year he opened Studio Lissoni in Milan. Lissoni is a proponent of simple, essential lines and his numerous design, architecture and corporate image projects for the principal “Italian Design” producers point to coherence between design, materials and the construction process.

 

 

True to the poetic minimalism that distinguishes all his work, Piero Lissoni created a wide variety of functions around a shape that is classic in its own way. All models use the same square-shaped dial, with an emphasis on appearing very clean, simple, and easy to read.

Max Bill– Artist and Designer

Max Bill considered himself primarily an architect, yet he was also an inventive and tireless creator of type fonts and commercial logos, as well as being a designer with wonderful sense of visual humor – not exactly a common feature of Swiss graphic art, as the publisher (also Swiss) points out. This rich monograph gives Max Bill fans an extensive an inspiring look at works for which he has received little attention, in the fields of typography, advertising and book design. Dimension: 83/4 x 11 inches, English & German Text, 600 color reproductions.

Max Bill was one of the most unusual artists of our time. Acknowledged as a universal genius, he worked as an architect, painter, sculptor and product designer and has left

behind a extensive portfolio of creations. This includes one of the most fascinating watch series ever designed – the wall clocks and wristwatches he created for Junghans – and which remain practically unchanged today. As a Bauhaus student of Walter Gropius, he intuitively understood how to apply the pursuit of constructive clarity and precise proportions to his work. His unrivaled drive to create is also seen in the field of education. He was not only the co-founder and first rector of the Ulm College of Design, but the school building is also a Max Bill original design.

Form follows function The collaboration between Junghans and Max Bill began in 1956 with the design of a kitchen clock which he developed together with his students at the Ulm College of Design. The solution brings to life what Bauhaus functional design is all about. The clock’s circular face with its distinctive numerals features the most logical and most clearly functional of clock shapes. The design of the face cascaded directly into the design of wristwatches in 1961, when Max Bill laid the cornerstone for what was destined to become his celebrated line of watches and which moved on to become true design classics.

History of Westclox

 

Westclox was founded by Charles Stahlberg in 1885, in Illinois, but was initially known as the United Clock Company. Throughout the late 1800s and the early 1900s, the United Clock Company underwent several bankruptcies and leadership turnovers, the most famous being to F.W Matthiessen in 1888. These changes also caused a succession of company name to changes, first to the Western Clock Company, then then Western Clock Manufacturing Company, then back to the Western Clock Company. The company name of Westclox finally began appearing on the back of their watches and clocks as early as 1910; however the company did not officially incorporate that name until 1919.

Westclox, was an early innovator in the mass manufacturing of clock movements.  In 1885, the company received a patent for the process it used to make a wheel and piston assembly; the parts were held together by a jig while a liquid alloy was put in and once the alloy set, everything would remain in its place. In 1902, Westclox received another patent for the alloy setting, this time for a slightly updated process.

Westclox continued to receive patents as late as 1959, when it introduced the “drowse” function. The drowse function was powered by electricity, and it allowed people to shut off their alarm for a set period of time without turning off the alarm clock completely. Today, this function is more commonly known as the “snooze” button.

One of the many things that helped to put Westclox on the map as far as watch and clock companies go was its ability to market to the masses. Westclox was one of the few companies in the late 1800s that produced pocket watches for people who were on a budget; these watches were known as “dollar watches”. It allowed people who could not afford a big name brand to still have a nice and inexpensive pocket watch. Westclox continued to produce these inexpensive pocket watches well into the 1990s.

By far, Westclox’s most well-known clock is the Big Ben and the Baby Ben, both of which have undergone a series of minor stylistic changes. The Big Ben and Baby Ben clocks all have the iconic round face; they are analog clocks. The Big Ben and Baby Ben clocks have been available in a variety of colors but are most often seen in silver, bronze, and black. These clocks have been so popular, that companies from overseas have started to forge them and put the Westclox name on clocks that are not as high quality.

Until 2001, all of Westclox’s manufacturing was done in the United States. Today, that manufacturing is split between the United States and China, so just because a Westclox clock says it was made in China, doesn’t make it a forgery. On New Year’s Day, 2012, the Westclox factory in Peru, Illinois was struck by arsonists, and the ensuing fire caused over 50% of the merchandise and components to be lost. It took over twenty firefighters to put out the flames; Westclox is currently in the process of rebuilding.

Westclox 17 Jewel Divers Watch