Vintage Bulova, much like vintage Seiko, has something for everyone. Their 1920’s men’s wristwatches were, and still are, amazing. This circa 1927 Bulova square watch has Art Deco written all over. The 27mm wide white gold plated case has beautifully engraved details, with really cool yellow gold stripes on either side of the dial. Speaking of the dial, this one appears to have the original dial with radium pained block numbers and radium filled cathedral hands. The hinged case opens up to show the manual wind movement that still has the original celluloid dust cover. Seller states the watch is in good working condition. These don’t show up too often with the original dial and a case in this kind of condition.
Perhaps in hopeful anticipation of a new “Roaring Twenties” era that may follow our current pandemic-linked economic slowdown, Swiss watchmaker Baume & Mercier has unveiled the latest update to its Art Deco inspired Hampton series. The refreshed collection, which takes its inspiration from the dominant design influence of the early 20th century, includes three new mechanical men’s watches, as well as five new quartz women’s watches, all featuring a distinct vintage style recalling notable Art Deco watches of yesteryear.
The first watch within the updated series is the Hampton Automatic (Ref. 10522), a 43-mm x 27.5-mm steel rectangular timepiece with faceted and polished edges, matching lugs, and a thin tight-to-the-case crown. Moving underneath the rectangular sapphire crystal of the watch, we see a sectored, opaline-and-grained, silver-colored dial echoing the quadrilateral shape of the case. On the outer edge is a railroad-style rectangular minute track, with applied rectangular hour markers at each position except the 12 and 6 where applied Arabic numerals lay. At the center of the dial, two vintage-style sword hands indicate the hour and minute, while a thin stick pointer serves as the seconds counter.
Inside the Hampton Automatic is the ETA 2671 caliber, with a 38-hour power reserve, visible via a circular sapphire caseback. Each of the new watches in the Hampton line use round movements, a necessity brought on by the relative difficulty in producing original, rectangular mechanisms. The Hampton Automatic is the entry level into the Hampton men’s collection, priced by the brand at $2,450.
Hampton Automatic Date
The second watch within the refreshed Hampton collection is the new Automatic Date (Ref. 10528), which is a slightly larger version of the time-only Hampton Automatic, with the additions of a date window and small seconds subdial. This model features a 48-mm x 31-mm steel case with the same rectangular design, making it a good option for someone looking for a slightly larger watch. The dial is also very similar to that of the previous model, with all the same details on its multi-textured face. The most notable difference is in the slightly larger Arabic numerals at its 12 o’clock position matching the larger case size, as well as the 6 o’clock vintage-style seconds subdial with its red-accented 60-second mark and subtle date window at its bottom.
Inside the Automatic Date model is another ETA movement, the 2895. This mechanism is also visible via a sapphire caseback, and features a slightly longer 42-hour power reserve. The new Hampton Automatic Date is priced slightly higher than the non-date model, at $2,600.
Hampton Dual Time Automatic
The final watch within the Hampton’s men’s portfolio is the new Dual Time Automatic (Ref. 10523), the most complicated of the trio. This model uses the same 48-mm x 31-mm steel case as the Automatic Date, as well as most of the same dial features as the previous two models, but is distinguished by its additional features. We find these in the 6 o’clock subdial, which hosts a display for a second time zone, as well as in the double window just beneath the 12 o’clock marker for the date indication.
This new model contains the Soprod TT651 automatic caliber, a somewhat uncommon movement based upon the ETA 2892-A2, through distinguished foremost by its GMT (dual-time-zone) functionality and “big date,” which fills the two windows on the dial. This movement is capable of a 42-hour power reserve and, like its siblings, is visible behind a sapphire caseback. To accompany the extra features of the watch, the Dual Time Automatic also has a somewhat higher price tag, retailing for $4,050.
As part of the rebooted Hampton collection, Baume & Mercier is also offering five new quartz models geared towards the women’s market, each using the same base design though differentiated in their dial color and choice of bracelet. Each of the watches feature a smaller 34.1-mm x 22-mm case, all using the same Art Deco rectangular style seen on the larger men’s models with their faceted and polished edges and tight, slim crown. On the dial of the watches we find a simple non-sectored style, with a time-only display and an outer rectangular minute ring, applied numerals, and very slim vintage sword hands.The watches are available in a silvered dial with either rhodium or gold-accented dial features; a sunray blue dial model; and a diamond-set mother-of-pearl variation, each coming equipped with either a triple-link steel bracelet or a tapered leather strap.
Inside each of the ladies’ Hampton watches is a Swiss quartz movement dubbed the caliber MHH057 by the brand, which Baume & Mercier says has a seven-year reliability. The models range in price from $1,500 to $2,000.
The Hampton In Context
Each of the watches in the new Hampton collection takes obvious influence from the Art Deco period in watch design, though it doesn’t seem the collection directly recalls any specific vintage model produced by the brand. Baume & Mercier doesn’t explicitly cite any specific source material, but the company has been in business since 1830, and during the 1920s to 1940s likely developed a number of rectangular Art Deco-style pieces in line with the tastes of the time. In 1918 the brand reportedly launched its first rectangular-type piece with the women’s “baignoire,” or bathtub-shaped watches, which continued their run through the 1920s. The brand also officially launched its rectangular Hampton series in 1940 (picture below via The Jewellery Editor), which has remained as a rectangular, Art Deco influenced staple in its offerings ever since.
Yet, looking at the updated collection and placing it in the context of other historical Art Deco-inspired designs, we can foremost see the apparent influence of what is often considered the most famous watch of the period, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso (vintage model pictured below) — which was actually not launched until 1931, even though the 1920s is often portrayed as the era most significantly influenced by Art Deco.
Nonetheless, the influences of the Reverso are seen in the rectangular outer minute ring, applied hour markers, and even the Arabic numerals — which while not seen on the original Reverso were still common elements on some Art Deco pieces between the ‘20s and ‘40s. Other influences are seen in the small, flattened crown, as well as the unique shape of the sword hands. The rectangular sectioning of the dial and, of course, the rectangular shape of the case are also obvious elements of the Art Deco Age, both seen on many watches from the period rather than any one specific model.
While the new Hampton collection is strongly influenced by a vintage school of watch design, we do note several modern elements. Foremost, the construction of the watch is likely much sturdier than watches produced potentially over a century ago, with many watches of the era quite flimsy by comparison. Also, while steel was in use during the era these watches evoke, it’s much more common today to see historical, rectangular dress watches cased in gold, so it is somewhat surprising the brand didn’t release a new gold edition — though it may certainly still do so in the future. Further, each of the models feature multi-textured dials, which is a modern development of the simpler sectored dials seen on vintage models. Finally, the men’s models use modern automatic movements, visible through round sapphire casebacks, while the women’s models contain very contemporary quartz mechanisms. One men’s model — the Dual Time Automatic — even has a moon phase and a GMT mechanism, both unheard of in a wristwatch during the vintage era.
While Baume & Mercier is the latest brand to release an Art Deco influenced watch, it certainly is not the only participant in the rising trend. Others have included Bulova, with its Joseph Bulova series; Hamilton, with its Boulton watch within the American Classic collection; and even more luxurious brands like Cartier and Vacheron Constantin, with their Privé and Historiques collections, respectively. Such watches, across the price spectrum, seem to indicate a developing trend within the growing “neo-vintage” category, shifting focus from watches of the 1940s onward to those from earlier in the 20th century as well. That brands are looking to capitalize upon a predicted rise in interest in the Art Deco style as we enter the 2020s is also evident, though whether the prediction proves accurate remains to be seen.
To learn more about the new Hampton collection and to inquire for purchase, you can visit Baume & Mercier’s online shop, here.
Want to learn more about modern Art Deco influenced watches? Read our story from April, “Deco by Design: Six of Our Favorite Watches Inspired by Art Deco,” here!
Caleb Andersonis a freelance writer located outside of New York City. Since entering the world of watches, he has spent much of his time exploring the neo-vintage trend covering historically inspired, modern timepieces. Today, Caleb finds his greatest interests in utilitarian designs with outsized value propositions and in the personal stories behind up-and-coming brands.
“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 Custom A-13A Pilot Chronograph Built to Survive a Spy Plane
Chronographs, espionage, physics, aviation: this story from the Worn & Wound archives is filled with some of our favorite things. From February of 2018, this story from Mark McArthur-Christie details the process of Paolo Fanton’s quest to get his A-13A Pilot Chronograph ready to fly in a U-2 spy plane at altitudes in excess of 60,000 feet. It’s complicated, fascinating, and not for anyone with an aversion to heights.
Vacheron Constantin has given its series of one-of-a-kind chiming watches the poetically evocative name “La Musique du Temps,” and this year’s addition to that ultra-exclusive collection, unveiled recently on the Watches & Wonders 2020 virtual platform, may be the most ambitious yet. The Les Cabinotiers Astronomical Striking Grand Complication features no less than 19 complications, displayed on two dials, all built around the foundation of the minute repeater function and incorporated into a caliber less than 8 mm thick.
In addition to the minute repeater, the watch includes a perpetual calendar with moon phases,; indications for solar, civil, and sidereal time; and other astronomical displays including zodiac signs and indicators for the seasons, solstices, and equinoxes.
Framed by a 45-mm rose gold case, the main dial in opaline blue hosts an array of features: central hands for the civil and solar time, the latter identified by a serrated-edge “sun” pointer, both hands together serving as a running equation-of-time indicator; a serpentine hand indicating the date in a subdial at 3 o’clock; pointer-type displays of sunrise and sunset times, accompanied by a linear day-night indicator at 6 o’clock; the current day, month, and leap-year in apertures between 12 and 12 o’clock; and an aperture at 9 o’clock for the moon’s phase and age and day-night indicator. The Zodiac signs are tucked away in a small curved window at 4:30. The difference between a solar and civil day ranges between -16 to +14 minutes per day depending on the time of year, so both times can be read simultaneously on the central hands, which intersect each other only the four times per year that the two times are equal.
On the reverse side is a sky chart made up of two superimposed sapphire disks on which to track the sidereal time (a sidereal day is defined as the time it takes the Earth to make one complete 360º rotation, or exactly 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4 seconds). One is a mobile disk bordered by a sidereal time scale that rotates in tune with the earth and features an off-centered blue ellipse. The other is stationary and emblazoned with the “celestial vault” of Milky Way constellations. The aforementioned blue ellipse serves as an indicator of the constellations, while two other elliptical indicators on the moving disk, a white one for the celestial equator and a red one for the ecliptic, track the Earth’s inclination and orbit. The moveable disk rotates daily by four minutes in relation to the other disk and together they provide a view of the sky in motion as seen from a given point on Earth.
One of the very few movements to offer a minute repeater (activated by a slide on the left side of the case) as well as solar, civil, and sidereal time indications (with a sky chart corrector button below the crown), manufacture Caliber 1731 M820 uses no less than 600 components to drive its array of astronomical complications yet comes in at a super-slim 7.84 mm thick. Bearing a power reserve of 60 hours, the manual-winding caliber also boasts the high-horology decorative finishes that earn it the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva. This unique timepiece (price upon request) is delivered on a blue Mississippi alligator leather strap with a rose gold folding clasp. As an added bonus, continuing the “music of time” theme, the watch comes with an original sound print of its repeater conducted by the famous Abbey Road Studios, whose recent partnership with Vacheron Constantin began with the launch of the FiftySix collection in 2018.
Les Cabinotiers Astronomical Striking Grand Complication
Hours, minutes, minute repeater, perpetual calendar, running equation of time, precision moon phases with age of the moon, day-night and sunrise-sunset indication, season, equinox, solstice, and zodiac sign indications, celestial hour and minutes, transparent sky chart of Northern Hemisphere with ecliptic and celestial equator
Caliber 1731 M820, manual-winding, 600 components, 36 jewels, 60-hour power reserve, Hallmark of Geneva certification
18k 5N rose gold case, sapphire crystal and caseback
Bracelet and clasp:
Blue Mississippi alligator leather, hand-stitched with large scales, rose gold folding clasp; additional half-Maltese cross-shaped rose gold buckle included
Diameter = 45 mm, height = 12.54 mm
On request (unique piece)
For a detailed look at Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers series, click here.
Fun, Affordable, Solar Powered Watches by One Eleven – Now Available at Windup Watch Shop
Words by Windup Watch Shop
If there was one concept that watch enthusiasts can get behind it’s adventure. Climbing high peaks, diving to deep depths, hiking long trails, skiing steep slopes, taking drives down winding roads – they all inspire excitement, especially as we sit behind our desks, waiting for a chance to go outside. Adventure, or just more generally, sports watches are nothing new, but one could argue they’ve lost their way. What good is a watch you are afraid to scratch or get wet or get crusted with mud when you are on a weekend excursion? One Eleven is a sustainability-minded solar watch brand born of a love of the great outdoors, and wants to be on your wrist as you find your way through it, one adventure at a time.
A return to a day when tool watches were meant to be worn and not put in safes, One Eleven’s timepieces are lightweight, durable, good looking and highly affordable. Powered by the sun, there are no wasteful batteries to change, nor mechanics that can be subject to shock or magnetism. These are go-anywhere, do-anything watches that want to join you on your outings and don’t mind getting dirty. Made out of predominantly sustainable materials, such as rPet (recycled bottles) and 85% recycled steel for the cases and straps, they also are focused on being environmentally responsible. Additionally, as a 1% For the Planet Partner, they will donate 1% of sales to an environmental cause.
To launch One Eleven in the Windup Watch Shop, we’ve curated a small but exciting collection of their watches with a starting price of $75. Head over to the One Eleven collection page now to check them all out, or continue below for detailed descriptions.
One Eleven SWII
Kicking things off we have the SWII, a fun, sporty model with a minimal design that comes in at a whopping $75. Featuring 42mm rPet cases with 100 meters of water resistance, steel crowns and case-backs, they are lightweight companions with a surprising amount of style. The Attached to sporty velcro straps made of recycled plastic, these are watches you’ll want to put on before you head out for your next adventure, and probably never take off. Available now in Green, Blue and Black.
One Eleven Solar Powered Sustainable Field Watch
Next we have One Eleven’s take on a field watch, which features a more rugged build and detailed dial. First off, the 42mm case is made out of recycled steel with an rPet bezel, giving it a more durable construction and an appealing heft. The crown is screwed down and features triple-gaskets for extra assurance that water will stay out when you jump off that cliff. The dials then draw from classic military field watches, but have an appealing modern spin. The 1 – 12 numerals are raised and lume filled, while 13 – 24 are smaller and printed, for reference. The dial surfaces feature circular graining, giving them and added depth and texture. Available now in Desert (white dial, black bezel) and Olive (black dial, green bezel) for $125.
One Eleven x VSSL Field Survival Set
Now this is a lot of fun. One Eleven teamed up with VSSL to create a combo set that you’re just going to want. First, it includes one of their sturdy field watches in all black with a tan strap that looks great. Next, it comes with one of VSSL’s water-tight aluminum camping sets that is packed full of goodies. It’s got an LED flashlight that can pulse SOS, a compass, a medical kit, a fire-starting kit, two shot glasses, and more. Whether your taking in on a trail or just to a campfire in your backyard, this is kit your going to get a kick out. Also makes an awesome gift. Pick one of these combos up now for $225.