Friday, May 30, 2008


Yesterdays $25 million dollar timepiece from Chopard inspired us to look into the relationship between flowers and time a little more thoroughly.

The sun was mankind’s first clock, but reading it has not always been restricted to sundials and shadows. For centuries humanity has also been divining time, if inexactly, by the opening and closing of flowers. The idea of a “flower clock” was first codified by Carolus Linnaeus, the Swiss botanist, in 1751. (See? Even the botanists in Switzerland are obsessed with time.)

Linnaeus observed that certain individual species of flowers open and close their petals at specific points in the day: catmint between 6 and 7A.M., hawkweed between 7 and 8A.M., marigolds at 9A.M. and so on. He found the opening and closing of these flowers to be so regular that he conceived the creation of a circular garden that would be arranged like a clock face, with 12 segments of flowers grouped by the time they open and close. (Catmint occupying the space between 6A.M. and 7A.M., etc…)

In this way, you could see what time it was just by looking at your garden and seeing which group of flowers was drinking in the sun. This method of telling time, in good weather conditions, was accurate to within a half hour.

Though Linnaeus was the first to set down his botanical discoveries via the scientific method, the idea of a flower clock garden pre-dates him considerably. In fact, Andrew Marvell described a floral clock in his poem “The Garden” in 1678.

“How well the skilful gardener drew
Of flow'rs and herbs this dial new;
Where from above the milder sun
Does through a fragrant zodiac run;
And, as it works, th' industrious bee
Computes its time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholesome hours
Be reckoned but with herbs and flow'rs!”

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Thursday, May 29, 2008


The title of the most expensive watch in the world has once again changed hands. Chopard has taken jewelry watches to the next level with its 201-carat watch featuring 874 (yes, you read that right) diamonds of every imaginable color, shape and size clustered around a yellow face that evokes petals enfolding the ovule of a flower.

This absolutely exquisite timepiece mirrors a flower in function as well as form as the Chopard horologists have equipped this piece with a mechanism that allows the diamonds that enclose the face to flip open like petals unfolding to embrace the day.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008


An interesting new James Bond-inspired model from Veldini Q is slated for production. Various incarnations of this wristwatch feature everything from screwdrivers to knives to diamond-tipped glass cutters. Other options include bottle openers and magnifying glasses. While the prototype designs are somewhat basic, the spy-gadget-appeal will doubtless call out to the kid in many if us and is sure to add a healthy dose of ‘fun factor’.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008


The Swiss luxury watch industry continues its explosive growth, defying the slowing global economic climate. April Swiss watch exports grew 22.4% to 1.4 billion francs.

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Friday, May 23, 2008


As the ubiquity of cellphones continues to grow, wristwatches are becoming less about function and more about luxury, style and fashion. The luxury watchmaking industry has embraced this change with open arms, as their paradigm has always been informed by the idea that a watch is not something that you use to check the time--it is a work of art.

However, there are those who see a re-surgence in function on the horizon. Daniel Ashbrook, a computer scientist at Georgia Tech, is convinced of it. His idea, though it is years from implementation, is create a wristwatch peripheral, much like a bluetooth earpiece, that will allow watch, cellphone and computer to all interact seamlessly so that you can check more than the time on your wrist: you could also see the weather, a stock market report or glance at your wrist to check your caller ID.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008


Ulysse Nardin has become a proponent of integrating silicium into its exquisite watch manufacture. Silicium is a versatile element that is used in everything from semiconductors and microchips to glasses and ceramics.

The Ulysse Nardin Sonata Silicium uses silicum both for the aesthetic appeal and to help protect precision components in the Sonata's movements.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008


In 2007, Vacheron Constantin and the Barbier-Mueller Museum undertook a joint project to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Geneva and the launch of the Métiers d’Art Les Masques collection by Vacheron Constantin. The brand is now again supporting the museum for its one-off Parisian exhibition entitled “Art of Africa and Oceania, highlights of the Babier-Mueller collection”. Hosted by the Jacquemart-André Museum in Paris from March 19th to August 24th 2008, the exhibition was inaugurated on March 18th. To mark the occasion, Vacheron Constantin invited numerous guests who enjoyed the opportunity to discover these works drawn from the worlds’ largest private collection of primitive art and imbued with striking beauty, power and mystery.

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