A Labyrinth of Shadows The Interplay Between Media, Market, and Brand by Carlos Perez January 21, 2002   “To them,” I said, “the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.” – Socrates It has often been said that “perception is reality.” While implied, it might... Read more
Unbreakable by Carlos Perez August 30, 2002 “Time is a continuous process of addition.” – Casio Computer Co., Ltd Digital sports watches have long been a part of the horological landscape. Indeed the digital watch has few accepted forms other than those intended, at least ostensibly, for rugged use.... Read more
The Flower of Neuchâtel by Carlos Perez November 25, 2002 While Geneva has long been the crown jewel of ‘Swiss’ watchmaking, Neuchâtel has long been the power – often hidden – behind the prestigious watch brands of Geneva and the rest of Europe, and over time it developed many... Read more
The Breguet Legacy Part II by Carlos Perez December 17, 2002 “All credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth come only from the senses.” — Friedrich Nietzsche Under the ownership of the imperial Swatch Group, Montres Breguet is now a central focus of its powers-that-be. Naturally not satisfied... Read more
The Breguet Legacy Part I by Carlos Perez December 5, 2002 “When one has finished building one’s house, one suddenly realizes that in the process one has learned something that one really needed to know in the worst way – before one began.” — Friedrich Nietzsche In the more... Read more
The Banner of Villeret by Carlos Perez November 11, 2002 “…Yes our collection has become a little bit too large and we need to focus again and focus to our roots. In that sense I share your opinion concerning the classique line which is also my favorite, except the... Read more
  A Perfect Circle by Carlos Perez September 15, 2002     Variations in Adjustable-Inertia Balance Design “Trifles make perfection, but perfection is no trifle.” – Michelangelo The balance wheel is the heart, the regulating organ at the essential core of any mechanical movement. It is something which has... Read more
Titans of the Deep by Carlos Perez September 1, 2002 “Below the thunders of the upper deep,Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleepThe Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights fleeAbout his shadowy sides: above him swellHuge sponges of millennial growth and height;And far away into the sickly... Read more
The Decay of the Angel Part III by Carlos Perez July 13, 2002 ‘The works and ways of man, their death and birth, And that of him and all that his may be; All things that move and breathe with toil and sound Are born and die; revolve, subside,... Read more
The Decay of the Angel Part II by Carlos Perez July 13, 2002 ‘The everlasting universe of things Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves, Now dark — now glittering — now reflecting gloom — Now lending splendour, where from secret springs The source of human thought... Read more
Four Hundred Years After Part I Japan and the Horological Tradition To present-day mechanical watch collectors and enthusiasts the world of watchmaking is centered upon Switzerland, with Germany at the periphery. But the present golden age revival follows a mechanical timekeeping heritage over 700 years old, with spring-driven clocks... Read more
The Prince In a small country influenced by France, Germany, and Italy, Audemars Piguet alone of the great houses of Swisswatch making shows an unusually strong element of Italian style. Perhaps this is a reminder that it alone of the Trinity is not of Geneva, but instead to the... Read more
The Twilight of the Full-BridgeJuly 11, 2000 The dark age of mechanical watches fades into dim memory as a new golden age of Swiss and German mechanical watchmaking is created by rapidly expanding watch consumption around the world. Yet the dark age of hand-wound movements continues, with the greatest... Read more
Artifacts of the Golden Age Part II: Barbarians at the Gate by Carlos Perez July 25, 2001 Moving forward in our time machine, we step out to find ourselves immersed in a storm, a gale which screams, “Revolution!” The new wave of industrialization which had emerged around the turn... Read more
Beauty, and the Handwound Movement… The more I look at and study watches, the more I find refined simplicity to have a growing appeal: The simplest, most elegant ultrathin automatics, and of course the time-only manually-wound movement free of superfluous complications. No doubt “haute” complications have their place within... Read more
The Navigator Icons of Wristwatch Design 1 by Carlos Perez January 6, 2002 Through storm and darkness, through the challenges of exploration and trade and war, man has found his way by sea and air guided by navigational timekeepers. It all began with one man, one of the greats... Read more
Ruminations on the International Watch CompanyAn Adventure In Retrogrouch Heresyby Carlos PerezFebruary 13, 2001 The clang and clatter of tireless machines, the jets of steam and pillars of billowing smoke — these are the images brought to mind by the word “industrial.” In complete contrast lies the silent and... Read more
The Brave New World of Instrument Watches The quartz oscillator and the liquid-crystal display: Two technical advances that have forever changed the way instrument watches are designed and used. The first eventually brought us simple, inexpensive, accurate, but ultimately disposable timekeepers like the military-issue Sandy P650 above. The second... Read more
The Decay of the Angel Part I by Carlos Perez July 13, 2002   ‘And on the pedestal these words appear:“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”Nothing beside remains. Round the decayOf that colossal wreck, boundless and bareThe lone and level sands... Read more
On the Ebauche Tradition June 1, 2000 Anyone who has observed the watch community of late will have noted the special esteem given to watches with movements of in-house manufacture. Over the years I have seen this shift from a mood of slight preference (all else being equal), to... Read more
Vive la Revolution!Walking Point With The Avant-Gardeby Carlos Perez January 5, 2001 While the world of wristwatch design is ruled by the philosophies of Classicism and Functionalism, and permeated with the incessant repackaging and reinterpretation of a handful of iconic designs and elements resurrected from antiquity, not every wristwatch... Read more
Biver and Piguet: The Lost WorksJune 15, 2000 “We wanted only the round shape, and the simplicity of just one model of watchcase to give to the essence of the watch, the movement, the first role…One case, but a complete choice of classical mechanical movements, all providing one or... Read more
  The Enigma by Carlos Perez May 28, 2001     Hated and loved, reviled and praised, there is perhaps nothing more polarizing within the art of high horology than the “tourbillon.” Priced out of the reach of all but a few, they are something rarely seen other than... Read more
L’Esprit NouveauThe Moderne art of the form movementby Carlos Perez December 29, 2000 One of the rarest delicacies produced by the horological crafts of the last century is the form movement. The great scarcity of form movements in our own day is of course linked to the overall decline... Read more
  Harmonia Mundi by Carlos Perez May 12, 2001     When we think of the past several centuries we probably tend to pull up romantic images of adventure and exploration, for it was the last great age of empires and colonial expansion. Yet for most of known history... Read more
L’Ancien Regime Part Two: The Heritage of the Classical Wristwatch by Carlos Perez While a wristwatch is much more than just a miniature pocket watch strapped to the wrist, the heritage of today’s classiques in undeniably linked to the classical watch making and designs of the 18th and 19th... Read more
The Cats and the Clock by Carlos Perez April 25, 2001 A clock hangs upon the wall, ticking its measured beat of time. Perhaps it is the sound, or the dancing of the seconds hand which catches the attention of the cat perched nearby. Enigmatic yellow eyes contemplate the... Read more
L’Ancien RegimePart One: Elements of the Baroque in Wristwatch Designby Carlos Perez   The Sun King Most of us as wristwatch enthusiasts tend to focus upon the classical or the functional in wristwatch design. The spirit of our age professes ornamentation to be a crime, even though in the... Read more
Artifacts of the Golden Age Part I by Carlos Perez July 16, 2001 In many ways we modern connoisseurs of the mechanical wristwatch live in a civilization built upon the ruins of much greater civilizations that we have now mostly forgotten. We of the Age of Copper refer to... Read more
Paragon and Prodigal Aspects of Janus in Genevan horology. by Carlos Perez April 15, 2001 In the mid-to-late 20th century the appellation “Swiss Made” became, and remains, the basic hallmark of quality in commercial horology. What was once intended to flush out so-called “Swiss fakes,” is now a brand... Read more
The Gentleman’s Wristwatch More Retrogrouch Musings From The Underground by Carlos Perez April 5, 2001 “I am not I; thou art not he or she; they are not they.” — Evelyn Waugh What watch to buy next? This is the most pressing problem that faces the modern enthusiast-collector of... Read more
Four Hundred Years After Part II The Legacy of Seikosha For nearly four hundred years Edo-Tokyo has been the center of Japanese horological craft, and it is the birthplace and home of the greatJapanese wristwatch manufactures of the last century — Seiko and Citizen. Their history is irrevocably intertwined... Read more
Prometheus Bound The Final Paradigm of Horological Evolution by Carlos Perez November 23, 2001 I suppose that most of us when describing our little hobby, break out that $20 word horology. There is probably a perverse pleasure in watching a listener’s face go blank as they mentally grasp for... Read more
The Harmony of the Spheres Part Two: From the Center of the Universe, To the Edge of the Galaxy by Carlos Perez March 1, 2001 “I have seen the dark universe yawning Where the black planets roll without aim, Where they roll in their horror unheeded, Without knowledge or... Read more
In Memory of David M. Graifman The Myriad Dialects of Time by Carlos Perez October 8, 2001 If anything could be called the universal language of horology, it must the round dial with concentric hour and minute hands pointing to a chapter ring demarked for twelve hours. It is... Read more
The Harmony of the Spheres Part I: Moons, Years, and Forever by Carlos Perez March 1, 2001 “This thing all things devours:Birds, trees, beasts, flowers;Gnaws iron, bites steel;Grinds hard stones to meal;Slays king, ruins town,And beats high mountain down.”— Gollum It has ever been within human nature to create... Read more
The War of Independence by Carlos Perez September 27, 2001 Beneath the cheerful reports of growth and prosperity, expansion and acquisition, there is a cold civil war silently being fought within the watch industry of Switzerland. It is not something which registers upon the consciousness of the average watch... Read more
The Saxon Order by Carlos Perez September 8, 2001 The great diversity of wristwatch design is the product of many cultural influences and aesthetic philosophies. For the most part, the dominant themes of our day would appear to be descended primarily from French and French-Swiss sources: The seminal works... Read more
Hammer and Gong by Carlos Perez January 31, 2001 The oldest and most esoteric complications produced today come from the small family of repeaters and clockwatches. These wristwatches strike the time either en passant (“in passing”) like traditional striking clocks, or on command like some pocket watches of the... Read more
Principles of the Wristwatch as Instrument The first concern of any instrument watch is that it be designed to show the necessary and relevant information to the task at hand. Second is that it must show this information in a way that is clear and easy to understand. Any... Read more