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Watch Brand Histories A to Do ~ Watch Brand Histories Du to I ~ Watch Brand Histories J to Rog ~ Watch Brand Histories Rolex to Z
Dunhill * E. Howard * Ebel * Eberhard & Co * Elgin * Franck Muller * FRED * George Brasseur * Gianni Versace * Girard-Perregaux * Glashutte Original * Glycine * Gruen * Hamilton * Hampden * Hans Wilsdorf * Harrods * Harwood * Hebdomas * Illinois
Originally farmers and shopkeepers in Nottinghamshire, Alfred Dunhill’s direct ancestors had moved to London to set up as linen drapers in Oxford Street. Capitalizing on the number of horses in London, they soon built up a successful harness business in the Euston Road that Alfred took over in 1893 at the age of 21.
The beginning of Alfred’s stewardship coincided with the dawn of the motorcar. In the early days motorcars arrived from the manufacturer with a chassis and body, but without the accessories that are now taken for granted. Alfred saw this as an opportunity and converted his father’s business, from horse carriage accessories to motor accessories. “Dunhill’s Motorities”, as their store on the Euston Road was now known, housed a showroom, workshops and offices and supplied accessories to the manufacturers, chauffeurs and mechanics of the motorcar trade. Dunhill’s Motorities ranged from heavy leather coats to helmets and goggles and all that was needed for protection in an open motorcar. Mechanical accessories were also an important part of the Dunhill’s Motorities range - car horns, dashboard clocks, motoring lamps and trunks. Within a few years the business moved up-market, with the opening of two Dunhill’s Motorities stores in Mayfair. In accordance with the etiquette of the time one store was exclusive to ladies and the other exclusive to gentlemen. By this time “Dunhill’s” had become known not only for practical and reliable motoring accessories but also for fashionable motoring attire, with the Dunhill’s Motorities catalogue featuring over 1300 items illustrating all that was available.
An infamous Dunhill product at the time was the Bobby Finder Goggles; an amusing name based on the slang for a policeman. In 1903 Alfred was caught and fined £1 for speeding at 22 ½ miles per hour. His reaction was to produce field glasses that looked like motoring goggles which could be worn in order to spot speed traps on the road ahead before they spotted you. The advertisement claimed “Dunhill’s Bobby Finders will spot a policeman at half a mile even if disguised as a respectable man.”
Dunhill’s Motorities became such an integral part of the motoring scene that in 1904, the company won a gold medal for automobilist’s clothing at Crystal Palace. “Everything but the Motor” was not only the Dunhill’s Motorities boast but also a company rule he broke only once with the inventive and rather curious “Dunhill Tweenie” motorcar in 1912. Alfred Dunhill is regarded as an innovator and his first patent was registered for fishing rods in 1895. Other patents were filed for such unusual items as a “New or Improved Means for Excluding the Air from Tins, Bottles, and other Receptacles”. He is also credited with having invented the articulation of the rear view mirror in 1907. He supplied everything from fishing rods and reels, cricket and golfing gear and even from about 1910 “Avorities”- accessories and outfittings for the “aeroplanist”. The launch of the Dunhill pipe was a logical step from Motorities as in 1904 Alfred had already patented a “Windshield Pipe” to help a driver combat the effects of wind and weather in his open top car.
Alfred’s first tobacconist and pipe shop opened in 1906 on Duke Street. Its proximity to the clubs of St. James’s and Pall Mall helped to ensure instant success and a loyal and distinguished customer base. The “Dunhill’s” shop on Duke Street gained a reputation for custom tobacco recipes and by 1910 Alfred had developed a quality pipe at a price twice that of any other on the market. In the 1912 an aluminum tube was introduced which could be inserted into a pipe to facilitate hygiene and maintenance. However, customers had difficulty in replacing the mouthpiece correctly so Alfred decided to place a white spot on the top as a guide, this soon became a hallmark of Dunhill excellence. The First World War spread the word amongst officers and men about the reputation of Dunhill, in both continental Europe and the USA. By 1924 some 260,000 pipes were being sold a year through the Duke Street store.
From the Duke Street store Carter, an employee since the age of 12, delivered George VI’s tobacco to Buckingham Palace during the Second World War as well as keeping Churchill regularly supplied with his favorite cigars. Carter received the MBE after the war for these actions and worked for Alfred for 50 years. Alfred Dunhill summarized his retail philosophy in an article written in the summer of 1923. “ My experience in the motorists’ trade has convinced me that, if one can exactly meet the desires of a good class of public, time alone is necessary to make the business profitable. Compared with quality, price is relatively unimportant.” “If I were asked to put in a nutshell the reason for our success, I should say: because we have always had a shop in which we can put our goods to the customer’s test hour by hour”. “The energy we might have expended in advertising to get new customers we devoted to pleasing in the highest degree those we had”.
The success of the brand with the American consumer meant an office in New York was opened on 5th. Avenue at 42nd. Street in 1921. This was followed by the first continental European store opened in 1924 at 15, Rue de la Paix in central Paris. Where along with the introduction of the “Unique lighter”, the world’s first one-handed pocket lighter, the range was widened to include dressing table sets, cutlery, clocks, bronzes and frames in onyx, agate and lapis. The Duke Street store was refitted after World War I, and an atmosphere of opulence was created with Persian carpets, Venetian glass lamps and solid mahogany paneling. This was followed in 1926 by an enlargement of the store with the addition of a new “carriage entrance” on Jermyn Street. A new and innovative cigar room - unrivalled in Europe and much admired - expanded the humidor principle to a complete, self-contained room. Dunhill was considered one of the most luxuriously appointed shops in London. Luxury goods were obtained from the best European sources, including Vienna, France, Italy, Spain and Bohemia, before the outbreak of the Second World War. The range of different products available gave rise to the motto “there’s always something new at Dunhill’s”. In November 1933 the New York store moved to the British Empire Building in the Rockefeller Center on 5th Avenue. Dunhill occupied five floors of the building in total, selling a selection of merchandise including stationery, playing cards, picture frames, diaries, cocktail sets and bar accessories.
Mary Dunhill, originally trained as a hairdresser and later, as chairman of the company pioneered a cosmetics and fragrance range in the USA in the early 1930s, including a fragrance called Escape which was introduced in 1943. Her success led to the introduction in 1934 of the first Dunhill men’s fragrance, “Dunhill For Men”. Retail sales in London in the mid-1930s were influenced by three big events. The Silver Jubilee of George V & Queen Mary, the funeral of George V and the Coronation of George VI. Royalty, rulers, Indian princes, politicians, diplomats, stars of stage & screen from Europe and America all passed through Dunhill. It was also at this time in 1935-36 that the original Dunhill faceted wristwatch was introduced. This unique style of watch has now become the signature style of the Dunhill timepiece collection, recognized the word over.
At 3 o’clock in the morning on 17th April 1941 two German land mines scored a direct hit on Dunhill at Jermyn Street. Virtually everything was destroyed but Alfred H. Dunhill managed to personally open again for business on the very same day. Aided by a government war-damage grant of £46,000 a new shop and office building was completed on the original sight in 1957. In the USA shops were opened in Beverly Hills on Rodeo Drive in 1951, in Chicago on Michigan Avenue in 1958 and in San Francisco at the corner of Post & Stockton Streets in 1961. In Hong Kong the first Asia Pacific store was opened in Prince’s Building in 1966 and the first Japanese store in Tokyo in 1969. By the late 1970s Dunhill was offering a range of 3,500 luxury products in more than 20 stores round the world. The brand had now expanded into offering a full range of men’s ready to wear clothing. At the dawn of the 21st Century, new Dunhill emporiums opened their doors at Namiki Dori in Tokyo and 5th Avenue in New York alongside the refurbished home of the brand at 48 Jermyn Street, in the heart of St. James’s. After setting luxury retail standards throughout the 20th Century it is from these modern flagship stores that Dunhill will continue to supply luxury goods to the discerning gentleman into the 21st Century.
Edward Howard was one of the three original founders of the company that became the American Waltham Watch Company. When the original company failed in 1857, Mr. Howard was able to secure all the unfinished movements and started his own company with Charles Rice in 1858. At first, this new company of "Howard & Rice" merely finished the leftover watches and placed its name on them, but the company soon began to produce its own, completely different, watches under the name "E. Howard & Co." Howard introduced many innovations to American watchmaking, and may have been the first to produce stem wound watches in America. Because Howard made their watches completely different from those produced by other companies, they wouldn't fit inside standard cases and they had to have cases specially made for their watches. As a result, it is very common to see old Howard watches without a case, since replacements were very hard to come by if the original case was damaged or melted down for its gold value. As with early Walthams, early Howards are especially prized by collectors due to their historical significance.
In 1902 the Howard name was purchased by the Keystone Watch Case Company. The watches that were produced by Keystone under this name were completely different from the earlier Howards. Nevertheless, many fine watches were made, including some exceedingly high grade railroad watches.
-- from The New Collector's Guide to Pocket Watches, © 2000 Barry S. Goldberg
It was against a backdrop of social and cultural revolution at the turn of the twentieth century that Eugene Blum and his wife Alice Levy founded Ebel in 1911. The name is an acronym of the first letters of their names - Eugene Blum et Levy. Three years after the company formed it was awarded a gold medal at the Swiss National Exhibition. This drew the attention of the more established brands in Switzerland, and as a result, Ebel's private label business was to become their bread and butter for the next 70 years. They continued to produce Ebel signed pieces on a small-scale basis. Alice Levy Blum ran the daily operations of the company, only occasionally involved with the creative aspects of designing the models and collections offered. Her husband handled the selling of the products, becoming a world traveler and company salesman in the tradition of Francois Constantin and Antoine Norbert de Patek. With the award of a Certificate of Excellence in 1929, Ebel's reputation was further enhanced. That year Charles-Eugene Blum joined the family business, and along with watchmaker Marcel Reuche, established a tight system of production control that won over ever increasing orders from the top names in the industry, including Vacheron Constantin.
Very well known within the industry, the Ebel brand was not so highly recognized outside of it. Ebel's signed pieces from the 20's, 30's, and on through the 60's show solid, if unexceptional, design and production quality. And thus it continued, until the arrival of Pierre-Alain Blum, son of Charles-Eugene and grandson of company founders Eugene and Alice. By all accounts, Pierre-Alain was a reluctant heir with a rebellious and independent streak. He announced at 15, that he wanted to study mechanics, then electricity at technical school. A few years later he decided a technical future was not for him, and departed for America. After years of steady work, he was offered a partnership at Lucian Picard in New York. By 1969 he was offered a partnership in the company. When Pierre-Alain excitedly wrote to his father about the offer, Charles-Eugene asked that he go home, to help with the family business. After initially refusing, he finally relented, and returned. He encountered many difficulties in this initial period. His opportunity was to come. An unfortunate accident forced the senior Blum to withdraw from active running of the family enterprise, and Pierre-Alain was thrust into the senior management role. He brought ever increasing revenue and profits to the company - 30% growth in the first year; another 30% the year after that, and 60% the year after that. By 1975, he'd bought the whole company from his father.
Eberhard & Co
For more than a century, Eberhard & Co. has been creating professional instruments of the highest quality. By paying strict attention to performance, the brand has built an international reputation for its chronographs and chronometers.
Young watchmaker Georges-Emile Eberhard opened his watchmaking shops in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1887. The technical quality and elegant beauty of his pocket watches garnered him popularity amongst the most discerning clientele of the time. Eberhard & Co. became a family business when Georges-Emile's sons followed in their father’s footsteps. In 1919, Eberhard unveiled its first chronograph wristwatch. Five years later, the firm launched its chronograph with two pushbuttons and in 1939 it unveiled the distinctive chronograph rattrapante.
Decade after decade since, Eberhard has continued to demonstrate its technical prowess and design innovation. Eberhard’s collection of timepieces is rich with diversity. Among its watch lines are the patent-pending Chrono 4 series; Extra Forte; Replica; and Tazio Nuvolari—each with sporty appeal. The sophisticated 8 Days collection of technically refined watches with a patented power-reserve device offers chic elegance, as does the Traversetolo collection of oversized timepieces with transparent caseback exposing the movement with pearl-finished embellishments.
John C. Adams was a Chicago watchmaker and responsible for forming the Elgin National Watch Co. (1864). He was instrumental in getting the businessmen and the machinists, watch company foremen and watchmakers together. He later went on to help start the Cornell Watch Co. (1867), the Illinois Watch Company (1869), the Adams & Perry Watch Co. (1874), and the Independent Watch Co (1880).
In the fall of 2000, one of the descendants of John Adams discovered his watch in a shoe box, it was serial number 113. After contacting the Elgin Area Historical Society, Carol Adams decided that it would be more appropriate for the watch to be in a museum than a shoe box and sold it to the EAHS.
It is very common too for people to become confused about which products were made by the Elgin National Watch Company (ENW Co), and which were made by the unrelated company, the Illinois Watch Case Company of Elgin (IWC Co). The Illinois Watch Case Company was another major manufacture in the city of Elgin Illinois. It had many brand names that it used on its watch cases, such as "Elgin Giant", "Elgin Pride", "Tivoli", "Spartan", and "Elgin Commander".
Later on, IWC Co also started the "Elgin American" line of lady's compacts and cigarette cases. The use of the name "Elgin" in their brand names, or marking the cases with "Elgin USA" has often lead people to believe that a watch was made by the Elgin National Watch Company when it was made by someone else, or to think that another brand of watch no longer has its original case because it is "now in an Elgin case." The Elgin National Watch Company and the Illinois Watch Case Company are not sister companies, they didn't even always get along very well. In fact, they even went to the point of suing each other all the way to the Supreme Court.
About 50 years later, when watch companies started selling cased watches, ENWCo went out and bought the Wadsworth Watch Case Company of Kentucky, even though it might have made more sense to buy the IWCCo, which was just down the street. The fact that many people get confused is exactly what the Illinois Watch Case Company was trying to accomplish, and exactly what Elgin National Watch Company was objecting to.
Upstart watchmaker Franck Muller proclaims himself the "Master of Complications" and upon examining several of his finest masterpieces, one quickly understands why watch lovers around the world concur with this brash statement.
At a young age, Muller had firmly accomplished his Geneva based company as one of the world's most prestigious and fashionable watch brands. Celebrities such as Elton John, Demi Moore, and Robin Williams are often spotted wearing Franck Muller watches. Muller mixes contemporary styling with state-of-the-art traditional Swiss watchmaking. Unlike the CEOs of other watch houses, Muller is a watchmaker himself and he designs every single movement himself, no matter how simple or complicated.
Italian by birth, Muller graduated from the highly prestigious Swiss watchmaking school Ecole Horolgerie de Geneve in the early 1980s. From there, Muller obtained a job repairing fine quality pocket watches for museums and private individuals. It was during this period that Muller came in contact with some of the finest, complicated timepieces ever produced and was thus inspired to eventually produce his own masterpieces.
In particular, Muller grew fascinated with the tourbillion, soon building his own tourbillion wristwatch, which found a new home immediately upon its completion. Keep in mind that this was the late 1980s, when only a few companies such as Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin were still even capable of producing extremely complicated watches. Muller continued to produce unique complicated watches for private clients, but as his business continued to thrive, Muller sensed there existed an untapped market for sporty contemporary watches with a mechanical artistry to match their unsurpassed modern design. In 1992, the House of Franck Muller was born and the watches were an immediate sensation in the U.S. and Europe.
Today, Muller continues to produce a highly limited number of watches per year from the quaint farmhouse that serves as both his headquarters and factory. Within the Franck Muller collection, one can find everything from the Endurance, which is a simple chronograph, to the Master Banker, a Tonneau-shaped watch capable of multiple time zone indication, to the Curvex Minute Repeater Tourbillion, whose production is limited to a mere 25 pieces. Needless to say, Muller offers a very wide range of watches, and at many different price points.
While he does not ignore the movements, Muller has always known that the design cosmetics of a watch are what first "grab the eye," and since the introduction of his famed oversized Curvex Tonneau case Muller watches are instantly recognizable on any wrist.
While the ultra-complicated watches can be quite costly, there are at the same time a number of Franck Muller watches which can be acquired for a surprisingly affordable price, especially given the high quality involved. Thus, for watch lovers who want to live on the cutting edge fashion-wise without sacrificing one iota of mechanical hand-finishing, the Franck Muller watch is a perfect choice and one that will continue to serve its owner faithfully, to say nothing of the future generations to come.
In 1936 Fred Samuel opened its first boutique at number 6 Rue Royale in Paris, next to the Place de la Concorde. Avant-gardist, he presented himself as a "Modern Jewelry Designer" and created jewels that matched fashion. Gerald Genta legendary watch designer for Patek Philippe (the nautilus) for Audemar Piquet (the Royal Oak collection) designed watches extensively for Fred of Paris. As he had always been a precursor, international celebrities such as Marlene Dietrich became fans of his style and his success spread rapidly from Paris to the rest of the world. Jeweler of the artists and the cinema, FRED achieves many ornaments for the 7th Art, among which the superb ruby necklace set with diamonds, worn by Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman".In 1995 the FRED House joined the LVMH Group and started the second chapter of its history.
FRED remains faithful to its founder’s original successful slogan and reinvents FRED’s line according to the basic rules of jewelry: jewels reject clichés and lines match women’s sensuality.
FRED’s innovative spirit remains in the sales spaces, which are at once lively and luminous, daring and elegant.
Since 2002 FRED has opened more than 10 boutiques the world over from London to Paris, via Tokyo.
George Brasseur (1880 - 1950)
George Brasseur specialized in subjects of religion, decorative art, and landscapes and portraits. His favorite subjects were that of social subjects such as the working class and the nudes.
He was born in south Belgium in the city of Charleroi, was the eldest of ten children from a working class family. In 1892 his family moved to Brussels where he attended drawing classes under the instruction of veteran professor Keyser, of the Academy of Molenbeek. Although his father always was against his art studies, he frequented art schools, for being “l'antre of perdition”, the organizers managed to convince Brasseurs’ father to register his son, telling him that his son had a promising future and was a talented student. After two semesters, the course was suppressed finally by lack of subventions and professors.
Although the possibility existed of obtaining a scholarship of Beautiful Arts, his father was objected, now with the argument of that Brasseur had to work and to contribute to the Brasseur economic support of the family. Between the age’s of16 to 25 Brasseur toiled as a craftsman in a factory of decoration in Brussels. There he had opportunity to become a skilled craftsman and learn the artistic technique through work, which made decorations of churches, among them several in Luxembourg (1897). He elaborated the vitrales of the old cathedral of Huy (Belgium), the decoration of the church of Santo Sacramento of Brussels, in 1902, and several projects for particular houses and design of mosaics. He took nocturnal courses of decorative painting in the Academy of Arts of the School of Saint-Light, directed by the Christian Brothers, and was awarded with a medal in his fourth year, in 1888-89. Despite this “academic” achievement, many appreciate Brasseur as a self-taught person. At the age of 19 years he was entrusted to give a painting class that possibly dictated until 1901.
After 1905, Brasseur left the factory to dedicate himself being the decorator of the main room of the palace of the Duke of Arenberg (1910) with representations of battles in which the ancestors of their client had distinguished themselves. Brasseur already had made diverse works of small horse and decorations for Arenberg, like cardboards for carpets that represented other historical moments of the family. In 1911 he decorated, by order of the community of the Smaller Friars, his temple in Finds, near Brussels, with scenes of the life of San Francisco. He also made viacrucis for the church of the town of Bruly. Between 1907 and 1908 Brasseur attended the Sint-Joost academy (Brussels) and took courses for a short duration in the Academy of Malinas, until finally entering the School of Beautiful Arts of Brussels. In 1910 Brasseur combined his work with the studies attending classes by the painter Herman Richir.
During the German invasion to Belgium in 1914, World War I, Brasseur participated as a member of the resistance in espionage activities. He was captured by the invaders in 1916 and condemned fifteen years to forced work. After the liberation of the country in 1918, Brasseur was decorated the following year like hero military by king Alberto. After showing to his works and pictures in 1921, he returned to his native city, Charleroi, where in 1923 he painted a series dedicated to the country of the coal (“Terrilles”) and exposed several urban landscapes of Brussels and Charleroi. Three excellent exhibited pictures then urged the aristocracy, seduced by his art, to let themselves be immortalized by his brushes.
In 1926, at the height of his fame and artistic maturity, Brasseur traveled to Colombia: by interval of the engineer and Belgian architect Agustín Goovaerts, the Institute of Beautiful Arts of Medellín and the Public Society of Improvement contacted him so to assume the direction of the Painting School of that institute. During the Colombia Twenties he embarked in a great project of modernization. Also the artistic education had renovadores airs and was as well as the hiring of Brasseur was decided. But in Colombia and specifically in the Institute of Beautiful Arts, the “modernization” occurred without the principles raised by modernity and the Belgian painter harmonized well with this situation; he was not vanguardista and frequently he expressed in his newspapers the inconformismo with the artistic situation in Belgium and Europe. All the new forms of art received from him hard commentaries, for example, Picasso, Braque, Cézanne, the cubism, the School of Paris and the expresionista work of the Belgian Permeke, all his contemporaries. Goovaerts had described to the painter a situation to him with many artistic and economic possibilities in Medellín, and was urged to accept an offer in Colombia although it had a family composed of four children (Marguerite, Charles, Lucienne, Lucie) of a first marriage in 1899 and one daughter (Francine) of the second in 1918.
After his arrival in 1926 he exhibited in the halls of Society of Public Improvements in Medellín and assumed the direction and the classes of the School of Painting and Sculpture of the Institute, until June of 1927. In Medellín, he did not find the due mutual understanding with the Greek Classical Art and Roman, orienting his classes to the incessant drawing of old statues of Venus and Apolo and busts of Latin emperors. In spite of its short stay in Medellín and Bogota, Brasseur had certain impact in the art of the country, because within their group of students were futures artists like Luis E. Vieco, Carlos Correa, Emiro Botero and Gustavo Lopez, and also gave class to a feminine group, in which Lucia Cock, Gabriela Vieiles, Helena Ospina and Teresita de Santamaría stood out, who would get to appear in the artistic life of the city.
Before finalizing his contract, the president of the Committee of Beautiful Arts invited to him to attend the meeting of the School to deal with the terms a new contract, since the institution was satisfied with his work. After a day of reflection, it seemed to him hurried to commit itself and on the 5 of January in 1927 wrote: “In the spirit disposition in which I am now, as a result of several months of study and reflection, I am considering to leave Medellín, when my contract finishes. The solitary life in this city is very insipid, the artistic atmosphere is null or very random; the people are very interesting, but too simple, without any form of refinement (I speak of the elite, the town is amorphous and average savage), they do not know another thing that to deal and to be able silver to accumulate it; by the others, the artistic sense of Medellín can be evaluated exactly in which for six years they have been supporting the gothic monumental lucubraciones or in other styles of my Goovaerts compatriot. I include/understand, since I am here, the smiles socarronas of Brussels of those architects of the School of Saint-Light who thought that he made excellent businesses. In addition, I do not serve to give courses, thus am to advanced students more; like will be then to which they begin! I left Brussels to have a little tranquillity and to try to gain something of money. What I could do” It is too much soon.
However, in 1927 in Bogota, Brasseur had an exposition at the Colombian Academy of the Language where he maintained his contacts with Medellín and frequented on several occasions. In 1928 he considered returning, with a possible contract for paintings a room of the Palace of Departmental Government, building that came constructing its Goovaerts countryman.
Finally in June of 1928, he left Colombia towards North America by Venezuela, where he decided to change of plans. His stay in Venezuela extended until February of 1929 and two years later he returned to work as a professor of drawing in Caracas; where he painted three portraits of president Juan Vicente Go'mez in his house of Maracay and in 1932 had an exhibition in the School of Beautiful Arts. Brasseur was again in Belgium in 1934. In that year famous Galerie DES Artistes Français of Brussels, directed by Isy Brachot and Paul André, offered another opportunity to show his work him, which he had done in 1929, after its first trip to Colombia and Venezuela.
Regarding his activities and artistic work between the period of 1934 and 1945 there is not much information. It is possible that during this period in Belgian he painted the works of his three children from his first marriage. Brasseur enjoyed certain fame at international level. According to his descendants, also it exhibited in Lisbon and London in 1936. About 1945, after World War II, he considered leaving Belgium once again and it looked for information on the situation in Colombia with his son Charles, who from 1927 resided in Bogota. Just after arriving at the capital in 1946,he exhibited 52 works, among them 40 oils, when the Ministry of National Education, through the Direction of Cultural Extension and Beautiful Arts, organized an exhibition for him in the National Library. Two years later, Brasseur returned to Medellín in order to settle permanently. There he hung successfully a series of landscapes, bodegones and pictures in the Museum of Zea. But in 1950 it would return again to Belgium and that same year, the 30 of October, died at the age of seventy, after falling down the stairs in his house in Brussels.
There are several works of the Georges Brasseur in Colombia, both in private and public collections. In there are two oils on linen cloth, property of the Club Union: The girls (1920) and Naked feminine with cat (1924); fourteen pictures of the Viacrucis (begun in 1926) in the church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart of the Buenos Aires district; four oils on linen cloth with pictures of the presidents and managers of Fabricato: Carlos Mejía Restrepo (1947), Ramon Echavarría (1949), Jorge Echavarría E. (1947) and Luis Uribe V. (1947); and another oil on linen cloth with the picture of general Martin Go'mez, possession of the Museum of Antioch. Works of Brasseur in Jericó (Antioch) and Santa Fe of Antioch are also located. In the faculty of Arts of the National University of Colombia in Bogota are the coalbunkers and the freighters, and several pictures in the Ministry of Agriculture and the Bank of the Republic.
Biographical information found online which was translated and attributed to these sources:
Dictionanire Biographique I illustrated DES artistes in Belgique depuis 1830.
“The exhibition of the National Library: The Georges Brasseur and their work”. Chromiums, Bogota, 1946.
BENEZIT, E. Dictionnaire criticizes ET documents DES Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs ET Graveurs of tous them even temps ET of tous them pays groupe d'écrivains spécialistes français ET étrangers. Volume 2, Paris: Gründ, 1976.
CARDINAL RED, JORGE and TULIA RAMIREZ DE CARDENAS. Evolution of the Painting and Sculpture in Antioch. Museum of Antioch, Medellín, 1986.
Direction of Cultural Extension. The Art in Antioch. Volume 3. Medellín, 1991, pp. 9-10.
GOOVAERTS, A. “the Georges Brasseur”. Progress, Medellín, 1926, N. 1.
HARDY, ADOLPHE. “The Georges Brasseur Sa vie ET are oeuvre”. Savoir ET Beauté Revue Interprovincile d'Art ET d'Enseignement, Brussels, 1938, 3, pp. 95-100.
LAVERDE LIEVAN, MANUEL. “The Belgian painter the Georges Brasseur and their Colombian work”. In: Chromiums, Nº 722 (1930).
LONDOÑO VELEZ, SANTIAGO. History of the painting and the engraving in Antioch. Medellín: University of Antioch, 1995, pp. 165, 170 and 203.
MASSE, JUDITH. “The Georges Brasseur”. Brabant, tourisme (September 1991), pp. 7-16.
MOLINA LONDOÑO, L.F. “Agustín Grovaerts, representative of the modernist architecture in Colombia”. Cultural and Bibliographical bulletin, 34, 1993, pp. 3-33.
Museum of Antioch, works of its collection. Volume 1. Medellín, Hill, 1994.
Gianni Versace (December 2, 1946 – July 15, 1997) was a fashion designer and occasional photographer from Calabria, in southern Italy. He is most well known for starting the Versace clothing line. Versace was born to a family who owned a tailoring store in Reggio Calabria. As a young boy, he learned to design and make his own clothes. Several of his designs were sold at the family store.
Versace's first career success came in 1972, when he was contracted by a company to create a collection. In 1974, his name was seen on his own designs for the first time when he signed with the Complices trademark. In 1978, he opened his first boutique. In 1985, his Instante collection hit the store stands. Versace became a world-wide famous fashion designer alongside Ralph Lauren, Oscar De La Renta, Carlota Alfaro and Giorgio Armani. He was a personal designer for famous celebrities such as Courtney Love, Jon Bon Jovi, Elton John and others. Versace was particularly known for his innovative designs in leather.
In 1992 Gianni Versace moved to Miami Beach, Florida and purchased a home at 1116 Ocean Drive formerly known as the Amsterdam Palace for $2.9 million. After receiving city approval to demolish the Revere Hotel next-door, a two-story, 6,100-foot addition was built transforming the entire structure into a palatial home which Versace named Casa Casuarina. Gianni Versace's initial connection with Miami, South Beach in particular, came when he designed the sensual T-shirt-and-pastel-jacket look for Miami Vice, a look that exuded a fresh style that would soon sweep the country and set the tone for a decade of wild and reckless living.
Versace was awarded the coveted American Fashion Oscar, on February 1, 1993.
Versace was murdered on July 15, 1997, outside his Miami Beach mansion; he was shot to death on his front steps. Andrew Cunanan, who was wanted for murdering four other people in a killing spree, became a prime suspect. Cunanan fled and hid from the police. Eight days later he committed suicide in a houseboat on Miami Beach that was under siege by armed police. After the death of Gianni Versace, his sister, Donatella Versace, took over his business and continued usage of the family's trademark of using bright colors and designs. His lover Antonio D'Amico started his own design company.
The history of this prestigious Swiss manufacturer can be traced back to Jean-Francois Bautte, the famous Geneva watchmaker. Though orphaned at a very young age, the young man confronted life with determination. In 1791, by the time he was nineteen, Jean-Francois Bautte had learnt several trades, acquired the education which his modest background had denied him and begun making his first watches. It would not be long before his name became familiar to the royal courts of Europe. A master watchmaker of rare talent, Jean-Francois Bautte was also an astute "industrialist" and businessman with a brilliant, imaginative and generous character. He is credited with creating the first genuine ultra-thin watches and the truly visionary concept of the Manufactory as a producer of high-quality timepieces.
Unfortunately, Jean-Francois Bautte did not have a successor or heir to take over his company when he retired. The problem of what to do with the company was quickly solved when a merger was arranged with another watch manufacturer. In 1854, Constantin Girard married Marie Perregaux. As both came from watchmaking backgrounds, it seemed perfectly natural to use both names when they formed their own company. So it was that the Girard-Perregaux brand was born, in 1856.
More than just a famous watchmaker, Constantin Girard was also a patriot committed to the republican cause and always ready to devote time and energy to his beloved town of La Chaux-de-Fonds. Only a few years were needed to establish a reputation that spread as far as the New World. His technical and aesthetic masterpiece, the "Tourbillon Sous Trois Ponts d'Or" (translation: Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges), was unquestionably the greatest achievement of a life largely devoted to the research and development of the art of watchmaking. This amazing pocket watch won Girard-Perregaux two gold medals at the Paris Universal Exhibitions in 1867 and 1889, and is considered one of the most desirable mechanical watches ever made.
The tradition of innovation initiated by Jean Francois Bautte has been perpetuated to the present day by Girard-Perregaux. Throughout its long history, the Manufactory has made a number of exciting and innovative contributions to the world of watchmaking. Foremost among these is the concept of the wristwatch. Although a few pocket watches had already been modified to be worn on the wrist, Girard-Perregaux was the first watchmaker to produce this kind of timepiece in a series (around 1880).
In addition, Girard-Perregaux has developed several revolutionary movements, the most notable of which have been the Gyromatic, the high-frequency mechanical movement that has become collectible in its own right, as well as the quartz movement, whose frequency of 32,768 Hertz has become the universally accepted standard. In fact, it was Girard-Perregaux's innovations in the realm of quartz timekeeping that allowed it to survive the Swiss watch industry's economic crisis during the 1970s and 1980s.
Although Girard-Perregaux did not thrive during the 1970s and early 1980s, unlike other Swiss watch companies, Girard-Perregaux not only survived fully intact, but emerged even stronger than before and fiercely determined to continue producing high-quality mechanical timepieces using in-house movements.
At a time when many prestigious Swiss companies were looking to outside suppliers for their raw movements, Girard-Perregaux simply would not compromise quality to improve the bottom line. The company's massive efforts to upgrade their factory, while training a new generation of master watchmakers to produce the highest quality wristwatches, was clearly a gamble -- but one which paid off handsomely when consumers re-discovered the pleasures of wearing traditionally hand-finished mechanical timepieces.
Girard-Perregaux's master watchmakers continued their efforts in the early 1980s. After extensively studying an original model acquired at auction, the watchmakers revived the expertise which had originally created the Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges pocket watch. To make a replica of this marvel, however, they had to think in modern terms and re-design all the components. Although computers would prove helpful in the design phase, the watchmakers nonetheless had to re-learn all the traditional crafts and skills that had died along with the masters.
In 1991, on the occasion of its 200th anniversary, the company achieved the amazing feat of adapting the technology of the Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges to a wristwatch version. Several variations have been produced since then. These watches, which are completely handmade in Girard-Perregaux's workshops, are amazing works of mechanical art. And the Three Bridges, which are cast in solid gold, are stunningly beautiful to behold.
Some six to eight months of continuous work are needed to produce such a watch, with the House's most talented senior watchmakers meticulously crafting each component by hand, assembling the movement, testing the complicated mechanism and finally casing up the completed movement in a massive gold or platinum case. As of this writing, only 20 such Tourbillon wristwatches have been produced to date.
Needless to say, watch lovers around the world quickly took notice of the company's amazing comeback, and the company capitalized even further on its newfound success by obsessively dedicating itself to the production of wristwatches of the highest quality at extremely competitive prices. Moreover, in 1993, Girard-Perregaux signed a co-branding arrangement with the celebrated Italian car manufacturer, Ferrari, which has yielded a remarkable line of sporty chronographs.
Along with the Ferrari chronographs, the company's other popular models include the Vintage Men's automatic, which features an in-house Girard-Perregaux 3000 self-winding calibre; the Chronograph 9000, featuring a refined self-winding movement which can be viewed through a sapphire-crystal back; and the Olympic Chrono 1992, which boasts an in-house Girard-Perregaux chronograph movement.
In summary, Girard-Perregaux offers one of the highest quality wristwatches available in the contemporary watch marketplace.
The region between the towns of Glashutte and Pforzheim comprises a great number of prestigious German brands and top manufactures, as well as some smaller companies. However, among this variety there are two names that are enjoying the maximum popularity - A. Lange & Söhne and Glashutte Original, which have belonged to the Richmond and Swatch Groups respectively. The history of Glashutte Original watch-making started in 1845, when Ferdinand Adolph Lange received a state loan and established the first Glashutte watch manufactory. He drew significant support from some mater watchmakers, such as Ernest Kasiske, Ludwig Strasser, Ludwig Strasser, who joined the company and became founding fathers of the Glashutte precision pocket watch which gained a worldwide fame.
After Lange’s death in 1875, Moritz Grossman formed Deutsche Uhrmacherschule (the "German Watchmaking School".) As the result Glashutte gained notoriety for producing high-quality traditional yet innovative mechanical timepieces. Realizing that not everybody could afford purchasing high quality timepieces produced by Glashutte, Johannes Dürrstein established the Glashutter Uhrenfabrik UNION in 1893 and concentrated on producing inexpensive Glashutte quality timepieces, by applying non-precious metals while maintaining their renowned accuracy.
The end of the first golden era of Glashutte manufacturing came with the Great War. However, Alfred Helwig, who had attended the school of watchmakers, opened his chronometer workshop in Glashutte. The old workshops managed to get over the crisis and formed watch co-operatives. The name Glashutte Original appeared in 1921. During the Second World War, Glashutte timepieces were called 'war goods' and when the war was over, many of the firms were expropriated by the Russians. The changes in economic and political situation led to the fact that the majority of the existing watch-making firms were united into a single conglomerate - VEB Glashutter Uhrenbetriebe in 1951. Up to the late 80’s, political and economic isolation brought a great number of developments into the field of watch-making and developing precision mechanics. The German reunification of 1990 the fall of the Berlin Wall helped Glashutte watch-making take over its old facilities and return to the honorable world of Haute Horology. The creation of Karree, Glashutte's rectangular wristwatch, marked the re-launching of the manufacture. The VEB Glashutter Uhrenbetriebe was reorganized into Glashutter Uhrenbetriebe GmbH - a limited company – and left A. Lange & Söhne, Glashutte Original, Union Glashutte together and Nomos, Glashutte SA, as neighbors. Nowadays, Glashutte is acknowledged as one of the best watch manufacturers and has reached the highest levels of watch-making superiority.
The region between the towns of Glashutte and Pforzheim comprises a great number of prestigious German brands and top manufactures, as well as some smaller companies. However, among this variety there are two names that are enjoying the maximum popularity - A. Lange & Söhne and Glashutte Original, which have belonged to the Richemont and Swatch Groups respectively.
The history of Glashutte Original watch-making started in 1845, when Ferdinand Adolph Lange received a state loan and established the first Glashutte watch manufactory. He drew significant support from some mater watchmakers, such as Ernest Kasiske, Ludwig Strasser, Ludwig Strasser, who joined the company and became founding fathers of the Glashutte precision pocket watch which gained a worldwide fame. After Lange’s death in 1875, Moritz Grossman formed Deutsche Uhrmacherschule (the "German Watchmaking School".) As the result Glashutte gained notoriety for producing high-quality traditional yet innovative mechanical timepieces.
Realizing that not everybody could afford purchasing high quality timepieces produced by Glashutte, Johannes Dürrstein established the Glashutter Uhrenfabrik UNION in 1893 and concentrated on producing inexpensive Glashutte quality timepieces, by applying non-precious metals while maintaining their renowned accuracy. The end of the first golden era of Glashutte manufacturing came with the Great War. However, Alfred Helwig, who had attended the school of watchmakers, opened his chronometer workshop in Glashutte. The old workshops managed to get over the crisis and formed watch co-operatives. The name Glashutte Original appeared in 1921. During the Second World War, Glashutte timepieces were called 'war goods' and when the war was over, many of the firms were expropriated by the Russians.
The changes in economic and political situation led to the fact that the majority of the existing watch-making firms were united into a single conglomerate - VEB Glashutter Uhrenbetriebe in 1951. Up to the late 80’s, political and economic isolation brought a great number of developments into the field of watch-making and developing precision mechanics. The German reunification of 1990 the fall of the Berlin Wall helped Glashutte watch-making take over its old facilities and return to the honorable world of Haute Horology. The creation of Karree, Glashutte's rectangular wristwatch, marked the re-launching of the manufacture.
The VEB Glashutter Uhrenbetriebe was reorganized into Glashutter Uhrenbetriebe GmbH - a limited company – and left A. Lange & Söhne, Glashutte Original, Union Glashutte together and Nomos, Glashutte SA, as neighbors. Nowadays, Glashutte is acknowledged as one of the best watch manufacturers and has reached the highest levels of watch-making superiority.
Since its founding by Eugène Meylan in 1914, Glycine has been producing watches at its factory in Bienne, Switzerland.
Meylan was an uncompromising watch engineer who strove for perfection and nothing less. He had a profound understanding of both the market demands and the possibilities offered by the technological advances of the time. Very soon, he succeeded in producing extremely precise, small movements for ladies watches, enabling Glycine to put on the market the finest miniature movements, clad in precious gold and platinum cases, often studded with diamonds.
Glycine became a supplier to the wealthy people who valued highly these works of fine craftsmanship. However, Meylan did not stop there. Around 1931, he presented to the world market a well-functioning self-winding watch, entirely of his own invention, a sensational performance that, for lack of capital, could not be exploited commercially. Some of these GLYCINE Eugène Meylan SA self-winding watches can still be found in the collectors' market.
The year 1934 saw the launch of a chronometer range, a line of watches passing the exacting tests of the Official Swiss Quality Control. The depression years of the 30s and the approaching world war took a heavy toll on the company as Switzerland was cut off from nearly all its traditional export markets. Yet Glycine survived and even managed to be one of only 29 exhibitors at the Basel Fair in 1938, an annual event the firm has not missed since. In 1945, with the war over and access to world markets again possible, the industry took a deep breath. Immediately, Glycine geared up production and rapidly presented a complete range of automatic (self-winding) watches, making use of the most advanced technologies.
1952 saw the birth of the famous VACUUM chronometers, watches known for their incredible resistance to water and shocks, designed for long-term use under hostile conditions. They performed well beyond expectations. In 1953, the AIRMAN line was presented to the world market and immediately received an enthusiastic welcome. Now, in addition to regular local time, world time was available at a glance. The steadily growing class of jet-setters and frequent travellers readily took to the convenience of having two time zones on their wrist. The AIRMAN line has never been absent from the Glycine selection, and is, today more than ever, the spearhead of the range.
In the 70s, the Swiss watch industry – late in introducing quartz movements - was hit by the proliferation of quartz watches from the Far East. The technological revolution brought about by the quartz movement, together with the world-wide recession and a massive increase in value of the Swiss franc, pushed many manufacturers to the brink of disaster. The products that had earned Glycine such an excellent reputation, namely high-quality mechanical watches and above all automatic watches, were suddenly no longer in general demand. Customers everywhere were buying Japanese quartz watches or American digital LED watches. The lucrative business with highly-regarded automatic watches was over, and these were now being sold off at give-away prices.
The market went through a turnaround in its values, a tendency which further intensified as the price for the initially exorbitantly expensive quartz watches consistently dropped to a level where it finally drove even the cheap pin-pallet (Roskopf) mechanical movements out of the market. Many market shares were lost, the industry entered into a crisis that lasted six years and cost roughly 60,000 jobs. Glycine too suffered heavily but managed to survive. In 1984, soldering on with a reduced staff, Glycine was sold to Hans Brechbühler, who had been working for years with Glycine in a loose cooperation based on the joint development and exchange of watch models.
Following the purchase of Glycine in 1984, Brechbühler, who had been a specialist in private label business, switched over to the brand watch business, an entirely new experience for him. Progressively, new products were developed that enabled Glycine to work successfully in countries such as Scandinavia, Italy, Holland, Belgium and Germany. A quartz collection was created and an international network of agencies sprang to life again. Extremely resistant watches, such as the TJALK and HEAVY DUTY models, were launched and added to the prestige of the brand. The market accepted with pleasure the GOLDSHIELD line, featuring a standard of goldplating much higher than anything the competitors could present. The sophisticated super-thin AMARANTH watches received an enthusiastic welcome in Italy and the USA.
The new strategies began to pay off in the early 1990s when Brechbühler's daughter Katherina, born in 1962, joined the company and successfully implemented her own brand concept, resulting in mechanical products being increasingly integrated into the company’s collections. This strategy proved effective in positioning Glycine as a specialist, with a long tradition in the field of mechanical watches. After an initial success in Germany, the first to really accept the mechanical watches on a large scale, the new range of Glycine products spread to other countries. The markets were now ready for watches of real value, and Glycine made the most of it.
In quick succession, a rich assortment of mechanical watches, with steadily growing diameters, was presented to the market, from the 37 mm COMBAT to the 42 mm OBSERVER, the 44 and 46 mm INCURSORE, the 48 mm KMU and, to top it off, the 52 mm F 104, one of the biggest wrist watches ever produced. Chronographs with the famous V 7750 and 7751 movements were added, such as the classic 46 mm STRATOFORTE, the giant GRAND CARRE 3810 and the elegant barrel-shaped ALTUS, inspired by a successful Glycine model of the 50s. All these big size watches gave the company the status of a daring innovator that did not hesitate to push the size of its watches beyond every dimension known so far.
Already in 1953, Glycine started production of its first Airman model, a watch that has become legendary. The design and features of this watch had been worked out in close cooperation with pilots of civil and military aviation. Undoubtedly this line gave Glycine the status of a pioneer in the field of world time watches. Over the years Airman models have never been absent from the Glycine range, even during the period when quartz movements dominated the world market. In reply to market demand, two AIRMAN models with ETA quartz movements were launched, gaining particular success in Japan and USA, where demand for real world time watches had not faded.
The year 1998 brought the long-awaited rebirth of this leader, with model ref. 3764, AIRMAN 2000. By using an exquisite ETA movement 2893-2, Glycine offered a three-time-zone timekeeper, unique in the field of 24-hour watches. The following year, the AIRMAN line was enlarged by a jumbo 46 mm watch, featuring a special locking system on the revolving top ring. At Basel Fair 2002, a genuine world novelty was offered to the public under the name of AIRMAN 7, a watch featuring three independent self-winding movements, showing time simultaneously in four different time zones on three independent dials. The case measures a stunning 53 mm in diameter yet fits well on an average wrist. Its sapphire glass back allows for a fascinating view of three finely embellished self-winding movements. Responding to a general demand from many markets, a replica of the first original AIRMAN of the 50s was launched under the label AIRMAN 8, ref. 3831 and immediately enjoyed great popularity. Without a doubt, the family of AIRMAN watches will receive a new member, rather sooner than later.
Today, Glycine is active world-wide by means of a steadily growing network of agencies, allowing the company to increase production while maintaining the quality of its products. Widespread and reliable after-sale service remains an important factor in the company's growth, and Glycine is taking utmost care to provide impeccable performance in this field. Offering excellent value at reasonable prices is an important part of Glycine's philosophy. The company's strong foundation, coupled with its emphasis on rugged and reliable products of classic and elegant styling, make Glycine a respected name in Swiss watchmaking today.
This information was taken directly from the official Glycine website
Of all the Swiss-manufactured vintage wrist watches, Gruen is probably one of the most collectible and widely traded. The reason: so many variations. At the inexpensive end, you can collect Veri-Thins or Precisions. At the high end, you can collect just Gruen duo-dial doctor’s watches, or Curvex models. And there are many in between. The Story of Gruen watches begins in the small German village of Ostofen, on the banks of the Rhine River. It was from there, in the mid 1800s, that Dietrich Gruen emigrated to America. Having apprenticed for some time in some of the Swiss watch factories, Gruen worked for a jeweler and watchmaker in Delaware, Ohio. On December 22, 1874, Gruen obtained a patent for an improved safety pinion, and it is the date recognized by the Gruen Watch Company as the start of its business. However, it was almost two years later when Gruen actually started making watches. In 1876, in partnership with W.J. Savage, Gruen founded the Columbus Watch Co., in Columbus, Ohio. The venture fell with the onset of economic depression in 1893. The machinery was purchased and moved to South Bend, Indiana and used to start the South Bend Watch Co.
In 1894, Dietrich, along with his eldest son, Frederick G. Gruen, started again as D. Gruen & Son. A few years later, the second son, George J., joined the firm and the name was changed to D. Gruen & Sons. The company’s first pocket watches were signed on the movement and dial as “DGS,” and many people do not realize that these are early Gruen pocket watches. At this time, Gruen moved its headquarters to Cincinnati, Ohio. In the early 1900s, the D. Gruen & Sons name was dropped, and just the name Gruen was seen on watches. It should be emphasized at this point that, while Gruen cased and timed its watches in the United States, Gruens are generally considered Swiss watches because the movements were imported from Switzerland. There was a brief period in the 1950s when some movements were made in the United States, and that will be mentioned shortly. That small anomaly notwithstanding, Gruen watches are generally considered Swiss.
As with most watch manufacturers, it is not known exactly when Gruen made its wrist watch. However, the first movement to be made specifically for a “true” wrist watch (not just a small pocketwatch movement mated to case with wire lugs) was produced in 1915, the caliber 99. Examples of wrist watches fitted with this movement begin to surface shortly after then. In 1925, Gruen introduced its first “quadron” movement. Quadron encompassed a number of caliber movements, and the name is used simply to denote the shape -- rectangular vs. the round shape which had been produced up to that time -- which made for easier use in slimmer, rectangular cases. And so we begin to see a notable departure (and a thankful one in terms of aesthetics!) in watch designs from the venerable round, cushion, and tank-style designs. And it was during this period, from 1925 to about 1935, that Gruen came out with some truly fine and ornately designed watch cases that rival designs by other manufacturers of the time. These Gruen Quadrons are highly prized by collectors.
Of course, the watch that defines Gruen is the Curvex. And this watershed in the company’s history occurred in 1935 when Gruen rolled out its first patented Curvex movement, the caliber 311. It was an instant sales success, and was copied by virtually every other watchmaker of the time. The key word here is copied, for while every watchmaker tried to emulate the Curvex, it was never ever duplicated. Curvex with a capital “C” always refers to a Gruen. Curved watches and curvex-type watches (note the small c) is used by many dealers and collectors to denote a curved watch bearing any number of brand names.. But in the strictest sense, when you are talking about a “Curvex” you’re talking singularly about a Gruen watch and only those Gruens that are fitted with a caliber movement designated as a Curvex movement. The caliber movements that are designated Curvexes are as follows, along with their year of introduction in parentheses:
and 370 (1948).
The longest Curvex, and certainly one of Gruen’s most coveted odels, is the Gruen Curvex Majesty, measuring 52mm lug tip to lug tip. Other models are seen in 50, 48, 46, right on down to the “stubby” Curvex models with can be 40mm in length and shorter.
The other immensely popular type of Gruen is the duo-dial doctor’s watch, named for its oversized auxiliary seconds chapter which doctors used for various timing functions, notably taking patients’ pulses. The first doctors’ watches used the 877 caliber movement, produced in 1928. These are especially prized by collectors because these Gruen movements were also sold to Rolex and used in their prized “Prince” models. We also see duo-dial doctors’ watches fitted with the 500 caliber movement, which came out in 1936. A lesser expensive version of a doctor’s watch is also seen with a large center sweep seconds chapter. For doctors, this served the same function as the large auxiliary seconds chapter. For collectors, however, these center-seconds doctors’ watches are not to be confused with the duo-dials, which are much more highly sought after.
Other prized models include Gruen’s drivers’ watches. These are designed to be worn on the side of the wrist so the wearer, driving an automobile, can glance down at the side of this wrist and see the them. Gruen made these in two varieties: a solid lug which look like a “C” when placed on its side; and a hinged-lug variety. The latter has oversized lugs that are ornately engraved. It’s fitted with a caliber 440 movement, so it’s technically a Curvex also.
In 1950, Gruen introduced its first “Autowind” series of movements for use in self-winding watches. That year, Gruen also opened of a plant in Norwood, Ohio that produced 17- and 21-jewel movements for men’s and ladies’ watches. These are the only true-American Gruens, and their presence in the marketplace was short-lived. In 1958, the firm moved to New York City, and all the facilities in Cincinnati were sold. That year is generally considered the end of Gruen watches -- Curvexes and all -- at least as vintage collectors are concerned.
Founded in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1892. Hamilton Produced its first watch in 1893, designed by H.J. Cain, one of the company's founding members.
Today, Hamilton s primary collections include the American Classics collection and the Khaki collection, updated versions of the legendary military timepieces of yesteryear.
Manufactured at its headquarters in Pennsylvania, Hamilton introduces the world's first digital watch - the Pulsar.
- 1893 Hamilton introduces "The Broadway Limited", a railroad watch that was dubbed "the watch of Railroad accuracy". Initially manufactured to provide the country's railroads with reliable timing devices, the Hamilton railroad pocket watch was adopted as the official watch of the American Expeditionary Forces worldwide. A wrist watch version of the railroad watch was issued to General Pershing and his doughboys in WWI, accompanied Admiral Byrd on his expeditions to the North and South Poles, served the Picards well on their first balloon ascent into the stratosphere, and was on the wrist of the first American to scale Mount Everest.
- 1928 The Yankees win the World Series. Hamilton introduces the Yankee Watch, establishing it as a leader in watch design. Hamilton helped America keep pace with the energy of a new lifestyle. New Hamilton designs, such as the Yankee and the Piping Rock, projected the independent spirit of the day.
- 1930 Hamilton continues to capture the soaring spirit of the 1930's. The world turns to the skies as commercial aviation takes off. Hamilton soon becomes the official timepiece of the most famous industry leaders --- TWA, Eastern, United and Northwest.
- 1940 WWII Hamilton stops production of watches for consumers and creates new timepieces exclusively for military use. Close to one million Hamilton military watches are produced. Today, the 'Hack' has become very collectible among watch and military collectors.
- 1957 Hamilton's leadership in engineering and innovation creates a significant breakthrough in timekeeping. Hamilton introduces the first electric watch in 1957. The Ventura becomes an instant success. See "Hamilton Electric"
- 1965 Inspired by the sleek lines of the Cadillac tailfins of the 50's, the Ventura becomes the watch of choice for the icons of American style. Elvis Presley chooses to wear the Ventura in his movie, 'Blue Hawaii.'
- 1972 The future is close at hand and Hamilton shocks the world with a completely new kind of watch. Manufactured at its headquarters in Pennsylvania, Hamilton introduces the world's first digital watch - the Pulsar.
In 1877 John C. Deuber, formerly the owner of a watch case company, purchased a controlling interest in the New York Watch Mfg. Co. [located, despite its name, in Springfield, Massachusetts] and renamed it the Hampden Watch Company. In 1889 Mr. Deuber relocated the company to Canton, Ohio, where it continued until being bought out by a Russian company in 1930. Hampden made a wide variety of pocket watches of all sizes and grades, and they were the first American company to produce a 23 jewel watch in 1894. Productions records for Hampden are sketchy at best, and it's not uncommon to find a model or grade that is not mentioned in any of the standard price guides.
Hans Wilsdorf founded Rolex Watch Company. Wilsdorf was born on March 22, 1881 in Kulmbach, Franconia (Germany). Hans Wilsdorfs parent died on or around 1893 and was placed in a boarding school by his uncle. He was a businessman with an eye for opportunity. In his late teens and early 20s he followed his interests in business, travel, and the new bracelet watch. In 1900 he landed himself an apprenticeship in a watch exporting firm located in La Chaux De Fonds, watchmaking mecca of the world. At the tender age of only 24 years old, eager to do things differently, Wilsdorf decided to set-up his own watch-making business. He worked between London and La Chaux-de-Fonds. Interestingly, Wilsdorf never claimed to be a watchmaker; until his dying day he signed all legal documents with the title Merchant!
Wilsdorf & Davies was founded in 1905 in London. That year the company introduced a leather briefcase watch that sold in large quantities in a variety of styles. Wilsdorf was interested in concentrating on the new wristwatch in an era when the pocket watch was the most used and accepted. At the time the wristlet watch was viewed as feminine for women only. It wasn’t deemed manly by the major watchmakers of the world to wear a watch on ones arm, and after soldiers at the front bean t wear them. There were also many questions that were raised as to the size of any such movements. The concern was that they would have to be so small; they wouldn’t survive under normal human activity. Even if the movement were crafted well, dust and moisture would permeate it and cause problems.
Despite the early obstacles, Wilsdorf decided that the wristwatch was the way of the future. He was a visionary. He contracted with Hermann Aegler, based in Bienne Switzerland. He obtained movements with lever escapement at a low cost. He frequently visited the workshop in Biel, purchasing large quantities of movements. The movements were ideal as they were precise running and the availability of parts and materials were good. Wilsdorf set about employing watchmakers who themselves tested the movements before they were offered to the public from the London office. Hundreds of different models followed this process and it wasnt long before it was the fashion to be seen wearing a wristwatch. Early models were produced, mainly silver with leather straps though it wasnt long before the gold models followed along with the birth of the flexible bracelet in 1906. In 1908, the firm was amongst the leading watch merchants in the United Kingdom.
Wilsdorf had long dreamed of creating a brand name for his watches, something that you could look at and see immediately what it was, but rather than immortalizing his own name on the watch face as many of other Swiss greats had done he made one up. He chose the name ROLEX. He drew this name from the wording Horlogerie Exquisite, (sources suggest) it was short, catchy and pronounced the same no matter you were in the world. Did he know that it was destined to grow to become one of the most recognized brands of all time?
In 1910, official recognition was gained from the Bureau Official in Bienne, further recognizing the excellence of Wilsdorf timepieces. It wasnt until four years later, on July 15 1914 that the first Kew A Chronometer Certificate was awarded after 45 days of rigorous testing at the Kew Observatory in London. These consisted of various testing positions of the watch as well as three temperatures, inside a refrigerator, air temperature and inside a conventional oven. Wilsdorf now insisted that all his watched must undergo and pass these tests before being sold.
Wilsdorf was creating a wide variety of the highest quality watches for men and women alike in a choice of sizes and styles. Recognition would be required from the observatories and as well as ensuring the highest precision, the lasting protection from dust, dirt and moisture would be paramount. On June 14 1925, the first Kew A certificate was awarded to a ladies model, being much smaller in diameter, just some (13mm) as opposed to the gents model (25mm). In 1925, Wilsdorf spent 100,000 Francs into advertisements based in UK news periodicals touting the quality of his watches and assisting him in strengthening the Rolex brand.
In 1926 the next generation of Rolex was born, the Rolex Oyster. Wilsdorf came up with the name during the design of the watch. He was hosting a dinner party and having a particularly hard time getting into an oyster. He made a comment to his guests that he hoped his new design of watch would prove to be as resilient as the mollusk. And thus the name was born. This was a watch that would be watertight while still continuing to offer precision timekeeping specifications. The Oyster was put through its paces on 7 October 1927 when Mercedes Gleitze, an English typist swam the channel wearing an Oyster. She emerged from her fifteen-hour ordeal with the watch functioning perfectly - much to the amazement of the public. On 24 November 1927, Wilsdorf spent 40000 Francs on a title page advert for the Daily Mail newspaper, making the Oyster famous overnight. The watches were displayed prominently in jewelers shop windows, inside a fish tank totally submersed in water; a powerful image that would make the Rolex brand name unforgettable.
Rolex had invented a new type of unbreakable synthetic material that would be used in place of glass on the watch face and with its new sealing method; provide a watertight seal on the case itself. Later in 1926, the invention of a watertight winding mechanism was introduced, acting like a mini submarine hatch it allowed the wearer to manually wind or adjusts their watch when opened and when closed it would be 100% water resistant. When the crown was tightened, two smooth metal surfaces would come together causing the connection between winder and movement to completely close.
Wilsdorfs next triumph came about in 1931, the invention of a self winding or automatic watch that powered itself on the movement of the wearers arm commonly known nowadays as the Perpetual, this was manufactured in three sizes, mens, womens and midsize. Some say this was based on an early Harwood design. The Rotor that sat on the movement swung in either direction, charging the watch at only the slightest movement. A mechanism was also introduced to ensure that over winding became a thing of the past. So, in the space of 30 years, Wilsdorf had invented not only the first truly waterproof wristwatch but also one that relied on just the simple movement of the watch to power itself.
In 1945, Rolex received their 50,000th certificate from the official testing office in Bienne. Later this year saw the birth of the Datejust the first wristwatch to show the date, magnified two and a half times by a Cyclops lens. Rolex factories now employed over 1100 staff in both their Geneva and Biel offices and were spread amongst five buildings in Geneva alone. 1954 saw the introduction of the first ladies Oyster Perpetual whilst two years later in 1956, the gents Day-Date model was born, this allowed the wearer to view both the day and date whilst still enjoying every other promise Rolex had given. The Day-Date is now available in 26 languages worldwide.
Sadly, Hans Wilsdorf passed away on July 6 1960 leaving the running of the company to the various appointees that were stated in the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation. This foundation also funded various educational projects such as a watch making school based in Geneva.
In 1971 the Oyster Perpetual Sea Dweller 2000 was developed. This watch was water resistant to 610m (2000f). It was the first watch of its kind to incorporate a helium gas release valve; this was used to dispense helium during decompression. 1980 saw the introduction of the Sea Dweller 4000, allowing divers more freedom of depth, up to 1220m (4000f). By 1985, more than 4.1 million movements had been awarded the official Chronometer title, which means they are accurate.
Harrods has remained London's premier retail outlet and through constant innovation and evolution, has not only adapted to the changing trends throughout the years, but has also been at the forefront of them. Yet, the fundamental ethic of selling quality merchandise and giving customers exemplary service has never been questioned or compromised.
Palace in Knightsbridge
When the visionary businessman, Mohamed Al Fayed, purchased Harrods in 1985, its place as the world's premier department store was already firmly established - but he realised that much still needed to be done in order to prepare it for the decades ahead. He instigated a massive £400 million refurbishment project in order to return the 'Palace in Knightsbridge' to its former glory. Every corner of the building received Mr Al Fayed's attention and, as well as refurbishing the fabric of the building - including the exquisite Edwardian terracotta façade - enchanting new rooms and facilities were added.
Two of the most spectacular new additions pay homage to Mohamed Al Fayed's heritage - and it is impossible for visitors to the store not to be transfixed by the spectacular Central Egyptian Escalator completed in 1997 and the grand Egyptian Halls.
Harrods has not always been so grand, however. The fairy tale begins with Charles Henry Harrod who was already a successful grocery wholesaler and tea merchant before he took over a small Knightsbridge shop in 1849. Under Harrod and his son the business prospered thanks to hard work, meticulous planning and the growing affluence of the Knightsbridge district of London. Much has changed since then, but the founder's guiding principles of quality and service are still paramount today.
In 1889 the thriving store became a public limited company. Harrods now employed 200 staff, selling not only food but also furniture, perfume, jewellery and glass. Throughout the 1890s, under the dynamic leadership of Managing Director Richard Burbidge, the business grew at an astonishing rate. By 1902 when the first part of the famous Brompton Road frontage was complete, Harrods was London's biggest store, with 91 departments and a staff of more than 2000. The splendour of the new building along with the quality of merchandise and unprecedented customer service, had made Harrods the most fashionable resort for shopping. The motto 'Everything for Everybody Everywhere' and telegraphic address of 'Everything London' reflected its ever-widening range of merchandise and services. During this period of retail revolution, Harrods, innovative as ever, introduced Britain's first ever escalator and pioneered telephone shopping. Between 1890 and 1910 annual profits rose from £12,479 to £210,092.
By 1911 the store had acquired all of the property around the site of the original shop and now occupied the whole of its island site. A strategy of upward expansion was introduced and flats on the upper floors were converted to retail use. During the First World War Harrods was able to make a real contribution in many areas of the war effort, from provisioning troops to building hospitals for the Belgians.
Throughout the 1920s and 1930s Harrods remained London's biggest store, and certainly the most elegant. It had become an indispensable British institution - but Harrods never stood still. The south side of the store was rebuilt in 1929-30, with the spacious new Man's Shop on its ground floor. The centre of the building was also redeveloped, with sleek modern interiors for the new fashion departments. Christmas was incomplete without a visit to the annual Harrods Toy Fair, and it was here that the author A. A. Milne purchased the original Winnie the Pooh bear for his son Christopher.
During the Second World War parts of the building were requisitioned for military use as the headquarters of the Canadian Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. Elsewhere, parachutes and uniforms were produced, and parts for Lancaster bombers were manufactured by staff working in the deep basements. While the Harrods Estates Office opposite the main building was destroyed by a flying bomb, thankfully the store itself remained largely unscathed.
In 1959 Harrods was acquired by House of Fraser, becoming the flagship store of this large retail group and when in 1993 links with House of Fraser were broken, Harrods was once again a private family-owned company as it had been in the days of Charles Henry Harrod.
The Harwood story starts at the beginning of the 20th century in a small watchmaker’s workshop on the Isle of Man in the UK. Synonymous with the historical development of watches is the name John Harwood as the history of the first automatic wristwatch is his story. Being a soldier during World War I, he had experienced the short comings of the wristwatches available at that time. As an experienced watchmaker John Harwood knew problems, such as dust and moisture, were the most common factors in the watch movement repairs he encountered. He had the vision of a new type of a reliable wristwatch without the open-ing for the winding stem, which he identified as the point of failure. For this reason, Harwood paid particular attention to the development of a different winding and setting mechanisms, which needed to be located inside the watch. After observing children playing on a seesaw, he began to envision the basics of his self-winding mechanism.
Harwood had traveled to Switzerland with his two working prototypes and his detailed construction plans as he felt that only there he could find the technical conditions for the realization of his invention. On September 1st, 1924, one year after he registered his invention at the Federal Office for Intellectual Property of the Swiss Confederation at Berne, Harwood was issued patent No. 106583 for this pioneering invention.
Hebdomas started its activities during the last decade of the past century, forseeing the practical need that would one day make wrist watches one of the most important sector of the watch industry. In those days obtaining a long running capacity for watches was the goal of several watch-makers. It was through this challenge, which they conquered, that Hebdomas started its production in La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland).
The craftmanship of the Swiss watch-makers in La Chaux-de-Fonds is world renowned, and this small village situated near to the French border, is also the birth-place of many famous Swiss brands. The work of these watch-maker has been re-discovered by a large public and connoisseurs, who appreciates the good craftmanship and models that time has preserved. Since 1888, all Hebdomas watches has been entirely manufactured by hand, piece by piece. Hebdomas high standard of quality is rooted in the experience of its highly skilled watch-maker, and also in the remembrance of olden customs linkedto the cycle of seven, which is the key number that made it famous throughout the world.
The name Hebdomas recalls the festivities of Ebdomee, held in Sparta, Croton and Mileto, which celebrated the birth of Apollo on the seventh day of the month. In ancient Lesbos, sung by poets, such festivities were dedicated to Dionisio, holding many superstitious rituals and beliefs which were linked to the seventh day of the month. A century of tradition has therefore helped Hebdomas to be well known and appreciated throughout the world.These famous time-pieces has been awarded several gold medals and distinctions.
The Hebdomas by Schild S.A. was started thanks to the patent that was deposited by Mr. Iréné Aubry of Saignelégier (Switzerland), on the 14th November 1888. At this particular period there was a considerable difference in the mechanism between table clocks and wrist watches, and several attempts were made to equalize the winding duration of the table clocks, which only needed winding once a week or every 15 days, to that of a wrist watch.
The watch-makers had several mechanical problems to solve, such as the size and the functions of the mouvements that would enable the watches to obtain a longer running capacity. It was not always easy to find the perfect solution, but in spite of the difficulties, several projects were studied and realized. The watch museum in La Chaux-de-Fonds still exibits some of the earlier Hebdomas realizations. Hebdomas also developed several time-pieces that needed winding once every 15 days, every four months, even yearly, but only those with the 8 day mouvements with its visible balance wheel was ever produced. At the time, wrist watches were slowly replaceing pocket watches, and Hebdomas presented itself as a forerunner to automatic watches. With the new era of the 8 day mouvements one was not obliged to wind the watch everyday, but once a week instead. Hebdomas, which is taken from the word Hebdomandaire, Ebdomadario, signifies that the watch should be wound up once a week... on the seventh day.
The success of the Hebdomas watches in the 1900 was unbelievable, and several unique pieces are still to be found in private collections all over the world. Particular care has always been taken in the manufactureing of Hebdomas, each element is meticulously selected and tested, even down to the beautiful enamel dials that ornates each piece. These 8 day time-pieces are still capable of bringing back a certain nostalgy of olden times, and even though, through modern technologies improvements has been made, nothing has changed from the original concept and design.
Hebdomas has always kept its creative spirit, and now gives a new start to other mechanical projects, such as an enterprising collaboration with Mr. Vincent Calabrese, the master watch-maker of international reputation, who received a gold medal in 1977 at the inventors exibition in Geneva. In april 1990, when his latest invention "BALADIN" was presented at the same exibition, a jury awarded him a prize for its originality and unprecedented conception. Even today HEBDOMAS still offers quality, style and unique products to watch buyers all around the world. We now hope that you'll have the pleasure of owning these superb time-pieces and present them with pride.
In 1870 the Illinois Springfield Watch Company was founded and established in Springfield, Illinois by John C. Adams, John T. Stuart, John Williams, William B. Miller, and John W. Bunn, George Black and George Passfield. John T. Stuart was a Springfield lawyer and former partner of Abraham Lincoln. John Williams was president of the First National bank of Springfield. William B. Miller was a local merchant. John B. Bunn, who along with his brother owned a grocery business,
The company produced its first watch in 1872 named the "Stuart" after the company’s founder. The company manufactured many lines of watches with varying quality, under different names, all being Illinois. The early models were Key wind and Key set and is quite collectible today. They later produced an extensive line of extremely fine and accurate "Railroad Quality" watches like the "Bunn Special"
In 1879 the company, due to financial difficulties, was reorganized and the name changed to the Springfield Illinois Watch Company. By 1885 the company name was changed yet again to the Illinois Watch Company. In the late 1920's the Hamilton Watch Company purchased it. The Illinois factory continued to produce watches for Hamilton until 1932 (the year the last true Illinois was made). From 1933 to 1939 Hamilton produced "Illinois" watches in Hamilton Factories. Some of these watches were not cased and sold until upwards of a decade later.