A chronicle of people, places, happenings, and creations we admire.

NORD Zeitmaschine "Variocurve"

The world is full of odd and interesting wristwatches with energy savers, generators, belt drives, mechanically driven, laser-cut, sand-cast and fabricated from the most exotic materials and jewels available.  This particular piece, the "Variocurve" by Swiss manufacturer NORD uses a cam-like principle to sweep back and forth across the face of the watch for a seamless register of time in hours minutes and seconds.

Description by the Manufacturer

Daniel Nebel’s search for an innovative time display started from the premise that in most mechanical watches with decentralised hands, retrograde faces or disc dials, the displaying element (hand, disc, cage, etc.) always turned on a fixed axle. This means that the displaying element always shows the time on a steady, constant radius, which usually makes a complete revolution or, in the case of retrograde dials for example, a revolution of 120 degrees. Not having a fixed point for the attachment of the hand, therefore, appeared to him to be the solution for inventing a new kind of display. After many experiments with eccentrics and levers, he managed to create many different types of display, but ultimately these did not provide him with a satisfactory result, because the displays that emerged were either too small, were crossed in the middle, or were not visually attractive. Only the solution with the two opposing eccentrics, arranged decentrally on the watch, fulfilled the objective of an innovative time display that can be easily read. As soon as the correct proportions and lengths of the eccentric wheels and levers were calculated and laid in such a manner that the maximum hub (largest distance per minute) took place on the full hour, the kidney-shaped minute hand was born. However, after observing and simulating the display mechanism for a while, it became clear that, during the “dead point” of the eccentric, the hand only moved a short distance per minute in the area of ¼ to and ¼ past, with the disadvantage that the display resolution in these areas was not very large. Then, in a continued search for an improvement to this situation, two further display segments were built, which would “run counter to” the hand and thus solve the problem at ¼ to and ¼ past. The result: because the minute hand of the watch moves at different speeds during 60 minutes and since the watch has a display trajectory with varying curves, the name Variocurve was given to the watch. The Variocurve-mechanism is patented.

About the Company

NORD (north) is a geographical reference to the north of Switzerland, which is where Daniel Nebel was born in 1971 and where he has been making his timepieces since 1998, under the brand name NORD Zeitmaschine. Moreover, his initials  N and D  also form part of this word. Because his watches contain many influences from machine engineering  indeed, he began his career with an apprenticeship as a mechanic  Zeitmaschine (time machine) emerged as the second part of the brand name. In 1995, after many years working in the fields of prototype machine construction and tool building, combined with various jobs abroad, he started to study and create wristwatches in parallel with his regular job. Three years later, in 1998, the first watch was completed under the name NORD Zeitmaschine. During the course of the following years he extended his knowledge of mechanical watches and expanded his workshop continuously. Whereas in the beginning he produced mainly components such as casing, dials, crowns, pushers, screws and discs for his watches, further advances in the areas of development, construction and manufacture over the years has led him to create further parts such as gear wheels, pignons, plates, bridges and hands. This high degree of mechanical precision now allows Daniel Nebel to create complex watches like the VARIOCURVE, QUICKINDICATOR, and FREESDIAL from its construction to the manufacture and assembling of the components, independently in his own workshop.



Monocle 24: The Big Interview

Photos ©Monocle / TAG Heuer

Photos ©Monocle / TAG Heuer

Monocle’s editor in chief Tyler Brûlé sits down with Tag Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver to discuss adapting to an ever-changing market, collaborating (and competing) and how the “connected watch” will foster the next generation of luxury-watch buyers.  Jean-Claude Biver is in our opinion (shadowing Tyler's) one of the most intuitive characters in the luxury watch sector, and for that matter, the luxury brand sector as a whole.  Head over to Monocle and take a listen.

Originally Aired on December 20, 2015

Duration: 30 Minutes

Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock


With the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock, you can charge your Apple Watch in a flat position with its band open, or on its side. When docked on its side, your watch automatically goes into Nightstand mode, so you can also use it as your alarm clock. The Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock uses the same inductive charging connector that comes with Apple Watch. It charges both the 38mm and 42mm models. And it connects via the Lightning to USB Cable and Apple 5W USB Power Adapter.-- Apple USA



The Month of February

A Recap of our discoveries in February.

(Left to right from top)

1.1971 Lamborghini Miura SV at RMSotheby's / 2. MONOCLE Quality of Life Conference, Lisbon 2015 / 3. Photo Blog / 4. MONCLER Grenoble 'Evry' Jacket FW15 / 5. Corner Pack Shipping Boxes / 6. Enrico Marone-Cinzano Furniture Collection / 7. The New Yorker '90 for 90' / 8. The Cliff Vaughs Story / 9. Pia Mouwitz / 10. Ice Hotel, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden / 11. The Terroir Project /  12. How to be a Proper New Yorker

New Alpina Startimer Pilot Big Date Professional Pilot Watches 2015

"...Alpina has used its experience as official supplier of military and pilot watches to develop two new versions of its iconic Startimer Pilot line, a line that is widely appreciated by professional and private pilots alike..." -- Alpina press release, January 25, 2015

There is an inherent aversion to quartz watches in many collector circles, a snobbery (guilty as charged) in favor of mechanical watches, with the never-ending sub-debate over automatic vs. hand wound movements.  But here's a quartz I seriously recommend you take a closer look at should you get the chance.

Alpina may be an otherwise lesser known brand to the US market, but not to watch cognizenti. Often overlooked for more desirable mechanical manufacturers like Rolex, Girard Peregaux or IWC, Alpina has been quietly creating superior products for over 6 generations.  The new Startimer Pilot Big Date Series brings forth further elegance to the sometimes intimidating 'Big Pilot' form factor.

The new series is an updated interpretation of the classic 'Big Pilot' design.  The Startimer Pilot "Small Seconds" (REF. AL-280N4S6 / AL-280N4S6B) features hours, minutes, big date and small seconds overlay and the Startimer Pilot "Chronograph Big Date" (REF. AL-372BS4S6 / AL-372BS4S6Bwith hours, minutes, seconds, big date, and 1/10th seconds chronograph counters.  Both versions have handsome stainless steel 44mm cases and are water-resistant to 100m (330 feet).

Images ©Alpina Watch International S.A., All Rights Reserved