watches

New range of 24 hour watches

Those nice people at the AAA Watch Club have introduced new models in their popular 24 hour watch range. These now feature luminous numerals, and you can also have them with high quality leather straps as well as stainless steel straps.

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Plus, there are now gents and ladies models, and you can get them with white dials too. Accuracy is as expected from a good quality quartz movement – mine has yet to lose a whole second since I started timing it last week. The high contrast display is working fine in this gloomy English winter, although luminous dots for the odd-numbered hours would be even better.

Radical designs

Here’s an amazing new look 24 hour analog watch, designed by Kent Parks at Everest Watches.

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The daylight hours are at the right side of the dial, and the nighttime hours are on the left side. It all glows in the dark, too!

I saw this on the WatchUSeek 24 hour watch forum. This is a great place to meet 24 hour watch enthusiasts and experts, and talk about 24 hour watches.

Another reason to show this watch here is that it illustrates the difference between the 24 hour dial and the 24 hour time format. The 24 hour dial shows all the hours of a day at once; the 24 hour time format (known outside the US as ISO 8601) uses the numbers 13 to 23 for afternoon and evening hours rather than AM and PM suffixes. This watch, like so many 24 hour clocks and watches from earlier centuries, uses a double-12 numbering system rather than the 24 hour time format.

Hummel watch

A finely finished and inexpensive quartz watch. Unusually, this company have chosen the noon at the top design:

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Find this at mdmarketing.de, but you may need to translate the site from German if you’re not a deutschsprecher.

You can find this, and a definitive list of all true 24 hour analog watches, at André’s 24 hour watch site.

Day and Night

The Masterpiece Jour et Nuit is a clever design by Maurice Lacroix which uses a technique developed in the 18th century. The single hand carries moon and sun symbols, and goes round once a day. This makes for an elegant display, although it wouldn’t be popular with astronomical purists, being a good representation of the positions of the sun and moon only once a month, around the time of the full moon. There’s another example on the Design page of this site.

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Elgin marvel

Claire writes to tell us about her new 24 hour watch, an Elgin dating from the 1940s.

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She found it in a tiny watch repair shop in her town, after some time searching for a decent 24 hour analog watch.

Keep looking in those small watch and antique shops for collectable items like this!

Owners of Elgin watches are fortunate in being able to find out so much about the company’s history at Elgin watches.

Star time

I’ve been looking at the Zeitladen site and, being far from fluent in German, I can’t decide whether they’re selling standard 24 hour clocks and watches or sidereal (sternzeit or star time) versions.

If you watch a particular star and make a note of when it is highest in the sky (its transit time) on two successive days, you’ve measured a sidereal day. A sidereal day is about 23 hours and 56 minutes.

If you set two clocks, one showing sidereal time, the other 24 hour time, to tell the same time as each other, starting at September 22 or so (the Autumn equinox), the sidereal clock would run faster than a 24 hour clock, gaining 4 minutes in the course of every 24 hour day. After 6 months, the sidereal clock would be 12 hours faster. After a year, the sidereal clock would be exactly a day faster: there are 366 sidereal days in a year.

I presume that astronomers like to use sidereal clocks because it helps them locate stars.

Do they also use sidereal watches? Is this a sidereal watch?zeitladen1.jpg

What about this clock?

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I can’t decode the German text enough to find out.

Visually there seems to be no difference between the design of the 24 hour and sidereal dials. So you would be well advised to place one of these sidereal clocks next to an ordinary 24 hour clock, or else clearly label it as sidereal. As for watches, you could wear the sidereal watch on your right wrist, the ordinary 24 hour watch on the left…

I’ve had watches and clocks that seem to gain 4 minutes a day. Perhaps they were sidereal and I didn’t know it.

Zeitladen also sells radio-controlled sidereal clocks.

The Zeitladen site was interesting, particularly if your German was good!

The site is now closed, unfortunately.

Vostok watch

This Vostok watch is the Neil Armstrong version of the Cosmonaut watch.

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The Vostok factory have been making watches since the Great Patriotic War (what we call the Second World War), and were official suppliers to the Soviets during the Cold War period of the 1960s. It’s good to see them commemorating the first man on the moon. The Yuri Gagarin version doesn’t have a picture of the moon on it.

I saw this at rusplus.com, but you may find it elsewhere.