This is the first in a series of posts inspired by six words that are used by the late Dr George Daniels to describe watches in The Watchmaker’s Apprentice: historic; intellectual; technical; aesthetic; useful; and amusing. The Watchmaker’s Apprentice is a documentary about the lives of Roger Smith and Dr George Daniels by DAM Productions. A version premiered at SalonQP last year.
Historic (/hiˈstôrik/) Adj. 1. Famous or important in history, or potentially so. 2. Of or concerning history; of the past.
There are many historic watches; by their nature, watches record history by displaying the passing of time. Some watches have been central to historic events, such as the Omega Speedmaster worn by Apollo 13 astronaut Jack Swigert, which he used to successfully time the re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. Many watches become historic by dint of their ownership: Abraham Lincoln’s William Ellery pocket watch, for example or Winston Churchill’s Breguet. Others have become part of history, such as the astrological mechanism that appears to have lain undisturbed off the island of Antikythera for the best part of 18 centuries.