Sunday, November 2, 2008

Horological Encounters during my Honeymoon

I had my wedding on 2nd Oct 2008 and was away from my blog for sometime. My honeymoon was spent in colourful Italy (7 days) and picturesque Switzerland (7 days). Throughout the journey, I was ocassionally (more often than not) distracted by the intermittent encounters with watches. It may be a simple watch shop tucked away in old Geneva or medieval watch towers in Venice. Now I share some pictures of my horological encounters - the Italia & Suisse way!

Wrist shot in Venice, Italy. In the background is an astronomical clock tower. I wore my Casio Surf Timer Slide rule digital watch throughout the trip. Easy to read (except in darkness due to lack of night light function) and also easy to set alarm and synchronize with railway clocks.

An astronomical clock built in the 15th century at San Marco Square, Venice.

Railway clock at Venezia Mestre Station. Note the "club" hour hand and arabic numerals. Italian railway clocks differ from the Swiss railway clocks.

A Rolex showcase in Florence. Some Tudors are seen below. I am puzzled that branded watches are left in their glass showcases even after the shop is closed for the day.
A Rolex Fathometer. I guessed it is used to test pressure rating of the watches relative to water depth. 1 Fathom = 6 feet = 1.8288 meters.
A clock tower tucked in an old street leading to the Tower of Pisa.
Another clock tower in a castle setup of medievel architecture.

A Rolex shop in Rome, along the street heading towards Republicca.
A shop in Rome that also sells vintage watches. We have to walk past this shop everytime we return to our hotel from Roma Termini.
A wet Geneva greeted us upon our arrival. This gloomy shot taken at old Geneva town. Nearly every building carries a watch name in bright neon lights at the rooftop.
Jardine Anglais featured this large clock. As it was the start of winter, there were no brightly coloured flowers so the clock actually lokked a bit dull and uninteresting.
All watch shops will have a clock at their doors facing street traffic. Here is an F.P. Journe clock. The scale on the left seemed like a power reserve indicator (?).
The same shop featured a Rolex showcase. I noticed that the watches founded in Geneva actually cost more as if we were to buy in Singapore. VAT is only 5% so the savings are not really fantastic.
A Rolex clock.
This street is behind my hotel in Geneve. In Switzerland, we saw many Bucherer watch boutiques selling high-end Swiss watches.
Another watch shop along the same street.
An old watchmaker in Geneve. We peeked into the window and saw an old man with his loupe on and busy at some watch repair stuff.
I bought the book "An Unusual Story of the Omega Speedmaster" in a watch shop ran by an old woman well into her 70s. She allowed me to snap pictures of some of her shop's Speedmaster items.

This is the shop where I bought my Oris Small Seconds Pointer Date. Throughout my travel in Switzerland, Oris is relatively rare compared to Omega, Tissot, Longines and Rolex. And in this shop, I am particularly excited to find 5 pieces of NOS Oris bearing the trademark gold rotor! Due to limited funds, I can only purchase one piece. The shop owner told me these are really old models (so very rare for him to find a keen buyer!) and people nowadays look for the newer range like the BC4 and Williams series.

My prized catch!
Waiting in the cold weather for our train to Zermatt. Here is a shot of a Swiss Railway clock against the autumn mountains of brown and yellow. Swiss rail lives up to her legendary punctuality! Trains arrive and depart at 1 to 2 minutes deviation!
At 1,000+ metres above sea-level, we can still find MacDonald's restaurant alongside A.Lange & Sohne boutique!
Clock tower in Zermatt.
In a cable car heading up to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, I noticed this Swatch Altimeter.
A Rolex Explorer poster at the cable car waiting area.
A quick wrist shot at 3,663m above sea-level!
Clock tower at Chur.
The "Meeting Point" at Zurich train station. Many shops sell the Mondaine quartz watches with the Swiss SBB CFF dial, officially certified. I pondered for a week but finally did not buy the watch even at the final moments before boarding our home-ward flight back to Singapore at Zurich Airport!
Watch shop along the famous Zurich Bahnhofstrasse. This busy high-end shopping street is littered with watch boutiques! I had an eyeful just by looking at the display windows.
Clock tower in Zurich.
The Zeitglockenturm clock tower. Every hour, the clock chimes and the figures swing into action! Minutes before the hour, people will gather in front of the clock tower to witness the fun.


Reto said...

Very nice blog! Glad you had a great time in my old "heimat" :)

Anonymous said...

Great photos with watch content. Looks like you had a great time Kohym! Congratulations on your Marriage too.

Nathan, Australia

Anonymous said...

Great post. Keep them coming!
Thanks for the help on the Casio!


Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog! Fantastic pictures of your honeymoon! Loved your comments too. Hope you were paying as much attention to your wife as you were to your watches! :p Congrats again to you and Singlee!

magdalene said...

Looked through your photo blog... Beautiful pictures and you guys look like you had so much fun!

kohym said...

thanks all! i had a great time! now back to watches...

Unknown said...

Congrats, Sing Lee! It has finally taken place - your wedding. :)

I am happy for you and your hubby!

Think you guys must have had great fun on your European honeymoon trip, as the pictures are great!

David Lim
(your ex-ST colleague)

Anonymous said...

Nice blog, and all picture are beautiful and cute thanks sharing with us.