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Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wars?

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cybr

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Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wars?

Post17 Dec 2015, 02:02

Please take this ONLY as an intellectual challenge, since I DO NOT have ANY insights about this theory from ANY major watch company mentioned below! :-)
Everyone knows that this is the weekend when Star Wars saga will have a new start. :nikolaus:
As a big fan of good SF literature and (some) of the movies related to SF field (I was very young when I saw the first movie of the Star Wars saga in my country), I am looking forward to see it, hoping that I will not be disappointed :-)
But, preparing myself for this mixed expectations from the new movie, I've realized that some of my favorite watches DESIGN (aka genuine vintage Catena related Spaceman watches of any brands), may be inspired not from the Moon landing of 1969 or other big Space Age achievements, as many collectors (including me) believed for many years, but from some famous movies from the same SPACE AGE... :scratch:
So I start a little research on my own and now I have my own "working hypothesis" : :-)
I. Even if the first oval "Spaceman" series of watches was advertised as being related to the Moon landing (pls see the Catena advertising in the picture below), their design started in the early of 1969 (or even in 1968 - based on some unreliable sources), after the Premiere of the “2001:A Space Odissey” movie
(Premiere April 2, 1968, USA).
Sources:
1. Unreliable sources - claiming an 1968 work starting for the new design:
http://www.zeno-watch.ch/history/Histor ... ceman.html
http://icloud-nine.tumblr.com/post/6541 ... -and%C3%A9
2. More reliable sources claiming a later starting of the new design:
http://forumamontres.forumactif.com/t45 ... audacieuse
http://doensen.home.xs4all.nl/c16.html
i). The Pieter Doensen's book "WATCH. History of the modern wrist watch.", the ultimate source of information about the 1970-1980 digital watches claimed that:
"1969 - After the launching of the first space-vehicles (n.r. not clearly specifying that it was before OR after the moon landing), the owner of Catena Bulle Switzerland, Claude Lebet and the director Francis Bourquin ask André Le Marquand to create a range of watches of a totally new design. The result is an edition of four series of watches in 1972 and 1973, nearly all inspired by an astronaut's helmet. This watch is also sold by Tressa Lux, Fortis, Jules Jurgensen, Octo, Zeno Watch, Harlem and others. On December 11th 1969 the design is registered in the USA under no. 20.466 and a patent application is filed on February 10th 1970, in Switzerland."
Thus, the design of the first Catena Spaceman watches may have started BEFORE the Moon Landing ?!?.
So, in this case which REAL "Space Age event" was the source of inspiration for the Helmet-like design?!?
How about one of the most successful SF movies of all time, the "2001:A Space Odyssey", as one may see in the below picture/schematics that I have prepared:
first_spaceman_similar_odisey_1968_small.jpg


I really hope that one may see (in the picture above) the similarities between the Space Odissey Helmet and the first design of the Spaceman watches, regarding:
- general/color design (color at least for some of the first watches)
- specific inverted trapezoid glass/window with rounded corner (while the Moon landing astronauts helmets had clearly a spherical shaped glass/window)
- metal rounded bezel/emulating the base of the helmet etc


II. But the most interesting part came when we talk about the latest (1977) and also the rarest Digital Spaceman watches, launched in the late 1977, months after the first "Star Wars" movie was launched :o
It seems, even if we speak here about a major designer watch, that it was quite inspired from the Darth Vader Helmet
Even the same important book author, Pieter Doensen, stated that:
"1977.
The fourth series contains two LCD watches. Strap and helmet shaped case made out of dull chromium plated steel. The dial is grey or black.
14 Chronograph.
15 Very futuristic model named 'Spacesonic'. Also sold by Limit International
(Hirst Brothers & Co. of Great Britain).
."

But what contemporary real astronaut helmet may be considered similar to this design ?!?

The only famous real "Space Age" OR Science Fiction related helmet that may seem fit with this design is the Darth Vader's Helmet from the first “Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope” (Premiere 25 May 1977, USA), launched months before the first Spacesonic watches have appeared on the market :)
as one may see in the image below:
similarity_spaceman_star_wars_small.jpg


I am looking forward for Your opinions about the above theory of mine. :-D

Anyway, I am prepared with the proper vintage T-shirt, the proper Spaceman watch and not so much expectations from the movie itself :cry: , for the Premiere of the movie in my country, that by the way will be very close with my birthday :)).
Best regards to You all, :nikolaus:
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post28 Dec 2015, 22:31

Since nobody had and opinion about my above theory, that - by the way - seems to be confirmed by some new information from the ring of the vintage Spaceman watches collectors - meaning that indeed Mr. Andre Le Marquand, the outstanding designer of the Catena's Spaceman lines, have recognized at some point, that his design was clearly inspired at least from the first "2001:A space Odyssey" movie,
may I ask You at least about Your opinion regarding the new "Star Wars" movie ??? :-)
Because - as a big fan of the Saga - I was really disappointed...the same old story...badly reloaded! :bang:
Regards,
Every watch should have its own story...consequently, a watch collector has to be a good storyteller :)
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post29 Dec 2015, 20:52

I'm pretty convinced they stole the idea's from the movie or other exhibition. These days the world is a small village but back in the 60-70-80ties, so called "designers" just traveled the world to steal idea's. What was hot in New York became hot in Amsterdam or Brussels and visa versa. It's was so much easier and cheaper the creating something new.
Design is a very expensive word and misused 99% of the time...most design has been created in the 60ties...everything later was just a 'variation on' with different materials.

btw thanks for this and previous contributions....just super.
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post07 Sep 2016, 11:50

Because we're talking here about the watch makers inspired by SF (E.g. Star Wars) movies, how about this 1977 Texas Instruments (Star Wars related NOT inspired) watch?
vintage_TI_starwars.jpg

the photo came from http://www.flickriver.com/photos/tags/v ... teresting/

As one may read at the below URL, during late 70's, TI was forced by the market trends to reduce drastically the price for their LED/digital watches and finally to quit the watch market in 1981, as one may red at
http://www.ti.com/corp/docs/company/his ... atches.htm

So, the above watch is probably a try to enhance TI selling in 1977/1978, using the (unexpected?!?) success of the first Star Wars movie :grin1:
More information about such TI wathes on the excellent Piotr's CrazyWatches.pl website:
http://www.crazywatches.pl/texas-instru ... s-led-1977

Regards,
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post11 Sep 2016, 10:36

What do you think? Just noticed this one in my collection.

Image
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post11 Sep 2016, 19:23

Wow, very nice watch. I've noticed it also in Your previous review of it on NewDWF :).
For me it is definitely a "helmet" - like design :), and I think that I may add some proves that it may be inspired also from the first Star Wars movie.
From what we know, Yema and Fairchild started their first collaboration - on the first led watch from Yema - in 1975.
Also, Yema ceased production of watches in 1979, until it's revival in 1982 with the famous Yema Spationaute watch.
Thus, the first raw assumption is that Your watch was produced between 1975-1979.
But, because it seems to have inside - from what I've seen from the photos - an "honeycomb" "ESA 9315 -like module (in a Fairchild Semiconductor watch?!?) or a related Fairchild module(?!?) ("honeycomb" LCDs were produced briefly between 1976-1978 mainly by ESA), it's a large probability for this watch to be produced after 25 May 1977 (the release date of first Star Wars movie) and thus to have the case design somehow inspired from the already famous in 1977-1978 "Darth Vader Helmet." :Prost:
Not to mention - coincidence or not - that Yema have started again the production of watches in 1982 with a Space Exploration related watch - the famous Yema Spationaute, worn in Space by the 1982 French Astronaut Jean-Loup Chrétien.
QED
PS. Of course I supposed that inside it's a genuine original/NOS module...
Every watch should have its own story...consequently, a watch collector has to be a good storyteller :)
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post26 Sep 2016, 08:14

After some online research, it seems that I have now some (more complete) answers:
1. That Yema "helmet"-like case was designed BEFORE the first Star Wars movie (May 1977) - (at least) in 1976 and was used in one of the first Yema (here without Fairchild) Quartz LED watch, as it may be seen in this Yema advertising from January 1976:

yema_advert1976.jpg


2. Your watch seems to be identical with the Yema Quartz 917 (without Fairchild label), which has an original ESA 9315 - a module also launched by ESA in 1976 according to Doensen's book (pls see the picture below). Thus an educated guess would be that Yema had no problems using Yema-Fairchild labeled cases with other modules than the ones made by Fairchild Semiconductor! :grin1:

yema917_yemaled.jpg


Thus, the remaining question is from where was that Space Age/Helmet-like design inspired by the Yema company back in 1976 (also the UK based Trafalgar has a similar case in a LED watch)? :scratch:
If one wants more information about early Yema LCD's, pls let me know.
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post26 Sep 2016, 12:10

thx for the great info

ebay : 152253490403
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post26 Sep 2016, 19:13

You're always welcome!
Here it is my recently arrived Yema Fairchild with a genuine Fairchild Semiconductor module and a genuine Yema bracelet from 1976-1977 :). It is very similar with the one recently sold on ebay:
http://www.ebay.fr/itm/MONTRE-ANCIENNE- ... 1775350445

yema_fairchild_933.jpg


Regards,
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post26 Sep 2016, 19:37

wow nice !

Image
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post26 Sep 2016, 20:52

Of course that You have also some of these Yemas in Your outstanding collection! :-)
Some other educated guess(es) (e.g. what I've learned from the above mentioned online search):
1. Yema, as some other manufacturers, mentioned 32768 (Hz) quartz frequency for marketing/advertising purposes (in some early Yema-Fairchild it is mentioned also CMOS Quartz :))
2. Yema has some outstanding watches with state-of-the-art - at that time - SWISS modules (also used in Certina Chronolympic, Longines, Avia, Tissot etc), such as ESA 9315, 934712, 942711 etc...modules used also in some of my favorite watches - Space Age related Catena Spacesonic :-D

and last but not least,

3. As an educated guess, since the same design with the same module (Fairchild, ESA etc) appeared in watches labeled Yema OR Yema-Fairchild, it may be possible that the watches labeled ONLY YEMA was ment to be marketed MAINLY to the French domestic market, while the same watches - this time labeled YEMA-Fairchild (Fairchild Semiconductor being a World well known brand at that time!) - were ment to be exported in the USA and abroad (pls see the above 1976 advertising - about YEMA as "La Marque Francaise la plus exportee"!) :grin1:

Best regards,
Every watch should have its own story...consequently, a watch collector has to be a good storyteller :)
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post02 Oct 2016, 23:11

Hi Kasper,
I have found an Yema advertising (cca 1976-1977, a timeline based on the other watches shown there), for exactly the same watch (gold plated Yema - ESA 9315) You have presented us in the above posts!
This advertising paper may place Your gold plated "helmet-like" watch as one of the most expensive digital watches ever produced by Yema in the 70's - 1050 French Francs! :-) .
If You need more information, pls let me know.
Best regards,

yema_esa9315_advert.jpg
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post03 Oct 2016, 13:10

GREAT finding inspector :-D thank you very much. Much appreciated. :Prost:

The equivalent of 1 050 FRF on 10 April 1976 is 4 262.47 FRF on 30 September 2016 (click on the links to convert amounts to other currencies)
Inflation over the period : 305.95 %, used index:FRCPI1998 (INSEE), Initial Index: 31.78, End Index: 129.03
Today's equivalent in euros of 4 262.47 FRF is 649.81 EUR


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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post11 Oct 2016, 22:02

just saw this one in my collection.

Yes a real helmet watch :grin1:

Image

Image

Image


or maybe this one :-D M:)W:)M

Image

Image

Image

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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post12 Oct 2016, 21:51

I've started to think that Your real goal here is to test my advanced skills about obscure/deep online searching without too much information about the subject! :grin1:
The first answer was too easy to find, even without a case back photo: :-D
Your green helmet is a not very common 1998 watch made by Citizen for Trans Continents fashion brand and it should have a Citizen D 299 module with "inverse" LCD display.
Am I right? :-D
For the other one ( a LCD clock?!? - based at least on its size compared with Your fingers :grin1: and with no inscriptions) You should tell me at least if it is made from ABS (a material which was available since 1940 in Europe and used at a large scale until late 70's) or modern days regular plastic, if You don't know the LCD module maker. :-D
Based on Your answer I may have a nice surprise for You :-D ...or not... :grin1:
Regards,
:dwf:
Last edited by cybr on 04 Nov 2016, 01:43, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post12 Oct 2016, 22:20

PS. But I am almost tempted to bet a beer that it is not made from ABS... :Prost:
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post12 Oct 2016, 22:36

And here are some true rare Helmet watches from Space Age era (early 70's) - even if they are related more to Cars Racing - but still worthy to be discussed here: :grin1:
1970 Helmet Jump Hour
https://watchismo.blogspot.ro/2008/05/v ... -1970.html
Suzuki Ravisa
http://www.sometimeago.com/ravisa-suzuki-helmet/
Last edited by cybr on 13 Oct 2016, 17:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post12 Oct 2016, 22:59

PPS. Your white helmet clock watch is not made from ABS (pls see the above 3 posts) and it is a modern (after the year 2000) LCD clock from an unknown origin, made as a cheap advertising for various racing team, thus completely NOT related to the Space Exploration.
E.g. You may find one made for Bastos-Toyota WRC team (2001-2003) at
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BASTOS-TOYOTA-T ... SwRJ9XhP3B
So, did I pass the test? :grin1:
And I really love Belgian beer (even if I did not had the guts to bet one on the above post related with Your white helmet clock :oops: ...) :grin1:
Anyway, I still have enjoyed an excellent 330 ml Belgian Piraat Triple Hop while I was searching for Your ""mysterious" watches :Prost:
http://www.vansteenberge.com/en/our-bee ... riple-hop/
https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/48/95562/
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Jovial VISION 2000 - the ultimate Space Age Helmet watch

Post22 Feb 2017, 21:56

Wow...when I have started this thread, I didn't think that someday I may present here - as a part of my small collection :-D - the ultimate SPACE AGE HELMET-like WATCH - a wristwatch so iconic and rare that it is almost mythical (no joking!):
The rare as the hen's teeth - JOVIAL VISION 2000 - Patented Model from 1970, presented only as a prototype at Basel Fair in 1970 (?), 2 years before the famous Catena Spaceman :grin1: (pls see the above post for Spaceman watches)
And a very short (hi)story...
One of the most famous collectors and watch bloggers - Watchismo , have present this watch on his blog almost 10 years ago - as a one of the "Holy Grails" of vintage/Space Age watches, recognizing that "Having never seen the actual watch, I'm satiated for now with this original advertisement from an early seventies Basel Fair." as one may read below on his blog:
1970 Jovial Vision 2000 - Today's Time with Tomorrow's Styling
https://watchismo.blogspot.ro/2007/07/1 ... -time.html
After some time, Watchismo published another post entitled: "Finding Proof of the Jovial "Vision 2000"
https://watchismo.blogspot.ro/2007/10/f ... -2000.html

It seems that the watch was never mass produced and only some advertising from Basel Fair have remained and a very limited number of watches (working prototypes ?!?).
E.g. Until now, only 3 Vision 2000 watches has been reported in the collectors ring (including one that was in a non-working condition and without the crystal), despite of Watchismo efforts to trace them.
What is really funny is that the Swiss designers of Vision 2000 were quite convinced that such an ""outer space" design will be really the tomorrow (maybe Year 2000???) styling M:)W:)M , as one may see in the Vision 2000's Basel Fair advertising from 1970 on Watchismo blog.
If You want a full review and the (hi)story of this interesting timepiece, please let me know!

And now, some photos of my recently arrived watch:
1. Finally on my hand:
Image
2. the Caseback - Patented Model
Image
3. The "outer space" profile of my watch (on the bottom of the image, compared with the one presented in the 1970 Basel Fair advert (from Watchismo website):
Image

Regards,
:dwf:
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post23 Feb 2017, 20:56

Great find cybr. Really odd looking watch. My favourite type. The odder the better.

Where did you find it?

Adam
http://www.digital-watch.com - online database of 2000+ watches, manuals and adverts from the 70s-90s
http://www.vintagelcd.com - Vintage Digital Watches for sale
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post24 Feb 2017, 14:08

no watches inspired by Star Trek?
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Re: Spaceman watches inspired from Space Oddysey and Star Wa

Post25 Feb 2017, 19:16

Thanks Adam for your kind reply. A great catch, indeed!
To quote some words from Watchismo: "thanks to my deep reaches into the crevices of obscure watch collections" :-), I was able to find this watch at an Eastern European collector who sold it to me.

And about the design of Vision 2000, when I look at that watch I have the same feeling as when I see Fritz Lang outstanding movie Metropolis (1927) - the first major SF movie of all time:
It is quite interesting but also odd to see how people thought that the World/the design of things will look like 30 or even 50-100 years later from their time. :grin1:
And it is strange for us to see how "charmingly wrong" were they in their suppositions/expectations :-D ...it's like a piece of an alternate universe...:)


For those interested, one can see the excellent musically rescored version of Fritz Lang Metropolis (1927) - full version 2 hours:27 minutes, below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0NzALRJifI
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