Mechanical Beating Heart Wristwatch

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I know what happened. Al loved Mary. He loved her so much that when he saw the ad in the back of Reader’s Digest magazine for the mechanical beating heart wristwatch, he had to get it. It was in the mid-1980’s, and what better way to show your true feelings than with a Swiss timepiece engraved with your name? The only catch was that the name had to be less than 8 characters. “No problem”, thought Al. “If I put mine and Mary’s name on it, that leaves an extra space in the middle. Perfect.” So he carefully filled in the proper items on the order from, including filling in a block for each letter of the engraving. He sent in the $8.00 S&H and waited. Every day he read the advertisement, awaiting the arrival of the wind-up Swiss watch with, quite literally, a beating heart window. Each second of the day could be counted by the little white lever pumping up and down. The thin, leather strap attached to the gold case would look lovely on Mary’s thin wrists as she gazed at the wannabe-guilloche pattern on the face. But the people at the assembly plant turned it all around. Or perhaps the engraving machine couldn’t handle spaces. When it arrived, Al was devastated. This simply wouldn’t do- his love message now turned into a one-word, made-up name?! The beating heart wristwatch was banished to a drawer. It never met Mary or got to be placed upon her wrist. Years later, it wound up in a thrift store on the far west side, only to be rescued by a Chronophile. Brand new love.

Eastman Drum Major Novelty Character Wristwatch

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A whole new kind of collectable watch is one with animation. Mechanical animation. Check out this Eastman manual wind up watch. A common type of mechanical animation seems to be the eyes of a character displayed on the face of the watch. That’s what happens with this watch when you wind it up. With the beating of the seconds, the character’s eyes move up and down. The cool thing about this Eastman is that the character appears to be a drum major! I have never seen any other watch that commemorated the fine sport. I wonder if this is the only one that is or was ever available? I bought it on eBay about 5 years ago solely because it was a drum major. It’s in perfect condition with a thin leather strap that is very small so it must be a children’s watch. I’ve been known to wear this one on special occasions. When needing to pass time, there is something to be said about becoming mesmerized as the mechanical ticks steal your seconds away.

Reagan Time 1980 GOP Wristwatch

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There’s a million Spiro Agnew and Nixon’s “I’m no crook” watches out there. I’ve seen one in almost every thrift store and they can always be found on eBay. When I last checked, there were a total of 9 Spiro Agnew watches of 5 different types. Other past presidents, thus far, don’t have the same showing when it comes to political apparel. That’s why I snagged this watch on eBay a few years ago. This is a perfect example of 80’s style digital watches. Chunky, square metal case, a clean, blocky face and a mesh band. This watch couldn’t have been worn to be in such good condition. The mesh band hasn’t bent or stretched, the case is unmarred and the LCD hasn’t bled. Not bad after 28 years. Too bad I can’t say that about the GOP. Clinton’s growing nose or backwards time might be easier to find in 8 years. I’m talking about the watches- what did you think I was talking about?

The Hamilton Ventura

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The Hamilton Ventura, the first electric watch in the world, is a bold watch with distinctive styling. My husband actually adjusts his wardrobe around the watch! He'll say, "I feel like wearing the Ventura today, so what should I wear to compliment it?"

It is experiencing a revival thanks to its brief close-up in the movie Men In Black, and is available in a wide variety of men's and ladies styles. Prices range from just under $450 to over $1200, depending upon configuration.

A true American Classic that will never go out of style!


The ladies size is quite small and loses some of it’s artistic styling. If you can, go for the larger size.