3. Pocket Watches are Alive and Well
We really enjoyed this profile piece, written by Shelly Birkelo, for the Janesville Gazette, a newspaper in rural southern Wisconsin. It’s about Bob Witzack, a 65-year-old retired train engineer who spends his time “collecting and repairing old pocket- and wristwatches.” Witzack works from a century-old watchmaker’s bench with nothing but a vintage lamp and natural sunlight to illuminate his studio. Witzack says, “It’s just a passion for a world that doesn’t exist anymore. They’re pieces of the past. People don’t even use them anymore.”
Witzack illustrates his passion by sporting a pocketwatch, circa 1918, inside his vest (see image below). He says the watch is of the type worn by train conductors in days of old. Speaking of his own work as a train engineer, “I had to have a good watch on the railroad. That’s because the railroad ran by schedules and timetables.” His personal preference is for pocketwatches over wristwatches, and he especially enjoys repairing them.
These days the retiree spends about 10 hours a week down at Dubes Jewelry, in Janesville, repairing clocks and watches. Witzack is an auto-didact when it comes to watch repair, adding to his knowledge through reading and taking watch repair courses. He has been a collector since 2000, and is active in the Northern Illinois Watch and Collector Club. There’s a lot more to Bob Witzack than we’ve summarized here. If you want to know more about a man with a passion for vintage timepieces, we urge you to read the rest of the story by clicking here.
4. A Spacecraft for the Wrist
Business Insider (BI) reports this week about a new watch introduced by Swiss watchmaker De Bethune, which the brand describes as “an authentic wrist sculpture.” The watch is housed in a titanium case, and is called the “Dream Watch 5.” We are sure Mr. Shatner did not have a hand in this one, but we must admit the watch does resemble a futuristic spacecraft.