Steampunk Gadgets: Gawk and Oogle

I love Steampunk! Have I ever mentioned that? Some friends and co-workers have shared some pretty cool links with me, so I thought I’d pass it along… Prepare to salivate!


Wrist watch, oh, I mean, entropy calculator

Finger clacker! Screw cell phones, I'd much rather have one of these hammer away on my hand in Morse.


Canestan – a seriously cool new take on mechanical watches. This is the watch that caused me to spend 2 hours researching time-piece technologies. For instance, what is a Tourbillon? Well, it is the mechanism that keeps time in a mechanical watch! Watch makers have for years been trying to design more accurate Troubillons, and only in 2009 designed one to run on 3 axis, isolating it from the forces of the wrist. See, a mechanical wrist watch will count faster or slower depending on which orientation the watch is held, and therefor be less accurate. Count the amount of times you change how you hold your wrist during the day, and you can see why this is an issue. These watches are very fancy, and very expensive, starting at a Mercedes-McLaren SLR and ending at a Bugatti Veyron… I’m sure somebody could figure out how to make it worth even more though.

A proper mechanical time piece with chain drive! Run by a Tourbillon - and worth about 1/4 mil!

Romain Jerome – Another beautiful piece, hearkening back to the days of proper steam power. This one also features a Troubillon, and all of the moving parts rotate on Jewels, just like all of the other high-end wrist watches… er, time pieces… Jewels are used for there near-to-no frictional co-efficient, which means the watch is able to keep time more accurately. The axle and bearing are also lubricated with a thin mineral oil, however, they are so small that the oil doesn’t have t be sealed in. In fact, it is held in place simply by capillary action. IN FACT, the oil is held in place during vigorous movement, so, I hope you understand how small the parts, bearings (Jewels), and amount of oil is. That these things can even be built is phenomenal! Sure, so is nano technology, so is lazers, but that’s all theory and fiction to a regular person. People used to build these things with their hands, with files, magnifying glasses, and various abrasives!

Romaine Jerome Titanic DNA Steampunk Tourbillon Chronograph

HD3 Complication – Klingons meet 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with this masterpiece. Also, Tourbillon and Jewels. Also, many much crazy dollars, as ridiculous as the grammar in that last phrase! Oh heaves, do they take payment in kidneys? They do offer cheaper digital variants, but what? You’d be the guy with the knock-off whosamawhatsut… Like driving a Porsche Cayman… It’s not quite a 911. WAHAHA, then again, that’s not a Ferrari GT250 either, no is it?

I wouldn't be able to do any work. I'd just sit there with a stupid grin on my face, staring at the whirly-gigs counting down my wasted moments.

 Maximilian Büsser and Friends (MF&F) – ugh, the watch for the Rocketeer? Le drool. And comparatively inexpensive!


Oh yea, BTW, I didn’t find all of these. I STOLE them off of another blog..  There are others there, but these are my favorites. Not only do all of these actually work, they are all also mechanical, and very creative.

See, in the late 19th century some French dudes got a crystal to vibrate with electricity. Nearly 100 years later some Americans made the thing small enough to fit on your wrist. From that we have the quartz movement. It’s boring. It’s an electrical impulse that goes through a crystal and comes out the other side at a very specific frequency, or time interval, making predicting time much simpler, and much more accurate.

However, the only moving parts in those watches are the hands that tell time. In a digital faced watch, there isn’t even that. Dull, dreary-some electronic finagled BS I tell you!

Let a piece of metal smash against another piece of metal, and another, and another, all propelled by a spring, for years on end, and let these pieces of metal be so small so that the only way you can hear the smash is by pressing the delicate instrument tightly against your ear, and let this meticulous working remind you each and every moment you look at the dial, that time is irrelevant, for you can not touch it, you can only watch it.

Maybe, just maybe during this instant, you’ll remember not to simply glance at your time-calculation instrumet and rush off towards something else, to make some money, so you can afford something with a Tourbillon in it, but to enjoy that moment, and each one after, as the second hand tick-tocks away a meaningless beat. Viva Steampunk!


About Dandooligan

Dandooligan CO, United States Every ride spurs the yearning for another and as such, has pushed me to adopt the riding lifestyle and all of it's challenges. This blog concerns those challenges from bikes to gear, media about bikes, and maybe even some psychology/sociology on the subject as well. Dandooligan, a mash-up of Dandy and Hooligan, both very important parts of me and my outlook on life. I'm also known as Spooph


  1. zartan

    Such cool gadg!

  2. kurt

    Those of us, who experimented with “cat’s whiskers” and crystal radios, can appreciate the complexity of (now) simple devices. Like tube radios, spouting classic rock in the garage, glancing at the mechanical wonder on your wrist makes you ask if we’ve really advanced at all.

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