What is time keeping all about?
Beyond the constant ticking of hours, minutes and seconds lay deeper rhythms that truly propel life
on the blue planet. Albeit efficient and universal, it is also a very simplistic approach to time. It thinks
you and me and everything else is a machine. It seems like something was left out. Solunar time was
There must be a gazillion time keeping frequencies vibrating through the universe. When you dig into
it, you'll find that different cultures, religions, tribes and peoples evolved their own interpretations of
time, but sunrise and sunset, moon rise and moonset, and the passing of the heavens above were always
at the foundation of it. The Mayans pegged their calendar to the Pleiades because it coincides with the
nine-month pregnancy gestalt of humanity. The Gregorian calendar begins the year the day after
they claim Jesus was circumcised. Equinoxes, solstices and cross quarter days are mostly ignored by
calendars, albeit very much alive in the human psyche.
They teach us to tell time when we are like 5 or 6 years old, and we never really think about again. It
seems so settled, so final, so easy. If, however, you lift the lid off the history of time keeping and watch
making, you'll discover thousands of years of the most fascinating evolution. No stone was left
unturned trying to find an accurate way to tell time: When to meet, when to leave and how to plan for
The daily passing of the sun was the primary time keeper, the keeper of the day and night. The moon
was the firm second as it tallied the longer cycle of 29.53 days. The 7 days of the week came about
as roughly one quarter of this cycle, the four directions. Finally, the solar year clocked in at 365.24 days,
and with its seasons, completed the circle of life.
The Platonic Year, or The Precession of the Equinoxes, was one of the oldest cycles known to our
forefathers of time. There is a slight wobble in the earth's axis, caused by an unequal gravitational
pull of the sun and the moon. One wobble takes about 25826 years and consist of 12 zodiacal ages.
During this period, the Earth's axis will have pointed to each zodiac constellation in turn.
The challenge at the core of creating any calendar lies in the hard fact that the daily rotation of the
earth, the monthly cycle of the moon, and the solar year don't really sync up at all. They all spin on
their own cycle. Follow one and the other two go out of whack. Tricky, to say the least. The leap
year is how most of us have heard about it. These are complex algorithms. You cannot help but have
your mind blown when you realize the understanding Babylonian astronomers had garnered of the
heavens above millennia ago. Without a telescope, without a computer, without the ISS. Wow.
At the end of the day, only one star proved to rule all time keeping. There wasn't a single calendar
system that survived unless it aligned itself with it. That star was the sun. Turn that thing off and
you can kiss everything goodbye. The Gregorian calendar hitched itself to winter solstice in the most
curious way. The Chinese New Year starts on the second new moon after winter solstice. The
Persian calendar reckoned the beginning of the year at spring equinox. Stonehenge sees a big
celebration every winter solstice. The list goes on and on.
World domination, however, has only been accomplished by the Gregorian calendar. A staple since
1582, when Pope Gregory chopped 14 days off the Julian calendar to sync it with the sun into infinity.
Man had to yield to the true God. The light you see represented in all religious symbolism is the sun.
We simply have to own it for ourselves, remake it in our own image. It is who we are.
It is interesting to note that the Gregorian calendar doesn't recognize a single natural time event. It
is all a memorandum of religious and political assertions. One can wonder how such a time-keeping
system would affect the behavior of world society, for better or for worse.
Born on a beach in St. Bart's.
Even though watches and time keeping and calendars had fascinated me for as long as I could
remember, my impetus to get into the watch business came one bright sunny day while roaming
the Caribbean for a few months in the glorious Anno 1995. I simply wanted to know when the sun
would rise the next morning, planning for a beach walk at the first rays. My gleamingly beautiful
Rolex Submariner was of absolutely no use at all.
So I decided to make my own solunar watch. A watch that would show me times for sunrise and
sunset - it couldn't possibly be that difficult, could it? I was wrong. There is a reason the mechanical watch
never tackled this question: that very technology simply isn't capable. Those whirring wheels and
magical tourbullions look like a million bucks, but they are dinosaur smart.
It was made abundantly clear over lunch at the Basel Fair in 1997. An engineer with Glashutte had
kindly accepted my invitation on a bright sunny spring day. After speaking for a couple of minutes
he smiled, cut me off and stated that if I wanted to put all that sun and moon data in a mechanical
watch I would need a back pack. We laughed and had another beer.
On the same trip I was lucky enough to get a meeting with the head curator at the world renowned
watch Museum in La Chaux de Fonds. After talking for a while, I curiously asked her where the
24-hour time keeping came from? What it stands for? Without a missing a beat she answered:
I don't know. I was blown away. The world runs on a 24-hour time system and not even the elite
could tell me why. I think my commitment to the task at hand was cemented in that very moment.
A few years earlier, I had listened to a lecture by Jose Arguello about the Mayan Factor at the Open
Secret in San Rafael, California. Although parts of his speech were so cosmic they flew way above me, the
fact that there was a disconnect between the Gregorian calendar and natural cycles of the sun and
the moon hit home.
By 1999, my time-keeping plot was most certainly thickening and deepening into realms and spaces
rarely visited by modern consciousness and history. I was hooked.
Perfection is an endless pursuit. When you set out to do something as daunting as rethinking time-keeping nothing is as easy as it sounds. If there is a barrier, you will discover it. After years of development,
our new titanium YES watch collection Equilibrium will be available for your wrist early Fall 2017.
We have listened intently to suggestions from a wide range of customers, from watch connoisseurs,
astronomers, world travelers, photographers, pilots, cinematographers, military personnel, outdoorsmen
and backpackers alike, we have heard plenty of good advice. Even though the Equilibrium is founded
on the same solunar platform of timekeeping as our previous YES watch collections, it has been
improved throughout. From the case design and construction to the application of algorithms, from
the LCD design and accuracy to a rechargeable lithium battery power capability, it offers
operational improvements and enhanced insights of time. To the minute time data of civil, nautical
and astronomical twilight has been added. Complete time data for ten cities is held in memory at
any given time. It speaks seven languages, and has a host of other refinements.
We are quite happy and proud of the Equilibrium. Your wrist will have the final say. We hope you will
think the same. Thanks for your time!
Check out this link to learn more.