A watch embedded with pieces of Stephen Hawking's desk

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/11/20/a-watch-embedded-with-pieces-of-stephen-hawkings-desk.html

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A Brief History of Furniture.


Design by committee. There are weird disconnects here, between the poetics of “star chart of the night he was born,” the idolatry of “piece of the true cross desk,” and the sheer ham-fistedness of “title of his most widely read book.”

I guess this appeals to the kind of person who spends $10,000 on a watch?


It should have an alarm . . . to tell you when an apparent event is on the horizon.

[I’ll let myself out, thanks.]


It became the desk that Hawking would sit at to recall fond childhood memories and to compose some of his theories on.

I suspect he composed his theories in his head.

Unless they can tell me which specific theories he composed while sitting AT this desk, I’m calling ‘over-inflated luxury-good bullshit’.


It’s nice, I suppose, that some of the money from this outrageously expensive item goes to the Hawking foundation. But how much? Never mind, it’s still too little. Who needs this item? Who, before seeing its existence, ever wanted such a thing? I suspect the man would be a little more satisfied if you read his book and understood it. Fair enough though, if a charitable foundation can claw back a few dinars from the outrageously rich and tasteless.


I find this so fucking cheesy and cringey.

The watch industry makes all kinds of dreck like this, commemorative watches. I find them too cheesy to ever want one.

Some people will buy anything.


This is hideous!

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They managed to get bits of a Sopwith Camel (I think it was a Camel, certainly 1914-18 vintage)

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It’s the same sort of marketing used by outfits like The Franklin Mint, where it’s the story that is being sold, not the actual item.

What’s curious here is that the Hawking relics are on the back of the watch, where only the wearer knows of their existence. The face is mostly a rather understated ordinary watch, pricey but hardly conspicuous consumption.

Does the wearer get a secret thrill from knowing they are walking around with a bit of cosmological history in contact with their skin?

It’s like getting a warm feeling knowing your underpants are stitched with threads from the Shroud of Turin.
Under what circumstances does one share the story, which one surely has memorized, with another person?


The imagined scenario, when someone buys this watch, must go something like this:

[Interior: His favorite bar, closing time]

Her: (Ordering a drink, notices The Watch) Why the hell are you wearing a watch.

Him: It’s meaningful to me. (Takes off watch to show the back)

Her: “A Brief History of Time.” Something about Stephen Hawking?

Him: That shows I’m intelligent. Did I mention it cost ten thousand dollars?

Her: (Involuntarily tearing off her clothes) Take me now!


I hate the dreck of the Franklin Mint. I wish someone would melt that place down, mint it all into commemorative coins of itself, and then be used as currency to exclusively hire people to clean up dog waste.

Because that’s about all they and those Trump commemorative coins they make are good for.


Who the hell buys a Bremont watch?

It’s like a brand name that attracts country club sweater vest guys named Chad.

I’m sure the movement inside is standard ETA, slapped into a fancy case, and charging a fortune for the banality of it all. Like a lot of other shit doing the same thing.


If Orange County Choppers made watches…

(And I don’t mean that in a good way)


See also Bradford Exchange.

Beats me. Even their non-“commemorative” watches go for around $5000-6000*, all for a watch with little brand recognition (i.e. I haven’t heard of it).

The linked site says it’s a new (unproven?) BE-33AE movement.

Not bad looking from the front, more or less similar to a Citizen Eco-Drive costing 1/20th as much, although not approaching the Citizen’s accuracy.

The comments here are less than enthusiastic. The Franklin Mint is referenced.

"That caseback is less “rich and complex tribute” than manic free-association. Book titles! planets! random equation! Butchered artifacts!
Time to replace the Bremont design department’s Nespresso with some decaf pods."

*And shouldn’t the prices be quoted in guineas for maximum pretentiousness?

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I like the Eco-Drive; I took apart one that had a broken band, and put it on a silver Navajo watch band. That means I won’t have to take it apart every other year to replace the battery, and risk breaking the band.


Are you kidding? $10k is cheap compared to some other high end timepieces.

Mine is on a simple nylon NATO strap (the original canvas strap was awful) so I can remove it for cleaning without taking out the spring pins. Also I can swap it easily for a huge variety of colours in case I go all wild and crazy.


Look, you at least need a bit of the body, like a phalanx, for a reliquary to properly function.

These cut rate trinkets aren’t going to repel any demons and will give you the bare minimum of mystical power.

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Yes- but I consider 40k for anything from F.P. Journe a bargain compared to 10k for this piece of garbage.

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