precision mechanics

Vimes knelt down by Dorfl. The broken clay skull looked as empty as yesterday’s breakfast egg. But there was still a pinpoint of light in each eye socket.
“Usssss,” hissed Dorfl, so faintly that Vimes wasn’t sure he’d heard it.
A finger scratched on the floor.
“Is it trying to write something?” said Angua.
Vimes pulled out his notebook, eased it under Dorfl’s hand, and gently pushed a pencil into the golem’s fingers. They watched the hand as it wrote – a little jerkily but still with the mechanical precision of a golem – eight words.
Then it stopped. The pencil rolled away. The lights in Dorfl’s eyes dwindled and went out.
“Good grief,” breathed Angua. “They don’t need words in their heads…”
“We can rebuild him,” said Carrot hoarsely. “We have the pottery.”
Vimes stared at the words, and then at what remained of Dorfl.
“Mister Vimes?” said Carrot.
“Do it,” said Vimes.
Carrot blinked.
“Right now,” Vimes said. He looked back at the scrawl in his book.


“And when you rebuild him,” he said, “when you rebuild him… give him a voice.”

– Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

anonymous asked:

will you use your powers as mystical shitposting dreamworks infiltration to give lance and hunk the character development they Deserve


*cracks my knuckles* first of all:

  • Lance totally knows what a fucking hypothesis is. What the hell. My eight-year-old little sister knows what that is. “In English” my ass.
  • Hunk is literally… an engineer… How can they not remember this, they only gave Hunk like Three Defining Character Details. MMMMMM.
  • I’m only halfway through episode 7 right now but let me just say: Lance and Hunk would totally explore the space mall together. Because you know what you do when you go to the mall? YOU FUCK AROUND WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND.
  • If any of the Paladins would have an invested interest in learning Altean it would probably be Hunk since he’s the… idk… team engineer and therefore in charge of maintaining the Lions (that’s of course assuming Dreamworks ever gives him the chance lol!!!!!!!!!!!!)

And uuuuuurgh okay sidenote: I’m so mad that Dreamworks kept!!!!! Boosting Pidge’s smartness!! By making my BOYS look like idiots in comparison!!!! Like. Oh my GOD. Yes, I’m so proud of Pidge, and I’m glad that Dreamworks is giving her the genius credit she deserves. But they don’t have to do it at the EXPENSE of their CHARACTERS OF COLOR.

Like here is an alternative to all of those scenes that I just came up with while my ass is flying out of my seat with a fever:

  • Pidge goes on one of her techy tangents. She uses those big ol’ words that are seven syllables long. There’s a moment of silence as everyone stares at her, sweat-dropping.
  • “Okay, so…” Lance says, staring up at the ceiling as he taps his chin in thought. “Are you saying that you’ve like, made a program that tries to predict how much Galra activity there’ll be in an area based on how many showed up to kick our butts?”
  • Pidge blinks, thinks about it for a second, and then nods. “Yeah, pretty much.”

It’s not. Hard! Do you see how easy it is to tweak a scene so a character ISN’T put down, but instead boosted alongside another? Think about all those Fucky scenes!! Pidge, or Coran, or someone starts going on a technological tangent. Instead of making a pointless quip about food, Hunk adds to the idea! He contributes his own knowledge to the conversation!! 

Maybe for a second, Pidge and Hunk get caught up techno babbling to each other!! They’re having fun!! Shiro steps in, almost a little sheepishly. “Uh, guys,” he says, “what exactly are you saying?” Pidge and Hunk turn to him and try to explain, but they’re so excited that they babble over each other, and their conversation becomes even harder to follow. Shiro and Keith stand there, a little intimidated.

And then Lance steps in to translate. Maybe he doesn’t understand the precise mechanics of what they’re saying, but he can still help. You’d think that, after spending MONTHS with Hunk and Pidge, Lance would pick up a little of SOMETHING. Maybe he can’t recite a Wikipedia page about dark matter, but Lance can translate what his friends are saying into Layman’s terms. 

Do you see how helpful that would be for an audience? They get a complex concept explained to them by a down-to-earth, fan-favorite character who won’t be condescending and who will probably turn that boring scientific idea into something funny and easy to understand!! Plus, you know Lance! He could turn some Big Ass Complicated Probably Fake Invention™ into something that can be summarized in five words or less. “It makes the bad guys go boom” or “Oh, so this’ll stall their engines long enough for us to escape?” or even “So you need us to distract them while you set up some sorta microwave that’ll override their sensors. Got it!”

But instead we get… this. Ugh.

Title: An experiment gone right

Pairing: Phan                                                                  

Rating/Warning: NC-17; messy, hilarious, hot sex plus feels in every sense of the word                                                            

Word Count: 10,500                                                      

Summary: At a party, Phil suggests an experiment to test if he and Dan really are 100 percent platonic. What, after all, would happen if they kissed? 

A/N: Sequel “The Morning After" here 


“Phil!” Dan dragged the word into two syllables, calling into the expanses of their flat. He was in the process of shimmying into a pair of trousers, his newly straightened fringe threatening dishevelment from the exertion. It wasn’t like Dan was all that large  –  despite his severe allergy to the gym  –  but it seemed that suspiciously purchased foreign jeans always came two sizes smaller than marketed.  Dan let out a triumphant “Ha!” as he finally fastened the top button and pulled the zip. Then, he slumped back onto his comforter and took a deep breath.

“PHIL!” he shouted again, on the exhale, “Have you seen my shirt?”

“Can you be more specific!” Phil’s voice echoed in return.

“The black one! With the things!” 

Keep reading

the signs as villains

aries - this villain is all spandex and red, fiery colors, using their speed and high energy to their advantage as they outrun both the government and the hero chasing after them. Being a villain is all fun and games for them

taurus - slow to carry out their menacing plans, but they know patience is a virtue. they’re eyes are always strictly on the prize, and they are merciless

gemini - one minute, they are ruthless and bloodthirsty, and the next, they spare your life because they can’t watch you writhe in pain. With them, only one thing is certain: they can cause a whole lot of trouble even if they themselves aren’t sure why they’re evil

cancer - these are the heroes turned villains, the ones that realized mid-saving the world that it might actually be a more terrifying place than they thought. They work solely from their secret lair, and they often have minions doing the dirty work for them

leo - these villains are actually well liked and are always a crowd pleaser. People may tend to cheer on them more than the hero. Plus, they always look amazing

virgo - super mechanical and precise, all their evil plans to rue the world are mapped out to the smallest details. This can often be one of their weaknesses, because a disruption in their process might set them back

libra - afraid to disrupt their normal life, this villain really does work in secret. They are the masked ones, never leaving a trail, and are among the most manipulative with their words

scorpio - usually the ones with the severely hidden pasts, these villains are never seen, but they aren’t hiding. they closely watch the hero and once they attack, the hero would’ve wished they never got on their bad side, because they are the most ruthless

sagittarius - they always slip on their sunglasses and say “it’s showtime” before they carry out their big plan. These villains always put a special twist to their crimes and are very cunning

capricorn - the villain that actually wins, they aim to achieve world domination and are actually crazy good at the havoc they cause. All their research paid off

aquarius - the most creative and strange with their plans, they are the villains not out to hurt people but to bring down society as a whole and become the new leader, where they would impose laws they see as better and more rational than the world they grew up in

pisces - to these villains, everything is personal. Even if taking out the hero–or the world–seems impossible, they would stop at nothing because the hurt in their heart is too great

majahawt  asked:

Hey, I don't know if you've covered this before but are there any details on what specifically in marijuana that's harmful for reptiles/what it does? Even without the smoke, just the substances. I've... Got a guy talking about feeding cannabis plants to iguanas

Yeah, the substance itself is actually quite toxic! There’s been a few studies done on marijuana toxicity, but most of them refer to the smoke. There’s a few other citations, but the best comprehensive thing I know of is from this vet textbook called Reptile Medicine and Surgery. The second edition’s fairly recent (within the past decade) and everything that’s come out after typically refers to this book and the stuff cited within. (Side note: This book is an excellent resource and honestly quite worth signing up for the free Scribd trial just to download and have on hand. For most reptile owners, the detailed vet procedure stuff won’t be as useful, but the pictures and stuff about common diseases and how they present is invaluable.)

Here’s what the book’s got to say about marijuana toxicity and what it does to reptiles:

Marijuana continues to be by far the most used illicit drug in the United States. Cannabis sativa has been used for centuries for its hemp fiber, as rope, and for its psychoactive resins. Totally or partially herbivorous captive reptiles may encounter growing marijuana plants or ingest dried stems, leaves, and flowers. The main active ingredient of marijuana is tetrahydrocannibinol (THC). The highest concentration of this psychoactive constituent is found in the leaves and the flowering tops of plants. Hashish is the dried resin of flower tops. The precise mechanism of action of THC is unknown, but the psychoactive effects of this drug are thought to stem from a number of sites within the CNS, including cholinergic dopaminergic, serotonergic, noradrenergic, and GABA receptors. Ingested marijuana shows effects much more slowly than the results of the inhaled smoke; however, the effects of ingested THC last much longer. Clinical signs after ingestion of marijuana include mydriasis, weakness, ataxia, bradycardia, hypothermia, and stupor. The extent of clinical signs after marijuana ingestion is almost totally dose related. Treatment for marijuana ingestion is primarily supportive and symptomatic. Marijuana toxications are rarely fatal because of the wide margin of safety of THC. Activated charcoal administration is recommended to decrease enterohepatic recirculation. Despite its relative safety margin, recovery after ingestion may be prolonged and take up to 3 to 4 days. Fluids and monitoring of body temperature may be beneficial. We have seen two reptiles ingest fairly large amounts of marijuana. A 10-pound Sulcata Tortoise showed no effects after eating four marijuana cigarettes. However, a 6-pound male Green Iguana was stuporous after eating into a “baggie” of marijuana and needed support. Both animals recovered completely. Undoubtedly other “under-the-counter” drugs have been blundered across by reptiles. Various “over-the-counter” drugs kept on nightstands, kitchen counters, or bathroom shelves may be encountered by captive reptiles given free range in the house. For their own safety, captive animals should be confined and all medications kept in their original containers in child-proof and animal-proof cabinets.

So yes, it’s toxic. Do the animals usually die from eating it? Well, no, because the plant itself is relatively safe. Is it a good idea? Absolutely not, why would you put your animal through that??

Yo have another thing fam

The short and sweet: Pidge becomes a badass and I’m Seasalt trash

The long version: The team is aboard a Galra ship for a mission, Pidge is doing her usual thing of hacking the main computer and pulling the strings when she’s discovered, she manages to secure the room again but in the process gets shot, like mortally wounded if the team doesn’t get to her soon she’s dead kind of shot. Cue her four big bros freaking the heck out and trying to get to her. She can see the odds are against them, she knows that they’ll either escape without her or get captured with her so she does what she needs to do, leads them away from her and to safety before, with what’s left of her strength, rigging the ship to short out and trigger an explosion that’ll knock out the systems and get the team out. In that final moment before in all goes to hell Lance murmurs “We’re going to need a miracle to get out of this” and Pidge manages to choke out “Then say hallelujah cuz here it is.” Things blow up, hangar doors are flung open and everyone is sucked out into space. Cut to Shiro’s visor and all you see is a reading on Pidge’s armour showing she’s flatlined. No time to get her though, Allura swings in, picks them up and off they go. Once inside the ship it starts to settle in: Pidge just blew herself up to save them. Shiro practically roars amd punches a hole through the wall before sinking to the floor, face in his hands. Keith sits next to him, staring blankly ahead as his eyes grow glassy. Poor Hunk doesn’t have the chance to give way to his own grief as he tries to calm down Lance, who’s having a full blown grief driven panic attack. Allura and Coran arrive and try to console them but it’s no use. The final shot of is of the inside the Green Lion’s cockpit, the lights are all off, everything is dimmer than usual. As the screen fades out we hear a small sniffle and see Lance’s leg poke out from behind the empty pilot’s chair where he’s sitting.

Weeks later, the team has gone numb, Pidge’s loss still heavy in the air. But they have a mission to complete aboard another Galra ship. It’s going well, until they’re attacked by something. It’s cloaked in black, small and moving freakishly fast, darting in and striking before retreating back into the shadows. Shiro manages to grab the robe and pull it off, revealing Pidge. Only it’s not her.

Haggar’s handiwork is instantly recognizable.

Every part of her has some kind of Galra tech now. Her left leg from the knee down, her right from the thigh down, the right arm from the elbow and most of her left hand are all prosthetic as. There are power nodes and panels across her body and her left arm has some kind of control band built in. Even the base of her skull, under what’s left of her hair, is Galra tech now, all of it glowing eerily purple. She stares at them, expression blank and eyes vacant. Her right eye glows purple in the second before she launches forward to attack with enough force to leave dents in the floor. Her attack is mechanically precise, each move carefully calculated and executed, her size and speed used as an advantage as she lands blow after blow. Hunk is the one to save the day here, while the other three fight just to keep her at bay he rips open a wall panel and uses the wiring to short-circuit her. The glow of the tech fades as she falls heavy and limp to the floor, surrounded by her teammates nursing the wounds she gave them.

They get their Pidge back of course. Once Hunk hooks her up to the Green Lion and uses the Lion’s energy to re-boot her she’s back with no recollection of what happened - her brain is half electronic now so the memories were literally deleted. Everyone’s ecstatic, Pidge is ok and has some p cool new abilities including downloading info directly into her brain, hacking things at a finger touch and the increased strength, stamina and resilience that her mostly tech body gives her. (She also loves her new ‘techno undercut’ and the fact that she glows green) Lance jokingly calls her the Miracle Maker but it sticks. He starts affectionately referring to her as ‘Miracle’ and whenever she does something techie and helpful on a mission he’ll say “hallelujah” and it kind of rubs off on the rest of the team and becomes a sort of call-sign for her. One time Lance called her ‘My Miracle’ and didn’t even notice until Hunk told him later “So that’s why she blushed?”

Fic 455: Bon Anniversaire

Spy/Pyro sweetness!

And just a quick note! I’ll be travelling this weekend, so there won’t be any updates, but I’ll try and have something up for you all Sunday or Monday night. Until then, take care!

It was night. The closest 2Fort ever came to being silent. Absent the sounds of gunfire and explosives, death knells and Wilhelm screams, it was peaceful. Now the air hummed with a million little sounds. There was the soft tick-tick-tick of the alarm clock on the nightstand and the rattling of ancient pipes as steam surged through them to power the generator as someone, somewhere flipped a light switch. Outside was the soft patter of raindrops as a rare cold front came through, gently tapping at the windowpane before dripping down to the sash. It was the type of night that Pyro normally loved; quiet and dark, and making the entire world feel small and safe.

They rolled over under the covers, pulling Balloonicorn close. The thick rubber squeaked in their arms, just enough to let them know that it was just a little too tight.


The hands of the clock swung around again, and they watched as it once again neared the Hour. The Secret Hour. The time and date that no one else knew.

Their birthday.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

ugh thank you so much for sharing your Sangwoo perspective, it's SO on point and i couldn't agree more, the issue cannot just be solved by putting him (or Bum, for that matter) to jail and i'm glad someone in the fandom pointed it out so well defined. he sure as hell got great in "maintaining a facade" but just the way he doesn't even probably realise the extent of his inner loneliness and vulnerability makes me wonder whether Bum could somewhere in the long run even affect his murdering urges..

Yeah, indeed. 

Sangwoo is not a very self-aware person, not in a very complex level since he thinks he is self-aware, which actually blocks him from seeing a lot of himself. 

Sangwoo is pretty empty on the inside, as sad as that is, and his emotions are either very extreme or not there at all. 

Sangwoo’s whole deal, I mean his body literally blocking his ability to feel things, is actually a defence mechanism precisely so he doesn’t realise his inner loneliness and vulnerability as it would have been detrimental to his sanity even further. 

Bum is observant but he is also under a lot of pressure and constant threat of his life, so I don’t actually know. I think for that to happen, or at least for him to share that with Sangwoo, the power dynamic has to change a little. 

Also no problem, thank you for reading my perspective~~ 


It’s back to school time! Senior year, and I am pumped!

Just got (mostly) all of my supplies and decided to do a Back To School Haul / What’s In My Backpack post, so here it is!


This year I bought an EASTSPORT backpack at WalMart. It was around $30 dollars, but I’m gonna use it for college too, so I can justify $30. I can’t find it online for some reason so I can’t link it. 


In the top left, I have these Moleskine journals I bought a while ago at Barnes & Noble with some discount or something. Finally decided how I wanted to use them and no that’s working out.

For my classes, I bought a 5 subject Five Star notebook. Gonna use it for now, and then if I need individual notebooks, I’ll get those later. Also, I don’t know why they are so expensive on Amazon, but I got mine for a lot cheaper.

Other stuff I got: Casemate Index Cards and Sticky notes which I also can’t find online.


I ended up getting the same planner that I did last year. It’s the Plan Ahead See It Bigger planner. It is so amazing. It’s definitely my favorite planner I’ve ever had and way easier for me to use than a bullet journal, yet it has enough space for me to customize it and make it pretty.

My folder is a Casemate Expandable folder, which I think is way easier to keep all my classwork and other important papers organized. Also, one that I can’t find on Amazon.

Pencils, Pens & More

For pencils, I got the trusty Dixon Ticonderoga Black Pencils. I also got the Bic Xtra Precision 0.5 mm Mechanical Pencils and then extra 0.5 mm lead, Pentel Hi-Polymer Erasers and a small sharpener I already had.

For pens, I got regular Bic Ballpoint Black pens and the Bic Cristal Colored Pens.

Other supplies are Sharpie Highlighters and Crayola Supertips. I also have a TI-83 Plus calculator that isn’t pictured.

Other Essentials

Some other things I always have in my backpack: Headphones. hair ties, deodorant, my inhaler, a book I’m reading and a water bottle! 

“Usssss,” hissed Dorfl, so faintly that Vimes wasn’t sure he’d heard it. A finger scratched on the floor.

“Is it trying to write something?” said Angua.

Vimes pulled out his notebook, eased it under Dorfl’s hand, and gently pushed a pencil into the golem’s fingers. They watched the hand as it wrote— a little jerkily but still with the mechanical precision of a golem— eight words. Then it stopped. The pencil rolled away. The lights in Dorfl’s eyes dwindled and went out.

“Good grief,” breathed Angua. “They don’t need words in their heads…”

“We can rebuild him,” said Carrot hoarsely. “We have the pottery.”

Vimes stared at the words, and then at what remained of Dorfl.

“Mister Vimes?” said Carrot.

“Do it,” said Vimes.

Carrot blinked.

“Right now,” Vimes said. He looked back at the scrawl in his book.


“And when you rebuild him,” he said, “when you rebuild him… give him a voice. Understand?


Feet of Clay

this never fails to make me cry

IT’S SO FLUFFY! Chapter 4

I know this is late and I’M SORRY! Thought I’d try my hand at a breakdance AU because today’s theme is Music. DJWifi sounded perfect for today. And in case you’re wondering, this is the song I’ve been listening to on loop while writing this.


Chapter 4: Excite

He doesn’t know her real name.

All he knows is what she allows people to know. He knows she calls herself Lady Wifi. He knows long legs coated in black tights and ending in well worn sneakers. He knows the loose purple tank top emblazoned with a wifi symbol that glows pink beneath the blacklights. He knows the black grease paint smeared over her dazzling hazel eyes.

It’s really no different from what people know about him. He is DJ Bubbler. He wears mostly black with a vest coated in random smears and streaks of primary color. He wears blue paint across his face to hide his identity, like everyone else in Club Miraculous, the largest underground (*coughillegalcough*) dance club in Paris. Pseudonyms, costumes, alternate personas. Here, everyone can be someone else. Here, everyone can be free, free to dance to the beat Bubbler supplied.

And no one dances more beautifully than Lady Wifi.

Keep reading

I should not tell you of Berenice, the unjust city, which crowns with triglyphs, abaci, metopes the gears of its meat-grinding machines (the men assigned to polishing, when they raise their chins over the balustrades and contemplate the atria, stairways, porticos, feel even more imprisoned and short of stature). Instead, I should tell you of the hidden Berenice, the city of the just, handling makeshift materials in the shadowy rooms behind the shops and beneath the stairs, linking a network of wires and pipes and pulleys and pistons and counterweights that infiltrates like a climbing plant among the great cogged wheels (when they jam, a subdued ticking gives warning that a new precision mechanism is governing the city). Instead of describing to you the perfumed pools of the baths where the unjust of Berenice recline and weave their intrigues with rotund eloquence and observe with a proprietary eye the rotund flesh of the bathing odalisques, I should say to you how the just, always cautious to evade the spying sycophants and the Janizaries’ mass arrests, recognize one another by their way of speaking, especially their pronunciation of commas and parentheses; from their habits which remain austere and innocent, avoiding complicated and nervous moods; from their sober but tasty cuisine, which evokes an ancient golden age: rice and celery soup, boiled beans, fried squash flowers.

From these data it is possible to deduce an image of the future Berenice, which will bring you closer to knowing the truth than any other information about the city as it is seen today. You must nevertheless bear in mind what I am about to say to you: in the seed of the city of the just, a malignant seed is hidden, in its turn: the certainty and pride of being in the right—and of being more just than many others who call themselves more just than the just. This seed ferments in bitterness, rivalry, resentment; and the natural desire of revenge on the unjust is colored by a yearning to be in their place and to act as they do. Another unjust city, though different from the first, is digging out its space within the double sheath of the unjust and just Berenices.

Having said this, I do not wish your eyes to catch a distorted image, so I must draw your attention to an intrinsic quality of this unjust city germinating secretly inside the secret just city: and this is the possible awakening—as if in an excited opening of windows—of a later love for justice, not yet subjected to rules, capable of reassembling a city still more just than it was before it became the vessel of injustice. But if you peer deeper into this new germ of justice you can discern a tiny spot that is spreading like the mounting tendency to impose what is just through what is unjust, and perhaps this is the germ of an immense metropolis…

From my words you will have reached the conclusion that the real Berenice is a temporal succession of different cities, alternately just and unjust. But what I wanted to warn you about is something else: all the future Berenices are already present in this instant, wrapped one within the other, confined, crammed, inextricable.


Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino

Read this on the plane today, and it seemed relevant to the current discussions around Social Justice that have been populating my tumblr feed of the past few days.

whatshouldisayimshy  asked:

Show me a reptile with some sweet dance moves?

The shovel-snouted lizard (Meroles anchietae) is one of the rare lizards that actually lives on loose sand. It traverses the dunes in African deserts like the Namib and Sahara, and is one of the fastest of all reptiles, moving at roughly three feet per second. That’s twenty times its body length. Like other desert lizards, they have fringes along the margins of their toes, which helps provide surface area for running across sand. 

But that’s not their only adaptation for desert life. The shovel-snouted lizard performs something called a “thermal dance,” which prevents them from getting burned. The surface temperature of the sand can exceed 160F, so the lizard lifts its feet with near-mechanical precision. Here’s a couple of videos showing this critter in action, explaining some of their thermal adaptations and the mechanics of how their legs work!

In addition to their thermal dance, the shovel-snouted lizard is extremely good at dramatic poses, complete with the “I’m the hottest (no literally i’m too hot i must gape now)” mouth and a well-executed sexy leg.

Image sources: 1, 2

“When everything that called itself art was well and truly riddled with rheumatism, the photographer lit the lamp of a thousand candles and step by step the light-sensitive paper absorbed the blackness of several objects of use. He had discovered the momentousness of a tender and unspoilt flash of lightning, which was more important than all the constellations designed to bedazzle our eyes. Precise, unique and correct mechanical deformation as fixed, smooth and filtered like a head of hair through a comb of light. Is it a spiral of water, or the tragic gleam of a revolver, an egg, a glittering arc or a sluice gate of reason, a subtle ear with a mineral whistle or a turbine of algebraical formulae? As the mirror effortlessly throws back the image, and the echo the voice, without asking us why, the beauty of matter belongs to no one, for henceforth it is a physicochemical product.”

Tristan Tzara on Man Ray’s Rayographs, 1924. 

The Crystal Gems [Pop Culture Classes]

Steven Quartz-Universe: Friendship Paladin

  • Redemption Through Camaraderie
  • Smite With a Smile
  • Lay Hand in Hand

Enjoy your new life of PUTTING THE “PAL” IN

Garnet: Unity Monk

  • Fission Vision
  • Synchronized Striking
  • Transcendental Mediation


Amethyst: Transformation Gladiator

  • Cirque du Cirques
  • The Morph Dodge Spectacular
  • Mimicry Mockery


Pearl: Precision Samurai

  • Bearer of Exacting Standards
  • Symmetrical Slices
  • Practice Conquers Prefecture


Peridot: Indignation Mechanic

  • Passive-Aggressive Resistors
  • Public Irks Projects
  • Spooled Ire


Grand Seiko at The Armoury

I have been collecting watches since 2001. My first piece was on Omega Chronostop, followed by an IWC cal. 8541 based piece and eventually swirled out of control to include 30’s era Omegas and JLC’s, a healthy collection of vintage Patek and Vacheron, and last but not least, Grand Seiko, which seems to take up a disproportionate amount of time on my wrist.

Grand Seiko is so fascinating for me not just because I love their watches but because they feel like an engineering company in the best sense of the word. Meeting engineering challenges is their identity. The history and scale of Seiko is not immediately obvious to most people. Very briefly, it was started by Kintaro Hattori in 1881 as a clock repair shop, grew into a clockmaker and eventually came to include precision manufacturing (Seiko Instruments Corp.) and semiconductor manufacturing (Epson). They pioneered the use of quartz and because of their expertise in timing accuracy, they played a huge part in the computer revolution, particularly with printers. Epson actually stands for “Son of Electronic Printer”.

While there are a huge number of Seiko products deserving of respect, there are a few I want to highlight. Firstly, the original Grand Seiko, released in 1960. Japan in the 60’s was far being competitive with Western precision manufacturing. The original Grand Seiko was the first Japanese watch to rise to the challenge of being on par with the great Swiss makers of the time in terms of fit, finish and reliability. Just 8 years later, there came the 61GS VFA. VFA stands for “Very Fine Adjustment” and the model was used as Seiko’s entry into swiss timekeeping accuracy competitions. It cleaned up, showing Seiko was capable of not just imitating its Swiss peers but even surpassing them.

In the early 70’s Seiko was deep into development of the quartz movement, eventually making it a viable commercial product and significantly changing the landscape of timekeeping devices. While the age of quartz is bittersweet, as it saw the demise of many mechanical watch manufacturers, it also brought about the Spring Drive.

The Spring Drive is a hybrid mechanism that combines both a quartz and mechanical movement without the use of a battery. Its development time was extremely long, starting in the late 70’s and never reaching commercial fruition until the 90’s. The technology is of course amazing, but what impresses me even more is the culmination of factors that enabled its birth.

We live in an age now where product development timelines are shorter and shorter, commercial viability and short-term obligations to shareholders are of paramount importance. 20 years for a long shot is not something most modern companies would be willing to place any bets on. Furthermore, Spring Drive is not just reliant on cutting edge precision manufacturing for its mechanical components, it is also reliant on semiconductors. Spring Drive required the development of an ultra low power IC, something that only Epson could do for the project, and thus something that only Seiko as a whole could do. For a company of engineers, it is however almost an obligation to rise to challenges such as this.

One of the founding tenets of The Armoury is respecting craftsmanship and the human beings behind it all. Our love for tailoring and shoemaking is not just about the aesthetics, it is about the sheer human effort and dedication behind it. People often forget that the striking, cutting, sewing, pressing and finishing of a garment is also engineering, maybe by the techniques of a bygone era, but engineering nonetheless. So in the spirit of outstanding engineering, I am immensely pleased to be able to announce Grand Seiko now officially available at The Armoury NYC.

- Mark Cho