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"When the shadow of the sash appeared in the curtains it was between seven and eight o’clock and then I was in time again, hearing the watch. It was Grandfather’s and when Father gave it to me he said I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire; it’s rather excruciatingly apt that you will use it to gain the reducto absurdum of all human experience which can fit your individual needs no better than it fitted his or his father’s. I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all your breath trying to conquer it."
Among the pages of William Faulkner's Southern Gothic masterpiece rests a simple truth: the pursuit of conquering time is the surest way to let it slip by in an instant.
While Faulkner may have been charmed by the soft tick of the watch, we're hard-pressed today to find moments still enough to be so transported.
Enter the Memovox.
Released in 1950, the Memovox was JLC's answer to the Vulcain Cricket, the wrist alarm famously worn by numerous U.S. Presidents. But where the Cricket was the first, the Memovox became the most lasting; multiple stylings and executions were produced, and like other acclaimed products that became eponymous (think Xerox, Band-Aid, Velcro, Kleenex, to name a few), the Memovox rose to become the definition of wrist-anchored mechanical alarm watches.
Now, Faulkner would be happy to know that the name is a portmanteau of 'memoria' and 'vox' combined to give us 'voice of memory.' The name is apt. Not only is the Memovox equipped with a brightly-toned mechanical function (achieved by a small hammer striking a post anchored to the caseback) that equips the wearer with an audible alarm, it also serves as a charming reminder: time is pressing onward, so set your alarm that you might forget yourself in the interim.
Many iterations of the Memovox were created—some early examples bore blued-steel sweep hands and slighter cases, other were produced in gold with brightly colored dials— but the Reference E855, offered here, is the execution most often associated with the line. Its streamlined 37mm steel case, slightly tapered lugs and bright, legible dial and date are the hallmarks of what helped make the Memovox a triumph for the manufacture. While the dials of many of these watches show the ravages of time, ours does not, with the wide applied hour markers as crisp as ever; moreover, while the inner ring often is the first element of the dials to be replaced in service, the one on ours has not been.
And if you need a physical reminder of the workings of time, you can feel the bumper-wound movement of this watch as you move your wrist.
Never before has a "mausoleum of all hope and desire" been so stunning... or sonorous.
Stainless steel case is approximately 37mm (excluding crown). Reference E855. Calibre 825 Bumper-Wind Movement. Circa 1960s.
Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition with minor signs of use and wear. Dial is in excellent condition with crisp printing. Signed crowns.
Includes one 18mm dark brown leather strap with white contrast stitching.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options