Setting an alarm for a specific time is something that all of us take for granted. Today you simply go to your phone and set one (or a hundred if you are my wife), but go back just a few hundred years and this was not so easy. One of the earliest known people to try and solve the problem of setting an alarm was none other than Plato who needed to find a way to ensure that he was awake for his dawn lectures. Plato solved the problem with a water clock and others would implement unique solutions for the next few millennia, but it wasn’t until the late 1700s that a more standard and modern solution was implemented. Even still it took almost another hundred years for Seth E. Thomas to create a version of the alarm clock in 1876 that could be mass produced and sold to the general public. “In an expanding urban and industrial world, people were obligated to know the time and to be on time,” writes historian Martin Levinson. “By the late nineteenth century, many consumers were actively seeking alarm clocks.” Eterna takes the award for bringing the alarm functionality to a series production wristwatch in 1914. Ever since the alarm watch has been a popular, yet less and less so in recent years, watch complication and nearly every brand has produced a version including this Pacer Alarm.
This watch threw us for a bit of a loop when we went to research it. While we hadn’t heard of the Pacer brand before we can usually find out something about the brand or find other examples. Well, this is the watch that proved us wrong. Pacer as a brand, as least as far as the internet is concerned, seems to never have existed. In these scenarios, especially with watches from the 70s, we tend to assume that the brand was simply that, a brand used for marketing purposes and not really a watch manufacturer. So we went looking for the same watch made by another company and what we found was that this watch was actually produced by a company called Milus and that they did in fact white label the watch for other companies including examples made for Swiss watch retailer Bucherer. What makes all of this even more interesting is that no matter which brand name was printed on the dial, all of the examples that we have seen retain the Milus logo at 12 o’clock. Regardless of the backstory, this watch has survived in excellent to new old stock condition and has fantastic blue and orange pops of color on the dial. To add to the appeal is a period-correct JB Champion bracelet with a seldom seen matching bracelet calendar. Consider us tickled pink.
The Case and Bracelet
The 37mm stainless steel case and bracelet are in excellent to, dare we say, new old stock condition. The brushed finishing with polished bevels is very sharp and shows virtually no signs of wear or refinishing. As noted above, the bracelet is a JB champion mesh model that is correct for the time period and comes with a bracelet mounted calendar that is just too cool.
The Dial and Hands
The silver dial is in excellent condition with no flaws to note. The orange, blue, and white hands bring a welcome pop of color to the dial and the lack of a date window adds to the overall look and feel. Noticeably absent from the dial is any luminous material, which has helped the dial and overall appearance to remain so strong over the years.
The watch features an AS 1930 manual-wind alarm movement with sweep seconds. The watch is running with all alarm functions operating as expected. The service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Manual, AS1930 Alarm|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||JB Champion with matching calendar|
|Clasp Type||Self-Adjusting Clasp|