What is Steampunk?

Steampunk as an aesthetic movement started in the 1980s and early 1990s. The genre weaves together elements of the Victorian Era, science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy and alternate histories. At the center is the use of steam power and other anachronistic technologies, combined with aspects of Victorian Britain as well as aesthetics of the American West and futuristic post-apocalyptic ideas. This broad vision of what the Victorians would have imagined in the future of art, architecture, technology and fashion provides space for participants to imagine and interpret what steampunk means.


The steampunk aesthetic combines Victorian and Industrial elements, invoking an alternate story where steam-powered modern gadgets meet Victorian fashion sensibilities. When Charles Babbage, a British mechanical engineer, philosopher and mathematician, came up with the idea of a mechanical computing device called the Difference Engine, he opened up of a modern realm of possibility. Assisting Babbage, was Ada Byron Lovelace, daughter of poet Lord Byron, and it is she who conceived of the ideas beyond computation and is sometimes considered the first computer programmer for her work in the 1820s-1840s. In this world of invention, both real and imagined, blossomed the world of steampunk where modern capabilities meet the remnants of the aristocratic age. 

Steampunk captures computer and technology-geeks, literature-nerds, renaissance-faire-lovers, comic-book-geeks; Maker-Faire folks; crafters; science fiction-lovers; Burning-Man-regulars, Public Radio listeners and other clever people interested in a bit of history. 

Read more about our watch movement jewelry and horological arts in London's QPW magazine. 

See examples of Steampunk Fashion - including our watch movement cuff links in Italy's Vogue Bridal Magazine

While most of the Compass Rose Jewelry Clockwork Jewelry Collection is ready for the Edwardian Ball or other steampunk conventions - they're just as wearable in daily life. Here's one of our necklaces featured on the cover of Ladies of Steampunk!

ladies of steampunk butterfly necklace compass rose design

Shop the Compass Rose Design Clockwork Jewelry Collection

Shop our Men's Clockwork Cuff Links and Tie Clips & Pins