The Land Before Time

Many of the enchanting creatures we fall in love with as kids turn out not to be real. One by one, we learn there’s no such thing as mermaids or unicorns or werewolves. But the more we learn about dinosaurs, the more real they become – maybe that’s what makes them truly magical and the places where they come to life so special.

For 6-year-old Dax, the dinosaurs at ROM hold just such magic. Dax has been visiting the ancient inhabitants of the Museum’s James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs for as long as he can remember.

When ROM shuttered its doors in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dax missed visiting his prehistoric pals—Zuul is a particular favourite—but his fascination with dinosaurs didn’t wane. He kept reading about them, talking about them and drawing them. And that gave his dad, Clint, an idea – creating dinosaur watches and auctioning them off in support of ROM.

“ROM was such a big part of our pre-pandemic lives, we really missed visiting the Museum during lockdowns and wanted to find a way to extend some support however we could,” says Clint. “At the same time, I was looking for a project we could do together. I had been learning about watchmaking, and Dax loves to draw dinosaurs, so dinosaur watches seemed like a natural way to combine our interests and create something together.”

Clint told his young son that they had enough materials to make three watches, so Dax delivered a towering brachiosaurus, an imposing stegosaurus and a ferocious T-rex.

With Dax’s original illustrations on the dial faces, encased in stainless steel and backed by automatic Seiko 7s25 movements, the final products are striking, one-of-a-kind timepieces. The duo plans to auction them off via Instagram on Tuesday, June 21.

When asked why supporting ROM was so important to them, Clint replies: “From our dino-centric perspective, the research that happens at the Museum is unbelievable. There are new palaeontological discoveries coming out of ROM all the time. But beyond that, with the climate crisis our planet is facing, the understanding and appreciation of biodiversity that the Museum cultivates is more important than ever.”

Adds Clint: “It’s also just a fun place to visit, right Dax?” Dax agrees.


All three handmade dinosaur watches are powered by automatic Seiko 7s25 movements and are encased stainless steel with sapphire crystal. The auction will take place on Tuesday, June 21 via Instagram. Bidding for each watch begins at $85, and all proceeds support ROM. Learn more or place your bid at @drexdinowatches.

Update: The auction is now closed. Thank you to all the bidders who made this a T-rrific success, raising almost $1200. And a big thank you to Dax and Clint for their creativity and generous support!

Image courtesy of Clint Tham