That was neat. Given how archaic mechanical watches are, and inferior at time keeping compared to quartz electronic watches, it is amazing and wonderful that there are still watchmakers who can design and repair them. I still have to wonder who would spend the many months and years it takes to learn watch making, though. It’s so exacting, and yet esoteric.
Nicely EMP proof though
While the mechanical market is a fraction the size of the quartz market, it’s still a sizable customer base worldwide. While I would never spend three or four grand on a watch, I did invest in an Oris dive watch I picked up for about a thousand USD. It’s movement isn’t as accurate as Omega’s, but it will still be ticking a hundred years from now as long as I spend a hundred bucks every ten years or so for a cleaning, and I’m in the process (practicing on a cheap second-hand Seiko automatic I picked up) of learning to save myself even that expense by doing it myself. I have seven years to learn, so I’m not too worried.
There’s some intrinsic appeal to a machine that keeps the time powered by the motion of your own body. And being able to see the movement through the Oris’s sapphire back-plate is just mesmerizing. The only other watch I own is a 10 year-old solar-powered Casio Rangeman digital that’s freaking amazing. But while the Casio will live a long long time for a watch I bought at 60 bucks before the rechargeable battery finally gives up the ghost, my automatic could conceivably live forever if I learn to care for it properly.
Watchmaking is quite the skill. I have a book “Modern Watch and Clock Repair” from 1940 (although it’s the umpteenth reprint) that describes it in gory detail. The book even discusses how to repair a watch that was worked on by a hack repairman.
Favorite concept: If you find that things just aren’t going together the way they ought to be going, cover your workbench, go outside, smoke a cigarette, come in and try again. It will work much better.
I manufacture huge watches with hardly any moving parts.
Now there’s name I have not heard in a very long time. Watching him and Rex Garrod presenting The Secret Life of Machines back when I was in high school played a huge part in inspiring my love of engineering.
Looks like some kind soul has uploaded them all to Youtube. Time to dive back into my childhood.
I still have my grandfather’s automatic but no repairman has yet been able to make it keep good time. Three have tried.
Meanwhile my swiss army pocket watch continues to survive truly absurd amounts of punishment and keep perfect time. Other than 1-hour DST changes, I’ve had to set it twice in the last 20 years, both times after the battery ran out.
Works for software too, I don’t even need the cigarette (never smoked).
True, true. Always good to have an EMP proof chronograph so you can keep track of your last hours on earth
I’m fascinated by mechanical watches. After watching the Hamilton Watch video made by Hamilton to show how their watches were made, using super expensive oil and watch spring material, I am even more amazed that any of this specialized industry remains given the infrastructure needed to maintain it.
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