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Monthly Archives: February 2008

All stones are not created equal.

It’s tuesday and time for Tuesday’s Tools. This week I’ll talk about stones; sharpening stones to be specific. When I was a boy I remember my father having a nice oil stone in his toolbox in a leather pouch which he used to sharpen his tools, and he would let me use if for my […]

World’s most accurate clock

Do you need to be on time? I mean really on time. The Journal of Science reports this week that scientists have developped a new atomic clock wich will not deviated by a single second in 200 million years. It is based on a lattice of strontium atoms suspended with lasers and honestly, I don’t […]

Watchmaker’s Lathe – Made in China?

When I was in watchmaking school I had access to some of the best lathes made today. We had a Schaublin 70, a Schaublin 102, and 16 Horia lathes all with just about every attachment available. I learned to use them all and I got spoiled. We were manufacturing parts and making our school watch, […]

Watch Maker? or Watch Repairer?

Some days I feel like a watch repairer or a watch technician. Other days I feel like a real watchmaker. Today was a watchmaker day! Today I worked on a Rolex Caliber 1400. It is a small movement. As you can see from the picture it is smaller than a dime, but it isn’t the […]


Floorology – the art of finding things you’ve dropped on the floor. I’ve been thinking about this post for a while and something I read over on timezone today made be decide to go ahead with it. It is better to drop a part on the table because one didn’t use enough pressure holding it […]

ETA 6497 / 6498

It has been a while since I worked on an ETA 6497, but I did so today and it reminded me how much I like this movement. The 6497 and 6498 began as UNITAS calibers, but when UNITAS became a part of swatch group (through a series of acquisitions) it became an ETA caliber, like […]

Case Openers

Today for Tuesday’s Tools I’ll focus on case tools. These are the tools we use to open and close watch cases. There are many different kinds of case tools. They range from a simple knife to complex steering wheel devices. First, these are the big guns. In the middle is the Rolex 1019, the best […]

What makes a good watchmaker?

Watchmaking demands perfection. Unfortunately that is something which cannot truly be attained. Yet, we strive for it, and we (hopefully) come very close. Watches are not very forgiving. It only takes one piece of lint, or one speck of dust in the wrong place to bring a watch to a grinding halt. You only have […]

Micromechanics, Part II

Part I With our first exam out of the way we turned to our lathes. Before you can turn on the lathe however, you need sharp gravers. We were given a dozen gravers with beautiful diamond shape lozenge tips and then our instructors took them to the grinding wheel and squared them off. Using only […]

Inequality for Women in Watches

The world of mechanical watches has exploded in the last 10 years. Quartz was supposed to kill the mechanical watch, but as it turns out, people love fine craftsmanship, and as it turns out, it is easier to showcase that craftsmanship when it isn’t hiding underneath a circuit board. But who buys these watches? It […]