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Tuesday Tools – Knowledge

by Jordan Ficklin

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Knowledge is a tool, but I’m not talking about the stuff in your head. This weeks tools are reference books. Some of the ones I use the most are the following:Manuals

  • Bestfit Encyclopedia
  • C&E Marshall Handy Manual
  • Theory of Horology
  • Brand Specific technical information

Here’s some more detail on what you’ll find in them. The Bestfit book has illustrations of thousands of watch movements to help you identify calibers. It lists part numbers for some of the most common parts (mainsprings, staffs, stems, hands). It also has encyclopedic illustrations which help you know what to call certain parts. It even has illustrations for the automatic section, calendar sections, chronograph sections, backwind movements, alarms, and timers. It also lists shock springs – because you know you lose one every once and a while.

Both the Bestfit Encyclopedia and the Handy Manual have missed some calibers so sometimes you can find a caliber in one that isn’t in the other. The Handy Manual is better for American Pocket Watches. It has a nice listing in the back with both factory numbers and Marshall Numbers for all kinds of parts arranged by size and variant. There are a lot of variations.

The Theory of Horology is going to help you when you need a formula more than anything. It doesn’t really tell you how to fix anything but it does discuss in pretty good detail how things are supposed to work and how to calculate gear ratios and mainspring sizes and all kinds of other things.

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