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Watchmaking Spill-Over

by Jordan Ficklin

I don’t work on watches at home. I don’t have a workshop yet. Still waiting for all those donations to come in so I can purchase some equipment. I prefer to work in the garden actually. I’ve been landscaping my backyard and I find that some of my good habits from watchmaking spill over into other things I do.

Drill bit was a real wreck this weekend, couldn’t drill through the railroad ties any better than a spaghetti noodle so last night I took it to my grinder and carefully sharpened it. I found myself thinking about cutting geometry and relief angles and ended up with a better than new drill bit. This weekend’s continuation of building the retaining wall will go much smoother.

I first noticed while in watchmaking school that when I pulled out a screwdriver at home (even if just to replace the batteries in Tickle-Me-Elmo I was thinking about which size and profile would be the correct choice so I don’t damage the screw or toy. Prior to learning the art of watchmaking I wouldn’t have given this any more thought than “large or small.”

I’m sure these are good skills and habits for all trades and I’m glad I have them. It’s not the kind of stuff I learned while studying Computer Science. Everyone should learn a trade even if they don’t use it to make a living – its a useful thing to have.

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