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Extra Parts

by Jordan Ficklin

I started work on an Omega wristwatch this week with a caliber 283 inside. Here is the funny thing. The first thing I noticed when I opened the watch was a loose cap jewel stuck (by oil) to the inside of the case. I assumed that it had come loose from one of the balance shock systems but when I finished disassembly it turned out to be an extra loose jewel just floating around inside the watch case.

I have to wonder how does that happen? I don’t know the answer of course because, as I have mentioned before, these things don’t have little black boxes or cockpit voice recorders inside of them. Let’s have some fun and guess. Vote for your favorite option:

  1. The last watchmaker finished assembly and had an extra jewel on his bench so he just tossed it in for good measure. “Maybe the next guy will figure out where it goes.”
  2. The last watchmaker was working on another watch and lost the jewel, when it shot out of his tweezers, and never found it because it landed inside of this Omega. Yes, Aimeri, cap jewels can be more of a pain than springs.
  3. There is a wormhole for lost watch parts with one end inside this watch.
  4. The jewel dislodged at some point and the watch stopped running so the customer took it to a watchmaker who replaced the jewel without taking the time to find the jewel that came out. “What harm can a little jewel do, bouncing around inside the watch?”
  5. In an effort to increase the jewel count somebody added one more, it is now an 18 jewel manual wind Omega.
  6. Everybody knows good jewels are like rabbits, if you have a male and a female they multiply, like, well . . . rabbits!

Vote for your favorite!

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  1. Cameron
    Posted September 22, 2009 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    #3 Definitely! (In my best Tealk voice)–>”Indeed!”

  2. Posted September 22, 2009 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    #5 here. You wouldn’t believe the amount of unscrupulous watchmakers around.

  3. Josh Rogen
    Posted September 22, 2009 at 11:53 am | Permalink


    I was taught by Manuel Yazijian (AWCI watchmaking instructor) to use 00 tweezers. Since then I have never lost cap jewels.

    He told me before he introduced this type of tweezers to the AWCI community, there were always older (and younger) watchmakers on the floor looking for parts.

  4. Posted September 22, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    I’m voting for #4. A rush job without checking the entire movement. I know it happens when ever I’m cleaning my apartment.

  5. Posted September 22, 2009 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    My bet would be on number 2.

  6. Rod Fletcher
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Hi there,

    I’m for #3, oh and the other end of the worm-hole is in my workshop ­čśë

  7. Posted September 23, 2009 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Hey guys, since it is way past easter I will not attempt to put the notion on #6/ instead the logical answer is #4.
    Too many out there, IMVHO, that will not bother to take the movement apart and search, preferring to put in an extra jewel w/o looking. Cheers for a nice post Jp.

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