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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Signal through the Noise – Measuring the Precision of Mechanical Watches with your iPhone

A watchmaker’s job isn’t done once a watch is assembled and ticking. The much more abstract task of then getting that watch to keep time – in an almost infinite variety of positions, temperatures, and states of wind – takes place. It’s the most challenging part of our craft and the pursuit for perfection is [...]

A 19¢ Fix that Could Save You $1900

I have had the good fortune of working with several different automatic watch cleaning machines over the years. The Elma RM90 is the first I was ever exposed to. While it lacks the ultrasonic capabilities and digital settings of machines such as the Greiner ACS 900 and Rolex’s CM3, I find its rudimentary construction to [...]

Modern Repair of a Vintage Watch

The problem with this 18 size Elgin pocket watch was that you could set the hands backwards but not forwards. The cause was that when you pulled out the stem the rocking cam would move enough to allow the setting wheel to engage the minute wheel, but not enough for the winding wheel to disengage [...]

Rust Induced Water Resistance

Late last night, Gizmodo posted X-rays online from the March 2010 issue of the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, which featured a more than 300 year old pocket watch mechanism, preserved in its original case thanks to the rust that sealed it shut following a shipwreck that is thought to have happened in 1653. The [...]

Why a castle rivet?

First, totally unrelated to the title of this post I want to add that I see watches come in waves, just like J. Edwards points out in his last post. It just seems to be the way it is. Also, ideas for blog posts seem to come in the same fashion. One of the best [...]

The Age Old Technique of Peening Sheet Armor (Applied to Clasps)

There are certain types of work that seem to come in batches. Months may pass where I won’t see a single Patek, Omega, or Breitling come in for service and then suddenly 3 or 4 may come in within the span of a week. Sometimes I won’t see a single broken crystal for weeks, and [...]