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Timers

by Jordan Ficklin

My first exposure to mechanical timepieces was a mechanical stopwatch which lay buried in the back of my father’s desk. I loved the way it felt when you started & stopped it. I loved the sound it made. At the time I had no idea I would end up working with watches but I definitely felt a connection to that timepiece.

The watch pictured here is a Clebar stopwatch I just serviced for a client. The great thing about these mechanical stopwatches is they are so simply done and yet so tactile to the touch. The Clebar has a column wheel control which makes the button press very satisfying.

In a chronograph movement which has to keep track of the time as well as perform the stopwatch functions there needs to be some kind of a clutch mechanism to disengage the counters from the rest of the watch so you can stop them and reset them. In a timer usually the watch is stopped by pressing a spring against the balance and the whole gear train comes to a halt. Heart cams control the position of the hands, but unlike a chronograph which needs to have a fixed position to each other and disengage from timekeeping these two cams are free to slip on the posts of the gears that drive them when you press the reset button.

One, unrelated feature of this movement is the little plastic compartment which holds some commonly needed spare parts. I’ve seen this before but it is a pretty rare feature.

Timers can range from the simplest unjeweld timers to Hanhart 1/10 Second Timers to beautiful Vintage Heuer timers and much, much more. Perhaps the most beautiful timer on the market isn’t actually a timer at all it’s a split seconds chronograph made by Omega to commemorate the 2008 Olympics. It’s configuration however puts it in the category with timers in my mind.


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