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Watchmaker or Tinkerer?

by Jordan Ficklin

When you are a watchmaker everyone thinks you are a tinkerer. Inevitably I get asked if I repair clocks, or music boxes, or automata, or any sundry of other odds and ends. In fact I’m a good repairman when it comes to most things because I can figure out how things work and that is the key to good diagnostics.

I don’t repair clocks. Why? It requires a completely different set of tools than the ones I use in watchmaking. A small music box or an automaton, sure why not. As long as its parts are on the scale of a watch.

Today I was asked to repair a compass. I mean why not, they are both handheld and round. First they took it to a jewelry shop across the street and they told him (with confidence) I could fix it. So, what was wrong with the compass? you ask. The North end of the needle was pointing South. A quick view of the following video on youtube and I fixed the compass. The customer thought I was a genius and I learned something new. I can now repair compasses.

The fact is this problem was very easy to solve.

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