OT: Watchmaker...

OT: Watchmaker...

C.W.
C.W.

October 2nd, 2005, 11:11 am #1

Someone here pondered what exactly it meant to call oneself a watchmaker and remarked that typically it meant they had the ability to change a battery. So I smiled at that and started wondering what my skills actually were. I don't call myself a watchmaker by any means, but since I started hanging around this place I can change a battery, a strap, take out links in standard bracelets, I've replaced crowns, crystals, recased movements and most recently thanks to our Mr. Gonsher, I have replaced a dial! Here is a picture of my latest achievement, or attempt!



The face is from a slightly different model, which explains the slight tilt, but it is miles ahead of the old dial in looks. I suspect the watch was worn while washing dishes, as it had a lot of gunk in it and from the looks of the old dial, some water damage.
A quick clean, a new dial and a sonic dip of the case and we're ready to tell time again!

Thanks Philip! We'll talk about what kind of parts you're looking for!
--Charlie
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technoguy
technoguy

October 3rd, 2005, 6:51 am #2

There was a time, like about two centuries ago(!), when a "watchmaker" was a skilled artisan who actually made a watch movement and its case by hand. Then, with the introduction of equipment to make gears, this ability was slowly lost by those making watches, but they still referred to themselves as "watchmakers". Today, the slide in watchmaking abilities continues downhill.



Most "watchmakers" today are only capable of making repairs using parts that someone else made with a machine. They no longer physically make the watch and, ultimately, are really only doing a more advanced version of what the members of this forum do...only with better facilities and tools. Yet, they still refer to themselves as "watchmakers". Perhaps, it would be more accurate if they called themselves "watch technicians".



In the future, with the advent of mass produced cases, dials, and movements, the mere swapping of these components by a person will immediately confer the title of "watchmaker" upon him.



technoguy
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John
John

October 3rd, 2005, 3:21 pm #3

A question that has been on my mind for a while. Does anyone know of a blind watchmaker(either living or dead)?
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Greg Ward
Greg Ward

October 3rd, 2005, 8:18 pm #4

There was a time, like about two centuries ago(!), when a "watchmaker" was a skilled artisan who actually made a watch movement and its case by hand. Then, with the introduction of equipment to make gears, this ability was slowly lost by those making watches, but they still referred to themselves as "watchmakers". Today, the slide in watchmaking abilities continues downhill.



Most "watchmakers" today are only capable of making repairs using parts that someone else made with a machine. They no longer physically make the watch and, ultimately, are really only doing a more advanced version of what the members of this forum do...only with better facilities and tools. Yet, they still refer to themselves as "watchmakers". Perhaps, it would be more accurate if they called themselves "watch technicians".



In the future, with the advent of mass produced cases, dials, and movements, the mere swapping of these components by a person will immediately confer the title of "watchmaker" upon him.



technoguy
Sorry, but your comments are wrong. I am a watch maker so not only am I a highly skilled repairer, working on watches that most people on this forum wouldn't dare take the back off, but I also make watches on occasions using vintage tooling. The UK still has a small number of makers.

You can't repair a verge fusee watch by inserting spare parts from another source. Parts have to be made including turning up staffs, pivots, pinions etc.

I would agree that it appears that most people on this forum haven't got a clue as their main interest is Timex, which hardly equips one to understand the workings of a proper watch.

A full strip down, clean and oil of a Timex takes me two hours, fully reassembled, tested and regulated. A complex watch like an Omega Chronograph takes between 5 - 10 hours. Making a watch from scratch can take anything up to a year depending on design and complexity.
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rltbod
rltbod

October 3rd, 2005, 9:16 pm #5

Agree with your point about what a watch maker is Greg but probably the wrong place for derisory comments about Timex watches!
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Bill D
Bill D

October 3rd, 2005, 9:23 pm #6

Sorry, but your comments are wrong. I am a watch maker so not only am I a highly skilled repairer, working on watches that most people on this forum wouldn't dare take the back off, but I also make watches on occasions using vintage tooling. The UK still has a small number of makers.

You can't repair a verge fusee watch by inserting spare parts from another source. Parts have to be made including turning up staffs, pivots, pinions etc.

I would agree that it appears that most people on this forum haven't got a clue as their main interest is Timex, which hardly equips one to understand the workings of a proper watch.

A full strip down, clean and oil of a Timex takes me two hours, fully reassembled, tested and regulated. A complex watch like an Omega Chronograph takes between 5 - 10 hours. Making a watch from scratch can take anything up to a year depending on design and complexity.
quote: I would agree that it appears that most people on this forum haven't got a clue as their main interest is Timex, which hardly equips one to understand the workings of a proper watch. end quote.
How to win friends and influence people.
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Greg Ward
Greg Ward

October 3rd, 2005, 9:32 pm #7

Agree with your point about what a watch maker is Greg but probably the wrong place for derisory comments about Timex watches!
On contrary,

I have large collection of Timex. Can still like them and be honestly critical.
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Greg Ward
Greg Ward

October 3rd, 2005, 9:36 pm #8

quote: I would agree that it appears that most people on this forum haven't got a clue as their main interest is Timex, which hardly equips one to understand the workings of a proper watch. end quote.
How to win friends and influence people.
Perhaps some members should consider more carefully before they start spouting innaccuracies about the 'dying art' of watch making.
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RonD.
RonD.

October 3rd, 2005, 10:07 pm #9

My fellow Timexicans,

Nobody is "spouting". I think that Technoguy is stating what most folks these days THINK a watchmaker is. But I think we would all agree that a true watch maker has the machinist skills to create all the parts necessary to make a watch.

A lot of us here work on all kinds of clocks and watches, but I still would consider ourselves hobbiest. Greg, I think with your background, it would be great if you could contribute some positive posts from time to time.

Just for the record, I'll take the back off of anything.. and then I usually have to pay someone to put it back on!

Ron
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Bill D
Bill D

October 3rd, 2005, 10:08 pm #10

Perhaps some members should consider more carefully before they start spouting innaccuracies about the 'dying art' of watch making.
you are right (or not) but you could state your point in a more civil manner. Demonstating a superior attitude and portraying all Timex afficienados as clueless about other fine watches shows a lack of respect for others (in my view), as well as making an assumption without knowing what other timepieces any of own or may work on.
Now I will do the best thing to do with these type of discussions and that is to sit on my hands and ignore them. I apologize to Allan and the board for getting embroiled in this little fracas.
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