Friday, January 17, 2014


Fridays are an odds and ends sort of day in watch school.  We only have class until noon and the morning hours are spent working on whatever you want.  We either play catchup with our watch overhauls or work on projects.

I have been working on an Atmos clock.  The technology of this clock allows it to be wound just by changed in temperature and barometric pressure.  Properly serviced one of these clocks can run for 30 years uninterrupted.  Last week I had installed the fine filament spring (seen below) into the regulator mechanism.  Today I ran everything through a couple cycles in the ultrasonic.  The main clock framework needs to be soaked in acetone to dissolve traces of the original laquer finish.  Once this is complete I can reassemble the clock.

Finally we've been working on gear train calculations in class.  Most of these are just basic algebra, but I hate hand-writing anything so I have begun to program these equations into my calculator which will save me a lot of time down the road.

Numbers and letters, together?!

Atmos balance assembly with spring

Thursday, January 16, 2014


We've started working on chronographs in class.  These are the most complex watches we are going to touch during our watchmaking educations at NSCC.  The movement being used to introduce the class to the chronograph is the well built and extremely elegantly designed Lemania 861.  The other primary movement which we will be working on, and which is the focus of the SAWTA 4 test is the eta 7750 which we start in a couple weeks.

The chronograph mechanisms add a layer of complexity on what is basically a standard watch movement.  All of the normal adjustments (hairspring, endshakes, pallet adjustments) are all identical.  What I'm working on figuring out now are the oiling and servicing of the chronograph components. 

I will be working on these watches for the remaining 7 or so months of my education at the watch technology institute.  The goal is to achieve a total feel and comfort for working with these common mechanisms.  I will try and post a detailed overview of a complete chronograph servicing in the near future.
A lot more components!

The technical guide, this is the page illustrating the assembly and oiling of the base timekeeping mechanism

The pallet fork endshake had to be adjusted on my watch.  This is the same operation as on any other manual or automatic watch.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Useful Mnemonic

One of the things we are expected to memorize in watchmaking school are the 8 factors that affect the isochronism of a watch. With the help of a 'scrabble cheat' program on the internet, I came up with a very helpful mnemonic to remember these factors. Just remember to 'preempt friction'

P - Poise of hairspring
R - Regulating pins
E - Escapement
E - External Influence
M - Magnetism
P - Poise of balance
T - Temperature