Author Topic: Watches lovers  (Read 40126 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Watches lovers
« on: January 04, 2024, 04:40:01 pm »
Is anybody here into watches? I repair and restore them and I would like to exchange some info sometimes. Is this the right section or the project and technical stuff?

Cheers,
Miti
« Last Edit: January 04, 2024, 07:59:49 pm by Miti »
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Offline ebastler

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6676
  • Country: de
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2024, 06:44:33 pm »
Since the "Projects, Designs & Technical" area is under the overall "Electronics" headline, I'd say that this here is the right place. (Assuming the watches you enjoy are mechanical ones.  :))
 

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2024, 07:17:46 pm »
(Assuming the watches you enjoy are mechanical ones.  :))

Mainly mechanical but not only, electronic as well but brands that I’ve heard of like Timex, Seiko, Citizen.
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Offline andy3055

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1125
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2024, 07:39:08 pm »
Do you watch  Nekkid Watchmaker channel on YouTube?
 

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2024, 08:36:13 pm »
Do you watch  Nekkid Watchmaker channel on YouTube?

No but I will now. I’ve been watching Wristwatch Revival channel mainly.
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Offline RJSV

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2277
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2024, 09:01:13 pm »
YES THIS !
   Whenever I see a post subject like this I get a little excited.  Actually the whole computer gate thing got started by way of the time keeping technology, working with accuracy issues, and of course with miniaturation of construction!

Here is what I need:
   How small could you build, I'm thinking around 0.4 mm diameter device.  Having 72 moving parts...I've even purchased a 'toy' microscope in my exploration of the mechanical boundaries, (when not in some expensive lab).
   My quest is very similar to existing functions, as in the magazine I've been reading, An August 2023 printing of 'WatchTime', a magazine covering high-end products.

   While I've been contemplating just using electronics, it's a microprocessor subset, having a '6 bit' data BUS, and clock rate at.170,000 vbs,
the project would work perfectly well, in MECHANICAL FORM, at, say, 15 vps.
   If I got that right, that means an oscillating wheel balance, at 7.5 complete motions per second.  That's enough to have a decent response.

   One problem is, the thing would need some infrared (or I.R.) sensing capabilities.

   Any number of folks, here in this blog could help with the Computer Engineering portion, and (you) could do larger prototype builds, at first.

Mechanical Processor, basically,...(Don't let that part intimidate you!)

- - Rick B.
 

Offline RJSV

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2277
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2024, 09:02:01 pm »
August, 2023
 

Offline rdl

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3667
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2024, 10:38:11 pm »
Off topic I guess, but the forum could use a new section for "Other Hobbies" that could be a home for the "child forums" that clutter the rest of the site.
 

Offline vk6zgo

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7653
  • Country: au
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2024, 11:37:55 pm »
I got it all wrong, I thought someone was referring to a voyeur! ;D
 
The following users thanked this post: newbrain

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2024, 11:57:49 pm »
I got it all wrong, I thought someone was referring to a voyeur! ;D

 :-DD  Good one...
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9154
  • Country: us
  • "Don't turn it on - Take it apart!"
    • Facebook Page
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2024, 04:13:27 am »
Perhaps it would be a subcategory of "Metrology"? Make that subcategory just "Time Nuts" in general, it's fair to say that someone really into classic watches should have the capability to check and adjust the calibration at home, an OCXO or GPS reference is really cheap nowadays.
Cryptocurrency has taught me to love math and at the same time be baffled by it.

Cryptocurrency lesson 0: Altcoins and Bitcoin are not the same thing.
 

Offline helius

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3659
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2024, 04:57:00 am »
Perhaps it would be a subcategory of "Metrology"? Make that subcategory just "Time Nuts" in general, it's fair to say that someone really into classic watches should have the capability to check and adjust the calibration at home, an OCXO or GPS reference is really cheap nowadays.
"Adjust" has a special meaning in a mechanical watch. It refers to the compensations required to maintain the same oscillation speed when the device is positioned differently with respect to gravity. Better watches are engraved inside "adjusted to 5 positions".

Once the watch is built, this never needs to be changed. To merely "regulate" a watch, all that needs to be done is turn the speed screw. But there is no way that an OCXO or GPSDO will help you at all. The best mechanical watches have an accuracy of ± 4 seconds per day, or 50 ppm. Compare to a fifty-cent quartz oscillator's typical accuracy of 6 ppm. It's clear that there are no gains to be made by typical "time nut" instruments.

But to measure the oscillation speed of the watch, you can't very well stare at the dial. You need an instrument that can detect the sound or vibration of the escapement itself and compare to a quartz reference. These days there are apps that do this using the smartphone's microphone. Traditionally, specialist watchmaker counters with this capability were needed.
 

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2024, 11:34:25 am »
You need an instrument that can detect the sound or vibration of the escapement itself and compare to a quartz reference. These days there are apps that do this using the smartphone's microphone.

These are called timegraphers and they measure not only the rate but also the amplitude and the beat error, two very important parameters that can tell you about the health of a mechanical watch. 

https://a.aliexpress.com/_mMuRXni

I still don’t understand how it measures the amplitude.
And yes, you don’t need GPSDO or Rb reference to adjust a mechanical watch, any quartz or even some resonators are way better than the balance.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2024, 11:38:40 am by Miti »
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Offline jpanhalt

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3624
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2024, 12:45:05 pm »

These are called timegraphers and they measure not only the rate but also the amplitude and the beat error, two very important parameters that can tell you about the health of a mechanical watch. 

https://a.aliexpress.com/_mMuRXni

I still don’t understand how it measures the amplitude.

One of the inputs is labeled "microphone."  Perhaps amplitude is based on sound?

One of my uncles (born 1900) was a genuine "watchmaker".  He was also great at marketing and as a young man convinced one of the department stores to let him put his bench in a display window.  That brought in business and the rest was history.  Early on, after he was retired, I spent many weekends with him learning to "pick ticks."  I no longer do that but still have an interest.

During COVID, I restored to working condition an Empire School Clock I had assembled in the early 1970's.  In order to adjust its escapement verge, I made a "beat meter" based on a MAX9814 breakout board (sound).  An LED and photodiode is another method, but I wanted something I could just lay a watch on or set on a clock case.  It also worked well with my electro-mechanical Timex watch.

I hope the attached files are self-explanatory.  Although my beat meter only measured the timing, one could probably extract intensity data from it.
 
The following users thanked this post: Miti, helius, quadtech

Online watchmaker

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 433
  • Country: us
  • Self Study in EE
    • Precision Timepiece Restoration and Service
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2024, 01:02:54 pm »
Perhaps it would be a subcategory of "Metrology"? Make that subcategory just "Time Nuts" in general, it's fair to say that someone really into classic watches should have the capability to check and adjust the calibration at home, an OCXO or GPS reference is really cheap nowadays.
"Adjust" has a special meaning in a mechanical watch. It refers to the compensations required to maintain the same oscillation speed when the device is positioned differently with respect to gravity. Better watches are engraved inside "adjusted to 5 positions".

Once the watch is built, this never needs to be changed. To merely "regulate" a watch, all that needs to be done is turn the speed screw. But there is no way that an OCXO or GPSDO will help you at all. The best mechanical watches have an accuracy of ± 4 seconds per day, or 50 ppm. Compare to a fifty-cent quartz oscillator's typical accuracy of 6 ppm. It's clear that there are no gains to be made by typical "time nut" instruments.

But to measure the oscillation speed of the watch, you can't very well stare at the dial. You need an instrument that can detect the sound or vibration of the escapement itself and compare to a quartz reference. These days there are apps that do this using the smartphone's microphone. Traditionally, specialist watchmaker counters with this capability were needed.

Here is an article I wrote for young watchmakers and collectors several years ago that describes the process of bringing a precision watch to adjustment.

Many have no clue that Q is an important determinant, nor that auto wind watches are not for the convenience of the owner, but to remove the variable of amplitude loss by keeping the watch at a fairly constant state of wind. 

I used to return 100 year old railroad watches to their original performance which was better than a Rolex new out of the factory.  They knew their physics and don't get me started on how Hamilton predated Ford on true mass production before statistical QA methods were invented.

https://www.historictimekeepers.com/documents/Watch%20Adjustment.pdf
Regards,

Dewey
 
The following users thanked this post: Miti, quadtech

Offline jpanhalt

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3624
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2024, 01:20:00 pm »
When I was in college, the aforementioned uncle gave me an old railroad watch (solid white gold with every pinion jeweled).  Sadly, it was stolen off me in Baltimore in 1964.  That is one day I wish I could have back.
 

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2024, 01:50:48 pm »
I like where this is going. I knew there's a wealth of knowledge out there waiting to be shared.
I'm just a hobbyist, nowhere close to a watchmaker, but I like watches a lot. I buy them cheap from Kijiji and I clean, repair, lubricate and polish them the best I can.
My smallest one that I repaired, cleaned and lubricated was a Movado 56 for a friend's daughter. You won't believe how tiny those parts are. I was a bit worried because it is a family memorabilia, but it went well.
A picture is attached.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2024, 01:57:23 pm by Miti »
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Online watchmaker

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 433
  • Country: us
  • Self Study in EE
    • Precision Timepiece Restoration and Service
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2024, 03:05:30 pm »
When I was in college, the aforementioned uncle gave me an old railroad watch (solid white gold with every pinion jeweled).  Sadly, it was stolen off me in Baltimore in 1964.  That is one day I wish I could have back.

An interesting fact:  there is no performance gain in a 21/23 jewel RR watch vs a 17 jewel watch.  In fact, Hamilton made both a railroad grade and non railroad grade 17 jewel watch.  While there is a difference in the balance mass and balance spring strength (lower Q), I suspect several retailers adjusted them to provide value at a lower price.

Also, prior to 1925 or so, all precision watches were timed for 24 hours after each touch against a factory clock set by astronomical observation.  So while they had nomographs and "cheats", multiply each of my trials by one day!  Think of the logistics of doing 100s of watches!!!

And, did you know that the 1922 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for the invention (in the true sense of the word)  of the elastic invariable material Elinvar specifically to result in the perfect mechanical oscillator for timepieces (navigational chronometers).  Today all mechanical watches use some variant of this alloy to reduce variations due to temperature.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2024, 05:57:10 pm by watchmaker »
Regards,

Dewey
 

Offline jpanhalt

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3624
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2024, 03:32:21 pm »
Think of the logistics of doing 100s of watches!!!

And because of sympathetic synchronization (if that's the correct term), they couldn't be all stacked together.  Thanks for those details.  I was aware that 21/23 jewels made no meaningful difference in accuracy.  It was just nice to see it on watch. 
 

Online G7PSK

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3863
  • Country: gb
  • It is hot until proved not.
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2024, 06:30:50 pm »
I started my working life as an apprentice horologist, but after a year or so got so I could not stand the sound of ticking from all the repaired clocks waiting collection, so when I also became allergic to the vapours from the ultrasonic cleaning machine I left and got into heavy engineering via my brother in law who ran a fabrication company.   
 

Online watchmaker

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 433
  • Country: us
  • Self Study in EE
    • Precision Timepiece Restoration and Service
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2024, 11:21:28 pm »
I am just a mechanic.  Hoping to become competent in EE in the next couple years.
Regards,

Dewey
 
The following users thanked this post: RJSV

Offline peter-h

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3780
  • Country: gb
  • Doing electronics since the 1960s...
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2024, 09:38:31 pm »
This is a fun topic.

I was always quartz (mechanical presentation) but when on one trip the battery went flat and I could not get a replacement I said Sod It and bought a self winding watch. Originally Traser (tritium hands; nicely visible at night) and eventually I ended up with a used IWC on which I got ripped off, first by the shop and eventually (to fix a latent defect which caused it to intermittently gain 3 seconds per minute) by IWC who are basically crooks. It works well now and is in the few seconds per day area.

Never buy one of the fancy Swiss watches.
Z80 Z180 Z280 Z8 S8 8031 8051 H8/300 H8/500 80x86 90S1200 32F417
 

Offline jpanhalt

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3624
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2024, 09:48:48 pm »
Never buy one of the fancy Swiss watches.

Well...yes and no.  My dad's Movado is gold and keeps good time.  But my Timex also keeps time, and in Cleveland, Ohio, USA the loss will not be so great, when I am robbed.  See post #16.
 

Online G7PSK

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3863
  • Country: gb
  • It is hot until proved not.
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2024, 08:43:30 am »
This is a fun topic.

I was always quartz (mechanical presentation) but when on one trip the battery went flat and I could not get a replacement I said Sod It and bought a self winding watch. Originally Traser (tritium hands; nicely visible at night) and eventually I ended up with a used IWC on which I got ripped off, first by the shop and eventually (to fix a latent defect which caused it to intermittently gain 3 seconds per minute) by IWC who are basically crooks. It works well now and is in the few seconds per day area.

Never buy one of the fancy Swiss watches.

The man I worked for in the early 1970's who was a Polish immigrant via the German army, He was given the choice during the war of joining the german army or going to a "work camp" and at the age of 16 I think any one would have chosen the army where he got trained as an instrument maker/fitter. He surrendered to the British as soon as he could and set up his watch repair business in Cambridge, any way I digress, he would get a Rolex to keep to a few seconds a month making adjustments to everything from the balance staff upwards, taking several day or even weeks to do so, each watch would spend at least 24 hours on the timing machine recording every tick, he could also tell what was happening by litinig to the amplified ticks.
 

Offline peter-h

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3780
  • Country: gb
  • Doing electronics since the 1960s...
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2024, 03:11:03 pm »
Quote
Well...yes and no.

What I had in mind were scams like

- standard service is £600
- we can't service the watch if the ceramic case has a scratch on it (new case £1800)
- other service shops can't get some parts
- parts removed are not returned to you so you can't check if you were charged for replacing a good item
- no correspondence is entered into re the nature of the fault
- basically everyone there is a complete thicko who tells you nothing

The above is IWC UK but they basically all do it. The general idea is that a £600 service every year is what you are supposed to do.

Rolex are running a new scam now: you can't just buy one from a shop. You have to have a "relationship" with the shop i.e. buy other stuff beforehand. It is a way to prop up prices. Obviously there are ways around it but you just pay more. Rolex are not especially good watches either; they are just desirable "bling" items.

Most Swiss watches share a movement from ETA / Valjoux and most of the popular "chrono" mens ones in the few k - 10k range use the 7750, whose trade cost is roughly £200. It's all on google... But even PP (who mostly make their own movements - this is the "you never own a PP watch" advertisement) buy in many parts so the "own movement" debate is fuzzy, and we are now into 20k-100k sort of price range.

If I buy again it will be a solar Tissot, about £800. I just can't tell how well it works in the winter, with long sleeves worn.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2024, 03:22:09 pm by peter-h »
Z80 Z180 Z280 Z8 S8 8031 8051 H8/300 H8/500 80x86 90S1200 32F417
 

Online watchmaker

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 433
  • Country: us
  • Self Study in EE
    • Precision Timepiece Restoration and Service
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2024, 05:45:52 pm »
Quote
Well...yes and no.

What I had in mind were scams like

- standard service is £600
- we can't service the watch if the ceramic case has a scratch on it (new case £1800)
- other service shops can't get some parts
- parts removed are not returned to you so you can't check if you were charged for replacing a good item
- no correspondence is entered into re the nature of the fault
- basically everyone there is a complete thicko who tells you nothing

The above is IWC UK but they basically all do it. The general idea is that a £600 service every year is what you are supposed to do.

Rolex are running a new scam now: you can't just buy one from a shop. You have to have a "relationship" with the shop i.e. buy other stuff beforehand. It is a way to prop up prices. Obviously there are ways around it but you just pay more. Rolex are not especially good watches either; they are just desirable "bling" items.

Most Swiss watches share a movement from ETA / Valjoux and most of the popular "chrono" mens ones in the few k - 10k range use the 7750, whose trade cost is roughly £200. It's all on google... But even PP (who mostly make their own movements - this is the "you never own a PP watch" advertisement) buy in many parts so the "own movement" debate is fuzzy, and we are now into 20k-100k sort of price range.

If I buy again it will be a solar Tissot, about £800. I just can't tell how well it works in the winter, with long sleeves worn.

You UNDERSTAND!!

Over the last 20 years the Swiss have figured out vertical integration.  There was a day I could send in a trashed Omega Constellation movt and get an exchange for $75!!  Then the Swiss figured out that service should not be a cost center, it should be a revenue center.

Swatch (owner of Omega and many brands like Breguet), Richemont (LeCoultre) and others OWN Bergeon, the gold standard tool source.  They bought this for their supplier records, but they also now control equipment pricing AND equipment requirements to be an authorized service center.  They have successfully reduced the number of authorized accounts who can order parts.  Parts are only available from the brand; they are no longer distributed to the traditional parts distributors.

Most watches, other than Rolex, are based upon ETA (Swatch) movements.  Just decorated and cased differently.  They do not even need to be adjusted to position after they leave Eta.

I like Rolex, they are a watchmaker's watch.  Meant to be torn down and reassembled and have the exact same performance; like a Swiss machine tool.  But, they have also followed the market.

Been to the Patek and Audemars factories.  Both have been quietly buying up parts for vintage/antique movts to avoid making them.  Omega even offered a vintage/new hybrid that mixed parts and people bought them at a higher price than the original vintage sold for! 

Can you blame the Swiss?  The other thing is that to the Swiss, cartel is not a bad word.  In fact it is valued.  Since WWI the industry has been a transparent collaboration between industry, banks and government.  Since 1930 they decided to have one manufacturer of escapements who supplied all the brands, there were 22 different standard sets.

Audemars has stated they want to service any and all repeaters ever made in Switz.  That tells you where new sales fit in.

I am not bitching; I did something similar in my business (cornered the market in my areas of specialization by having parts and mainsprings made for me exclusively).  I agree, competition is great; but for the "other " guy.  Not me.

Probably the biggest boondoggle is the widespread marketing of Tourbillions.  When you look at the performance of an out-of-the-box ETA 7750, there is no performance gain.  There WAS a time when it did add a gain.  And as a "tour de Forc"?  When it is all done by CAD/CNC?  There was a time when it was a true expression of human greatness.  But that was when an individual constructed it!

The Co-Axial is another one.  No gain for a lot of noise.  Daniels was a true expression and gain for HIS watches.  But now it is a doodad that is expensive to service ( I was trained and approved).

Do not get me wrong.  The Swiss treated me very well.  They invited me to "grad school" at the age of 55 when there was no gain for them.  But you need to meet them in their space.  I even enjoyed the societal structure and learned the history of why it is (was?) so rigid.

I laughed when the US "trade association" which was run by run of the mill watchmakers thought they could treat on equal terms with the likes of a Rolex or Swatch VP.  Now they all lost their accounts for which they sold out the rest of the trade.

And to buyers of new watches.  Bear in mind they may have sat in inventory for several years.  I would insist that it be torn down and serviced as a condition of sale unless the documents show it is under a year old.  The synthetic lubricants are rated for 5 years, and we were (I still do) to replace our bottles every year.  About $300; all to Bergeon of course (circle back to above).

Just remember, you already have the best timekeeper in your pocket.    A watch today is less functional in life than a Timex in the 1960s.  It is simply a piece of jewelry. And the industry is based on mass produced exclusivity.  So the piece you buy is just like all the others. 




« Last Edit: January 07, 2024, 05:49:45 pm by watchmaker »
Regards,

Dewey
 
The following users thanked this post: peter-h, Tation

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2024, 08:47:15 pm »
I like Swiss watches, Rolex, Omega, you name it, but I have very outdated opinion about paying xx,xxx $ on a watch. My opinion is that it is an affront to humanity. If you have that money to spend, you should rather feed or clothe a poor child. A 1000$, or even 100$ watch would do the same thing.
Again, don't mind me, I'm just a simple man...
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Online G7PSK

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3863
  • Country: gb
  • It is hot until proved not.
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2024, 09:06:29 pm »
The swiss had to change their market strategy when the Japanese came into the industry. I was just starting in the watch world as they did this in a big way, a lot of people started coming into the shop asking for a quote on repairs and then leaving saying they would go and buy a new Japanese watch. Now you can get a radio controlled watch accurate to a second in a hundred years and it's almost cheaper to buy a new one than have the battery replaced professionally, in fact I have just got one that is solar powered, no bling but extremely functional and is not going to attract the Rolex razor gangs.
 

Offline peter-h

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3780
  • Country: gb
  • Doing electronics since the 1960s...
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2024, 11:52:27 pm »
Yes; the Swiss watch business almost went bust when quartz arrived, and they successfully reinvented themselves as lifestyle accessories etc. But this was decades ago.
Z80 Z180 Z280 Z8 S8 8031 8051 H8/300 H8/500 80x86 90S1200 32F417
 

Online watchmaker

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 433
  • Country: us
  • Self Study in EE
    • Precision Timepiece Restoration and Service
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2024, 12:12:36 am »
I like Swiss watches, Rolex, Omega, you name it, but I have very outdated opinion about paying xx,xxx $ on a watch. My opinion is that it is an affront to humanity. If you have that money to spend, you should rather feed or clothe a poor child. A 1000$, or even 100$ watch would do the same thing.
Again, don't mind me, I'm just a simple man...

I agree.  If you want to see the pinnacle of conspicuous consumption, look up Gruebel Forsey.  That was another factory we visited.  In 2010 prices started at $150K.  The hook was that each watch was skeletonized and engraved.  And they really are; a loss rate of about 20% when we visited.  Then the kit is sent to a watchmaker who assembles and adjusted it.

Better than a mass produced Tourbillion, but still a piece of jewelry.  But as we said: "Thank the gods for crazy people".  They keep the industry afloat.

Here is a story of engineers who are considered today to be national heroes.  In the 80s and 90s, everyone was convinced mechanical watches were dead (except Rolex).  Many machines, tools and parts were destroyed.  A group of engineers decided to save the things required for the production of the Zenith El Primero chrono.  They built a secret room and bricked it over.

When Swatch (N. Hayack) decided to rebuild the industry (remember the Swatch craze of the 80s?) the discovery of the foresight of these engineers gained them national recognition.  Hayack put the small businesses that made parts and tooling back into business (they were literally selling their tooling for pennies; this was also when $1USD bought 1.5 CHF) and HE is recognized as the father of the rebirth.  When I was there, they still talked about this period in whispers as "the crisis".

But, he was ruthless in international business.  The biggest mistake he made was introducing China to production.  That is also the saving grace of independent watchmakers who use generic parts for service.  But Rolex among others will actually confiscate a watch that has such parts as counterfeit.

About the only business the Swiss kept from China was mainspring production.  When I visited the factory that made mine, accompanied by the obligatory bottle of wine, the owner was very gracious but denied my request to see their production.

This is also the period in which I tooled up.  Today it would cost a small fortune to replace my shop, if the stuff could be found.

At some point, I will tell you how the Swiss industry grew from a cottage based industry in 1875 to a juggernaut in the making by 1900.  And the report that enabled this which was literally a national secret until a couple decades ago.

You just cannot make this stuff up.

Regards,

Dewey
 

Offline quadtech

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • Country: in
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2024, 06:17:43 am »

During COVID, I restored to working condition an Empire School Clock I had assembled in the early 1970's.  In order to adjust its escapement verge, I made a "beat meter" based on a MAX9814 breakout board (sound).  An LED and photodiode is another method, but I wanted something I could just lay a watch on or set on a clock case.  It also worked well with my electro-mechanical Timex watch.

I hope the attached files are self-explanatory.  Although my beat meter only measured the timing, one could probably extract intensity data from it.


Interesting project. There are open source timegraphers like tg -



IEEE spectrum had an article on an interesting mems watch movement -

https://spectrum.ieee.org/hybrid-smartwatch


 

Offline Tation

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 68
  • Country: pt
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2024, 01:14:10 pm »
I think it would be really nice to have here a sub-forum, or chat, or whatever, about horology. Although I think it will be mainly off-topic. But, as the Cooking chat, maybe it may fit as another chat, provided there is a minimum number or members interested on it.

I want to raise a general question. Do you think that the high and luxury brands are moving into the "I offer you a service, not a product" tactics? I mean, e.g. Omega asks you 550€ for servicing a non-chrono, non-precious quartz watch. Such watch can cost you, new, around 2000€. In other forums people reported Omega charging ~200€ for a battery replacement. I speak about Omega because I use to like them, but other brands do also rose its service costs...

And now a more "electronic" one. I do own a Kundo ATO electric pendulum, similar to this (image from eBay, the coil is fixed at the bottom, the pendulum is the curved rod thru it): https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/KvsAAOSw941kLoid/s-l1600.jpg

It uses a circuit with just 2 transistors to detect the instant the pendulum reaches some position and then kick it. The circuit is powered by a 1.5 alkaline C size cell. The problem is that, with a fresh cell, the pendulum edges reaches to hit the coil, thus causing noise and affecting rate. As the cell discharges, such effect disappears. Thus I planned to change the circuit by another one with some kind of amplitude control. Maybe switching to a 18650 Li cell will help maintaining a more constant voltage (with less energy inside, though). But then my mind started to wander wanting to introduce OPAMPS in the circuit, or even an MCU detecting the pendulum position and kicking it accordingly. But, having an MCU, why not measure ambient temperature and pressure to compensate for them? Or why not abandon the pendulum as the time reference and PLL it to the 32 kHz oscillator of the MCU?

So, do you think that all these ideas are abominations and I, better, keep things as they are, or these crazy ideas merit further development?

Regards.

 

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2024, 02:47:35 pm »

So, do you think that all these ideas are abominations and I, better, keep things as they are, or these crazy ideas merit further development?


I wouldn’t change it, use Ni-Mh batteries to avoid the hitting of the pendulum ends. Or can you add a resistor or another coil series with the kick coil?
« Last Edit: January 08, 2024, 02:53:10 pm by Miti »
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Offline Tation

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 68
  • Country: pt
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2024, 04:18:53 pm »
I still don’t understand how it measures the amplitude.

The sound of the escapement is composed of 3 peaks (each tick or tock is composed of 3 sound pulses), related to some events occurring during the escapement action. The time interval Δt between the 1st and 3rd of these peaks is recorded by the timegrapher. This time is related to the so called "lift-angle" and to the amplitude of the swing. Knowing this angle and Δt it is possible to calculate the amplitude. When using a timegrapher you need to tell it the lift-angle of the escapement, usually 52º for the swiss lever escapement.

See here: https://adventuresinamateurwatchfettling.com/2023/09/23/lift-angle-seiko-business-a-8346a-and-bell-matic-4006a/
« Last Edit: January 08, 2024, 04:34:30 pm by Tation »
 
The following users thanked this post: Miti

Offline Tation

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 68
  • Country: pt
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2024, 04:47:46 pm »
A must read: https://www.amazon.com/Science-Clocks-Watches-L-Rawlings/dp/0950962139. Don't worry about Amazon's price, you can buy it directly from the British Horological Institute https://bhi.co.uk/about-us/bhi-products-and-books/ at 20 gbp + shipping.
 

Online watchmaker

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 433
  • Country: us
  • Self Study in EE
    • Precision Timepiece Restoration and Service
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2024, 05:26:24 pm »
I think it would be really nice to have here a sub-forum, or chat, or whatever, about horology. Although I think it will be mainly off-topic. But, as the Cooking chat, maybe it may fit as another chat, provided there is a minimum number or members interested on it.

I want to raise a general question. Do you think that the high and luxury brands are moving into the "I offer you a service, not a product" tactics? I mean, e.g. Omega asks you 550€ for servicing a non-chrono, non-precious quartz watch. Such watch can cost you, new, around 2000€. In other forums people reported Omega charging ~200€ for a battery replacement. I speak about Omega because I use to like them, but other brands do also rose its service costs...

And now a more "electronic" one. I do own a Kundo ATO electric pendulum, similar to this (image from eBay, the coil is fixed at the bottom, the pendulum is the curved rod thru it): https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/KvsAAOSw941kLoid/s-l1600.jpg

It uses a circuit with just 2 transistors to detect the instant the pendulum reaches some position and then kick it. The circuit is powered by a 1.5 alkaline C size cell. The problem is that, with a fresh cell, the pendulum edges reaches to hit the coil, thus causing noise and affecting rate. As the cell discharges, such effect disappears. Thus I planned to change the circuit by another one with some kind of amplitude control. Maybe switching to a 18650 Li cell will help maintaining a more constant voltage (with less energy inside, though). But then my mind started to wander wanting to introduce OPAMPS in the circuit, or even an MCU detecting the pendulum position and kicking it accordingly. But, having an MCU, why not measure ambient temperature and pressure to compensate for them? Or why not abandon the pendulum as the time reference and PLL it to the 32 kHz oscillator of the MCU?

So, do you think that all these ideas are abominations and I, better, keep things as they are, or these crazy ideas merit further development?

Regards.

Tation,

Absolutely you are just licensing a new watch.  They can confiscate it if you "mistreat" it by installing generic parts.  This started with trying to control the conversion of Rolex stainless bands into Rolex President bands in the 90s. 

And the inexorable closing of independent accounts and parts restrictions to the trade have that same effect. 

I tell people to inquire about the total cost of ownership by having it serviced through the brand network.  It looks very much like a subscription model.

As for the ATO, there is a forum at NAWCC.org specifically for electric clocks which I have ignored (you know my bias against quartz).

But, I think you are on the right track.  It is yours, these are not rare, and you can play with the voltage inputs without permanent alterations.  To me, it is no different than placing a diode in a solenoid wound electric clock to reduce the spark.

In both, it is the pendulum that controls the timekeeping and the electrics are there to provide the impulse to the pendulum to keep it oscillating.

There is a book specifically devoted to the theory of electric clocks by Hoopes I believe.  Gave away my copy.  The Rawlings is good.

Depending on what you want to know, some excellent books do a deep dive into the physics of the lever escapement.  And there is a host of books that were not published in English.  French and German readers have a real advantage regarding theory.

Look at https://www.booksimonin.ch/home.php
« Last Edit: January 08, 2024, 07:06:09 pm by watchmaker »
Regards,

Dewey
 

Offline peter-h

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3780
  • Country: gb
  • Doing electronics since the 1960s...
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2024, 07:41:49 pm »
I think most of the 3k-10k watches are in the 500-600 for a fixed price service.

The gotcha is what IWC did to me with the ceramic case.

I doubt Rolex would be allowed to confiscate a watch here in the UK. That would be theft. It would be different if it was a stolen watch, of course, but they would still not be able to "steal" it.
Z80 Z180 Z280 Z8 S8 8031 8051 H8/300 H8/500 80x86 90S1200 32F417
 

Offline Tation

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 68
  • Country: pt
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #37 on: January 08, 2024, 08:28:33 pm »
In fact, as time passes, I find the "usually desirable" watches, more and more undesirable. Even, after years of using only mechanical watches, I'm now more interested in the quartz ones and, of them, the solar ones. Changed the Omega & JLC pages by those from Seiko & Citizen  :-//
 

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2024, 09:25:10 pm »
Interesting project. There are open source timegraphers like tg -

I’ve tried few IOS free apps, none works. The IPhone microphone is not sensitive enough to pick up the tick tock from a wrist watch.
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Offline jpanhalt

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3624
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2024, 09:38:19 pm »
That Maxim amplifier I mentioned earlier worked fine with my Timex battery powered watch.  It's really quite sensitive.  I gave the whole thing to one of my granddaughters who is into science.  Here's how I wired it on the perf board.  I you decide to go that direction, I will put together a little package for you with more detailed information.  You will need a way to program the chip (or I could do that) and a 3-wire RS232-type of display like the highly overpriced Parallax 2X16 display.
 

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2024, 02:12:51 am »
That Maxim amplifier I mentioned earlier worked fine with my Timex battery powered watch.  It's really quite sensitive.  I gave the whole thing to one of my granddaughters who is into science.  Here's how I wired it on the perf board.  I you decide to go that direction, I will put together a little package for you with more detailed information.  You will need a way to program the chip (or I could do that) and a 3-wire RS232-type of display like the highly overpriced Parallax 2X16 display.

Thanks for the offer! I have Pickit3 and 4 to program PICs, I don’t need help with that. What does it measure? I assume is just the rate and beat error. Do you have a picture with the LCD?
I have an HP frequency counter that can measure period with GPSDO timebase, so together with the oscilloscope would be probably enough.
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Offline jpanhalt

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3624
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2024, 11:23:10 am »
I searched and unfortunately don't have any pictures of the Parallax display or the device's output.  I had two of those displays from years ago.  One went with the beat meter to my daughter/granddaughter in 2021.  The other went in the trash last month when it stopped working. 

What my design did was report the time between beats.  The  MCU acts as a one-shot and captures the time.  The attached image is what it showed on an oscilloscope for my Timex wrist watch.  The device outputs 3 digits in BCD ASCII; although, the inherent timing of the MCU could be more precise.
 

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2024, 03:33:23 pm »
I have a seconds hand that lost its mounting barrel (not sure if this is the correct term) and I want to glue a piece of syringe needle. Do you think that my daughter’s UV clear nails gel is good as glue? It dries really hard and sticks well to metal but I’m not sure about long term reliability.

Cheers,
Miti
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Offline jpanhalt

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3624
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2024, 03:50:05 pm »
I never thought of nail gel.  I just reach for my cyanoacrylate adhesive (CA, super glue).  It has the advantage of being available in a thin version that wicks well.  CA polymerization is base catalyzed.

The chemistry of nail gel is similar and UV cure is initiated by a "photosensitizer" (aka photo initiator): https://radtech.org/proceedings/2018/Applications/Pavlovic-Liz_UV-Nail-Gel.pdf

CA sticks to clean metal, particularly aluminum quite well.  Metal oxides are basic and that initiates polymerization.  Atmospheric water helps.

Bottom line: I have never used nail gel for an adhesive, but I suspect it will work.  My main reservation is its gel consistency which may restrict its flow into the tiny clearance between the needle and shaft.
 
The following users thanked this post: Miti

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2024, 04:46:04 pm »
My issue with CA glue is working time. The UV gel stays liquid for minutes and once you expose it to UV from a UV flashlight, it hardens in seconds. It gives me the time to adjust the needle. I’m not sure about the heat resistance though, do I leave the watch in the sun for 10 minutes and it looses the seconds hand?
I also have a very good epoxy, Devcon HP 250, but it takes days to fully cure. Once cured though, it is super hard, almost as glass, and it can take 120C.
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Offline jpanhalt

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3624
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #45 on: January 11, 2024, 05:16:29 pm »
Again, I can't speak about nail gel, except for its similar chemistry.  CA's are not particularly heat stable (e.g., above 100°C +/- 20°).  That's both good and bad.  The good part is, they can be removed by heat.  I don't think the heat of sitting outside will cause decomposition.

An alternative that solves the working time issue is a LocTite anaerobic adhesive (i.e., threadlocker or for fixturing bearings). They are similar to CA's but only polymerize in the absence of oxygen.  They can be added to threads days or more before assembly. 

You can also "passivate" the metal with a little vinegar, let it dry, and that should delay polymerization or use a thicker version of CA. 

You didn't say what metals are involved.  Aluminium is very reactive; copper is almost non-reactive.  A use a piece of bare PCB with a small puddle of CA, and it stays liquid for hours.  If the hand is aluminum, it probably has a brass hub, which is not very reactive.  Attach it to to the shaft, get it adjusted, then add a micro dot of thin CA to fix it. 
 

Online watchmaker

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 433
  • Country: us
  • Self Study in EE
    • Precision Timepiece Restoration and Service
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #46 on: January 12, 2024, 12:01:51 am »
Is this a watch of value or a $100 quartz?  The former makes problems (see below), the latter means you likely can get a replacement hand from a material house.  Material houses are just as cranky as some EEs, so you may need to have watchmaker take care of it.

There are various ways the seconds hands has been mounted.

On older work (pre 1970 or so) the hand was riveted to the pipe with a flange under the hand to make it easy to remove with levers.

Later, they were just friction fitted onto the pipe and you had to use "D" tweezers to grab the pipe and pull it off.

Today, hands are generally one-use material.  They are made to self destruct to ensure the watch is serviced at a brand center.  These are serviced by unknowing at great risk; many learn the hard way they cannot get a replacement.

The correct way to replace the hand begins with turning a new pipe that will be a friction fit on the seconds wheel arbor pivot.

Gluing a substitute pipe means the seconds hand arbor pivot will be broken at the next service.
Regards,

Dewey
 

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #47 on: January 12, 2024, 04:31:21 pm »
It is a good quality Rolex Milgauss replica that I paid $40 CAD for. I used it for training as it came disassembled and not functional, movement in one box, hands in another box, band was scratched. I restored it nicely and, even though it has an automatic Chinese movement, it works very well. The only thing that’s missing is the seconds hand.
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Online watchmaker

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 433
  • Country: us
  • Self Study in EE
    • Precision Timepiece Restoration and Service
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #48 on: January 13, 2024, 08:20:48 pm »
It is a good quality Rolex Milgauss replica that I paid $40 CAD for. I used it for training as it came disassembled and not functional, movement in one box, hands in another box, band was scratched. I restored it nicely and, even though it has an automatic Chinese movement, it works very well. The only thing that’s missing is the seconds hand.

Ok.  I would suggest ordering via one of the houses's websites.  In Canada, Perrins is one house.  Cousins in the UK is reasonable even with shipping.  In the US Jules Borel in Kansas or Cas-Ker.  You may need to broach the hole to size but you should find a finish and style that look right.

You got much further than I ever did with quartz.  Congratulations!  YOu may get stuck with a hnad kit which I suspect is less than $20.  A set of hand broaches is very cheap, and you need the taper of the broach to make a hole that will be a good friction fit.  Seconds hand is not like a a chrono hand where it has to withstand the flyback, but you still want it to stay good enough.
Regards,

Dewey
 

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #49 on: January 14, 2024, 02:37:38 am »
You may need to broach the hole to size but you should find a finish and style that look right.

That's exactly how I damaged this one, I broached it until the pipe came off. I don't know the story behind this watch but the hours and minutes hands were good fit, while the seconds hole was too small. It is a special thunder bolt like hand.

https://www.chrono24.ca/rolex/rolex-new-2023-milgauss-black-dial-116400gv--id27437815.htm
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Online watchmaker

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 433
  • Country: us
  • Self Study in EE
    • Precision Timepiece Restoration and Service
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #50 on: January 14, 2024, 12:49:31 pm »
You may need to broach the hole to size but you should find a finish and style that look right.

That's exactly how I damaged this one, I broached it until the pipe came off. I don't know the story behind this watch but the hours and minutes hands were good fit, while the seconds hole was too small. It is a special thunder bolt like hand.

https://www.chrono24.ca/rolex/rolex-new-2023-milgauss-black-dial-116400gv--id27437815.htm

That gets filed under "shit happens".  It was probably just frictioned onto the pipe with no rivet or burnish.  The horses out of the barn, but you hold the pipe with a side or end cutter pliers while broaching these.  Tweezers do give a secure grip and holding by the hand just removes it.  Many expensive watches use this same design to have it self destruct when levered off. Why with the parts restrictions prof watchmakers will not touch new watches.  Did you look at the websites for second hands assortments in the material section?
Regards,

Dewey
 

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #51 on: January 16, 2024, 02:43:43 am »
Does the T in the T SWISS MADE T mean Tritium? I have to learn more about the safety of these damn watches. Are they still using radioactive materials in these relatively new cheap watches?
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Offline andy3055

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1125
  • Country: us
 
The following users thanked this post: Miti

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #53 on: January 19, 2024, 03:17:31 pm »
Radium or Tritium? How do I know if this watch dial has Radium or Tritium? I know it is mildly radioactive, and I assume it is Tritium, but how can I be sure and how dangerous is it if is indeed Tritium? If it is Radium it goes straight into the garbage.

Thanks,
Miti
« Last Edit: January 19, 2024, 04:05:45 pm by Miti »
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Offline helius

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3659
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #54 on: January 20, 2024, 03:09:17 am »
Measuring the dose rate would be one way to tell. Tritium dials evidently have a low dose rate.
There are inexpensive zinc chloride screens that give a qualitative indication of dose rate, and a geiger counter device would yield a more quantitative indication.
 

Offline EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 38043
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #55 on: January 20, 2024, 04:37:33 am »




 
The following users thanked this post: Miti

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #56 on: January 20, 2024, 01:00:16 pm »
Whoaaa, thanks Dave, that’s indeed sex on a stick! I’ve seen Acutron on Kijiji but I didn’t give it any attention, I just thought it was another commercial gimmick.
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Online watchmaker

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 433
  • Country: us
  • Self Study in EE
    • Precision Timepiece Restoration and Service
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #57 on: January 20, 2024, 01:04:57 pm »






The history of the search for the search of the "perfect" oscillator is very fascinating.  It was originally driven by the need for the most precise system for the marine chronometer.  During the 1800s this took up a lot of mental energy.  The issue is that there was a mismatch between the coefficient of elasticity for a hardened steel balance spring and the rate of contraction/expansion of the bimetallic balance.  They could be matched at 50 and 90 degrees F, but the full curve resulted in a 1 second gain per day at 70.  Hence, the term Middle Temperature Error.

When you are at sea for 3 years and on a ship with no environmental controls and you cross extreme latitudes in summer and winter, that 1 second per day becomes an arithmetic nuisance.  It can and did result in many wrecks.

Some attacked this via materials (Frodsham experimented with glass), others took a mechanical approach where they "boosted" the balance response to temperature by affiixes such as small mercury thermometers or physical attachments (Poole,Kullberg).

Many of these watchmakers did the math and fully understood what they were doing. Finally, Guilluame, the Director of Swiss Bureau of Standards, invented Elinvar after developing Invar.  He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922.

This was a game changer in watches because it eliminated the need for a split bimetallic balacne which was subject to Middel Temp Error and also physical forces such as centrifugal effects on the free ends.

The related alloys and the use of monometallic balances account for the incredible performance of modern mechanical wrist watches.

I had written an article about this work back in 1992.

Fast Forward.  Quartz chronometers were first issued to the USN in WWII!.  BIG suckers!

Mechanical chronometers were not removed from service until 1988 (I have a copy of the recall order) because quartz could not handle salt water and constant vibrations.  Only GPS superseded the WWII-manufactured Hamilton M21 (which used Elinvar and the monometallic balance).

After WWII Hamilton started work on an electric watch, as did LIP in France.  The idea was to eliminate changes in torque that result from a mainspring.  They used a fine wire triggered by the balance position to fire a sole to impulse the balance. 

This work is credited with the development of the button cell (I forget but it may have been Hamilton that created the first cell).

This watch was introduced in 1957, but it is a PITA to own and a disaster to service.  There is only one person in the USA who can reliably service these because that is ALL he did.  OTOH, Elgin's attempt was a disaster and had to be recalled from the market.  If you just looked at the movement it fell apart.

Then came Accutron 214 which is just a pawl attached to a tuning fork that pushes an index wheel.  These were actually used by NASA.  The first ones did not use electronics IIRC.  The issue with these is the coils do go bad.  The last I heard people were trying to reinvent the winding procedures.  If you have one serviced, make sure it is by someone who adjusts it for the higher voltage of the modern cells.

Then came the quartz revolution  Again Hamilton was in the lead (Pulsar, I think).  These cost in 1970 a couple grand.  Omega came out with a quartz driven tuning fork watch that is now very rare in working condition.  I do not think even Omega Switz has parts.

Finally came the democratization of quartz.  I remember a trip to Canal St. in NYC in 1982 with a friend to look at selling quartz jellybean watches from China.  Came in assemblies to avoid customs.  Battery, strap, dialed movement, and case.  Less than $2USD SHIPPED!.  No wonder the Swiss speak of this period as the "crisis".

I have a friend at the US Naval Observatory who maintains the rubidium fountains.  Took us for a tour.  Amazing stuff.

There is a long history of engineering and material science in this field that should make any person with a physics background proud.





« Last Edit: January 20, 2024, 01:06:57 pm by watchmaker »
Regards,

Dewey
 
The following users thanked this post: Miti, helius

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #58 on: January 29, 2024, 12:21:03 am »
Timex Ironman Datalink USB - The best watch I've ever owned!
I bought the first one around 2003 from a swap shop, I think it was, for 30$ CAD, in almost perfect condition. It came with fabric band and the USB cable. I did not take it off of my wrist for more than 12 years. I showered, I repaired the car, I went into the ocean in Cuba with it. I replaced the band many times with silicone band from Timex, for awhile, until they discontinued it. These bands have a special zig-zag shape. So after they stopped selling them, I bought silicone straps from Ebay. They aren't perfect, because of the zig-zag shape, but I only cared about functionality.
It has USB connection and a PC application. It has chronograph, countdown timer, interval timer, synchro timer, counter, schedule, alarm, appointments, occasions, contacts, notes, and mode for some functionality options. It's an old implementation of a smart watch with a regular CR2025 battery that can last up to two years, probably, if you don't use the sound and the light.
Then around 2017 or 2018, one of the lugs broke and it broke my heart with it. I tried everything to glue it back but nothing sticks to that resin. Superglue, epoxy, contact cement, you name it, nothing helped.
From time to time I searched on Kijiji and on Ebay for a good or a bad one, with intact case, so I can move the electronics in it, with no success. Well, there was one on Ebay but the price was almost 400$ US plus shipping...  :palm:
Until last summer when, to my surprise, an almost new one showed up on Kijiji for 40$ CAD. I bought it right away and here it is.
The old one goes about 5-6 seconds too fast, the new one about 12 seconds too fast per month.
Unfortunately, they don't make anything alike anymore, from what I can see.
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 
The following users thanked this post: watchmaker

Offline hneve

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 76
  • Country: no
    • http://www.neve.nu/
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #59 on: February 21, 2024, 08:53:03 pm »
Definitely, having someone around who knows their way around watch repair and restoration would be awesome for us all. Just curious, do you ever deal with replicas, like Rolex or Patek Philippe ones? I snagged my first replica three years back, and honestly, it's been amazing for adding a bit of class to my outfits without costing a fortune. I found it through this place called AAAReplicaStore, where they've got these spot-on replicas that look just like the real deal. Really handy spot for getting that high-end look on a budget.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2024, 05:56:06 pm by hneve »
73 de LB4NH
 

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #60 on: February 24, 2024, 08:06:57 pm »
Definitely, having someone around who knows their way around watch repair and restoration would be awesome for us all. Just curious, do you ever deal with replicas, like Rolex or Patek Philippe ones?

I'm definitely not that someone.  :-DD I'm just a hobbyist, but I learned a lot from this channel  https://www.youtube.com/@WristwatchRevival and from others. 
This is my watch collection so far in the order of acquisition:

1. Timex Ironman Datalink USB $40
See two posts up. I have two, one is damaged, the other one is like new.

2. Citizen $15
Very basic quartz watch, came as not working, it needed a battery. In very good shape, no scratches at the time I bought it.

2034266-0

3. Rodania $15
It came in rough shape, I bought it to practice repair on it. It didn't run, the hours hand was bent, the seconds hand was missing, the crystal was scratched inside and outside. I disassembled it completely, washed it in lighter fluid and IPA, I reassembled it and lubricated it. I straightened the hours hand, I polished the crystal, I broached and installed a seconds hand from another quartz movement that I couldn't fix. It runs about +12 sec/day but without a timegrapher, it's the best I can do.

2034242-1

4. Rolex Milgauss replica $40
A quality replica, it came in pieces. The movement in one bag, case in another bag, hands in a small box. I've put everything together, with the exception of the seconds hand which had a hole too small for the shaft. I tried to broach it but the pipe came off. I couldn't find time to fix it yet. Maybe one day...

2034248-2
2034284-3

5. Fossil Skeleton Automatic $30
It came in rough shape cosmetically, but the movement is perfect. One spring bar was bent, the band was severely scratched, some small scratches on the crystal but they are not visible without a loupe. I replaced the spring bar, I polished the inner part of the band and brushed metal the outer parts. It is my favorite watch, runs about +7-8 sec/day after adjustments.

2034254-4

6. Kenneth Cole Skeleton Automatic $20

Case perfect, crystal perfect, the band was all scratched. Also, the crystal was all foggy inside, like a plastic outgassed or something. I opened it, cleaned the crystal nicely, I polished the band, again inner shiny, outer brushed metal. It runs about +10 sec/day after adjustment. It is a bit too big for my wrist and the band is too short. I may sell it or replace the SS band with leather but it won't be the same.

2034260-5

No Patek Philippe so far.  :palm:
As you can see I'm cheap. I buy them to restore them and not for their perceived value.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2024, 08:24:30 pm by Miti »
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Offline jpanhalt

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3624
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #61 on: February 24, 2024, 08:49:55 pm »
I love those skeleton watches.  I didn't know such things existed and will consider one for my Christmas present to myself in 2024.  Maybe my son too, if he is good.  ;)
 

Offline edpalmer42

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2286
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #62 on: February 24, 2024, 10:23:18 pm »
Here are some links for hardware & software for those who want to tinker.

http://www.watchoscope.com/

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/beginners/scope-to-read-oscillations-of-a-watch/

https://github.com/vacaboja/tg

If you check aliexpress or ebay, there are lots of timegrapher-style microphones for use with your software.  I recommend that you get one that has both USB and 3.5 mm connections to give you more flexibility.

There are timegrapher apps for both Android and IOS.  They typically use the phone's built-in microphone, but some also will use the timegrapher-style microphones.

Ed
 
The following users thanked this post: Miti

Offline Black Phoenix

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1129
  • Country: hk
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #63 on: February 26, 2024, 11:54:21 am »
Well a little view from my collection Casio Gshock Collection (Also have some Seiko watches not shown here):



From left to right, top to down:

GW-5000U-1J, GXW-56-1BJ, GW-9400-1, DW-6900B-9J, DW-8800B-2V.

Still have 3 more in view to finish my 8 piece collection: 1 recent and 2 vintage from the 90s.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2024, 11:57:16 am by Black Phoenix »
 

Offline EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 38043
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #64 on: March 03, 2024, 09:34:13 am »
Well a little view from my collection Casio Gshock Collection (Also have some Seiko watches not shown here):


Wow, pelican case is serious! Mine are just lying loose in a draw  :scared:
 

Offline Black Phoenix

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1129
  • Country: hk
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #65 on: March 04, 2024, 10:21:21 am »
Well a little view from my collection Casio Gshock Collection (Also have some Seiko watches not shown here):


Wow, pelican case is serious! Mine are just lying loose in a draw  :scared:

Just got a good deal back when I bought the DW-8800 and the seller also had that 6 slot B&W Pelican like case already with custom foam cutouts.

Before mine were all in a cardboard box with bubble wrap.
 

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #66 on: March 06, 2024, 01:20:00 pm »
My Pelican case would have to rotate. Three of my mechanical watches are automatic, and there's another <radioactive> one waiting for repair.  :-DD
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Offline perdrix

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 649
  • Country: gb
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #67 on: March 07, 2024, 09:08:13 am »
>What I had in mind were scams like

>- standard service is £600
>- we can't service the watch if the ceramic case has a scratch on it (new case £1800)
>- other service shops can't get some parts
>- parts removed are not returned to you so you can't check if you were charged for replacing a good item
>- no correspondence is entered into re the nature of the fault
>- basically everyone there is a complete thicko who tells you nothing

>The above is IWC UK

Oh yes!  I just sent a watch (1999 vintage) back to Breitling that failed less than a year after a full service.   I'm going to press for repair under warranty 🤞.

This is the second movement this watch has had and it already went back for warranty repair in 2018.   Truly temperamental stuff.

My ancient Seiko 5 by contrast has never been serviced, and keeps excellent time (within 5s / day) whenever I wear it!

Dave
« Last Edit: March 07, 2024, 09:10:05 am by perdrix »
 
The following users thanked this post: Miti, AVGresponding

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #68 on: March 24, 2024, 11:53:27 pm »
I knew that trying to resist is futile... :palm:
I bought a Weishi 1000 timegrapher. After testing it, and I must say I'm impressed with how well it works, I wanted to see how well it is calibrated. For that I used my Feeltech FY6600 generator and a piezo buzzer. I calibrated the generator oscillator using a frequency counter with GPSDO time base and set it to 6Hz to simulate 21600 bph and about 5.5% duty to simulate the in and out sounds in the pallet fork, as it ticks on both rising and falling edges.

2083847-02083859-1

The result is below. Not bad eh?

2083853-2

One thing I don't know. How to check if the amplitude is correct? What's the relation between the time between the in and out ticks, the lift angle, the bph, and the amplitude? I know it is a pendulum but I couldn't find a calculator that can calculate the time it takes in a given angle around the rest position so I can set the duty cycle for a specific angle.
Phew, very convoluted question but I think you get my point. How to set a duty cycle and correlate it with the amplitude shown by the timegrapher?

Cheers,
Miti
« Last Edit: March 24, 2024, 11:55:04 pm by Miti »
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Offline AVGresponding

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4744
  • Country: england
  • Exploring Rabbit Holes Since The 1970s
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #69 on: April 23, 2024, 04:28:47 pm »
Can anyone shed any light on the brand "Gervaux"? I recently acquired a wristwatch, and there doesn't seem to be much in the way of information out there.
nuqDaq yuch Dapol?
Addiction count: Agilent-AVO-BlackStar-Brymen-Chauvin Arnoux-Fluke-GenRad-Hameg-HP-Keithley-IsoTech-Mastech-Megger-Metrix-Micronta-Racal-RFL-Siglent-Solartron-Tektronix-Thurlby-Time Electronics-TTi-UniT
 

Online watchmaker

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 433
  • Country: us
  • Self Study in EE
    • Precision Timepiece Restoration and Service
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #70 on: April 23, 2024, 08:45:12 pm »
Can anyone shed any light on the brand "Gervaux"? I recently acquired a wristwatch, and there doesn't seem to be much in the way of information out there.

It is likely a "house" brand; a watch dialed for a specific store for example.  If you can take a pic of the movt, I may be able to ID the movt.

If it is a snap back case (which I suspect), we put the watch vertical with the crown in a hollow stump.  Then use a single edge razor blade to get into the seam and open it.  If there are no obvious tool holding recesses on the back, it is snap back.  If there are recesses, or it has octagonal sides, then it could still be a snap back, but you need to try unscrewing it first.  We have special dies for this.
Regards,

Dewey
 
The following users thanked this post: AVGresponding

Offline AVGresponding

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4744
  • Country: england
  • Exploring Rabbit Holes Since The 1970s
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #71 on: April 24, 2024, 05:11:02 pm »
It has six squared notches in the back, I guess indicating a screw back. I do not have anything suitable for this, but a work colleague is a watchmaker (he looks after all the municipal clocks in the city I work in), so next time I see him I'll see what he thinks (might be a few weeks/months though).
nuqDaq yuch Dapol?
Addiction count: Agilent-AVO-BlackStar-Brymen-Chauvin Arnoux-Fluke-GenRad-Hameg-HP-Keithley-IsoTech-Mastech-Megger-Metrix-Micronta-Racal-RFL-Siglent-Solartron-Tektronix-Thurlby-Time Electronics-TTi-UniT
 

Offline helius

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3659
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #72 on: April 24, 2024, 06:15:38 pm »
I've found the rubber rings used for opening camera lenses can also open some watch backs, depending on how tight the back is screwed in.
 

Offline hneve

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 76
  • Country: no
    • http://www.neve.nu/
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #73 on: June 01, 2024, 08:48:10 am »
I took a dive into restoring a couple of watches last year, which really piqued my interest in how complex these devices can be. I am a big fan now. However, I don't see the point in buying such expensive watches. All may watches are from https://replica24.to/. They are as stylish as the originals. And I saved a lot of bucks.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2024, 09:15:52 am by hneve »
73 de LB4NH
 

Offline AVGresponding

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4744
  • Country: england
  • Exploring Rabbit Holes Since The 1970s
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #74 on: June 01, 2024, 09:26:29 am »
Saw my colleague, and using a device that would look at home in a medieval torture dungeon, he removed the "glass" (turns out it's UB acrylic), measured it and showed me what to order from ebay, so now I have a nice new crack-free and magnifier-free lens.



He recognised the brand, and said it's decent quality, though low-end, said I paid a fair price, and also said don't bother wasting money on a service as it's keeping good enough time, for now.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2024, 09:31:18 am by AVGresponding »
nuqDaq yuch Dapol?
Addiction count: Agilent-AVO-BlackStar-Brymen-Chauvin Arnoux-Fluke-GenRad-Hameg-HP-Keithley-IsoTech-Mastech-Megger-Metrix-Micronta-Racal-RFL-Siglent-Solartron-Tektronix-Thurlby-Time Electronics-TTi-UniT
 
The following users thanked this post: RJSV

Offline RJSV

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2277
  • Country: us
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #75 on: June 01, 2024, 10:49:29 pm »
   Miti:
   Is it possible to bypass the lack of explicit formula, (at least in the short term),  by coming up with ways to measure the lift angle, like perhaps a high speed video recorder.
   I understand that might not be any easier, but at least you could identify any barriers to doing things empirically.

Anyway, wanted to make sure you know that the thread here is appreciated and read with enjoyment!
   One doctor this month had a feature filled watch he was using, (checking pulse).  Next time, I want to ask about his interest in all things mechanical time!
 

Offline edpalmer42

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2286
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #76 on: June 08, 2024, 05:56:17 pm »
Has anyone dug into the bowels of the Citizen Eco-Drive watches?

If you're not familiar with them, they're quartz watches with a solar cell to charge an internal rechargeable lithium battery.  The battery is designed to last for at least 10, maybe 20 years.

I recently picked one up on an impulse for the princely sum of C$25.  "Needs a new battery."  No, the battery just needed charging - a process that takes days if the battery is completely flat.  That process is underway and seems to be going well.  The voltage of the MT621 battery is ~1V4 as compared to a nominal 1V5.  The problem is that this watch also has a 'Power Reserve' dial that shows the state of charge of the battery.  So far, it hasn't moved.  There's no tech info online to explain exactly how this thing is supposed to work - i.e. something like 0% = 1V4, 50% = 1V45, 100% = 1V5.  All I found is info stating that there were problems with the feature.

Has anyone experimented with these things?  Is 1V4 not enough voltage for them to react?  Is there a simple fix?  I'm considering removing the battery, which is trivial to do, and externally charging it but I'm holding off on that until I see what voltage the solar cell manages to charge to.  Apparently the open circuit voltage from the solar cell is ~1V8.

FYI, I've attached one of the auction pictures.  Yes, there are scratches on the crystal.

Ed
 

Offline MitiTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1341
  • Country: ca
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #77 on: June 28, 2024, 05:43:10 pm »
No, I didn't leave this thread but… life - work “balance”, pun intended.

   Miti:
   Is it possible to bypass the lack of explicit formula, (at least in the short term),  by coming up with ways to measure the lift angle, like perhaps a high speed video recorder.

There are different methods to find the lift angle, the one where I apply a known stimulus and see if the timegrapher measures correctly could be one.

Has anyone dug into the bowels of the Citizen Eco-Drive watches?

If you're not familiar with them, they're quartz watches with a solar cell to charge an internal rechargeable lithium battery.  The battery is designed to last for at least 10, maybe 20 years.

I have one, my wife has two. Citizen has warehouse sales twice a year and we bought at relatively good price.
Is it Lithium or supercap? I read somewhere that it is supercap. I never opened one but… now that you mentioned. 😁
« Last Edit: June 28, 2024, 07:00:18 pm by Miti »
Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
 

Online watchmaker

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 433
  • Country: us
  • Self Study in EE
    • Precision Timepiece Restoration and Service
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #78 on: June 28, 2024, 06:46:09 pm »
   Miti:
   Is it possible to bypass the lack of explicit formula, (at least in the short term),  by coming up with ways to measure the lift angle, like perhaps a high speed video recorder.
   I understand that might not be any easier, but at least you could identify any barriers to doing things empirically.

Anyway, wanted to make sure you know that the thread here is appreciated and read with enjoyment!
   One doctor this month had a feature filled watch he was using, (checking pulse).  Next time, I want to ask about his interest in all things mechanical time!

With the exception of the Omega Coaxial, virtually all modern watches (since 1970) have a nominal lift angle of 52 degrees.  Hamilton pocket wathces use 48 degrees and other pocket watches can go down to 42 degrees.

However, the lift angle for a specific movement can be +- 2 degrees different from nominal.  This is because of adjustments needed to "match the escapement" which means ensuring the escapement works as efficiently as possible.
 
Here is a link to an article (that is too large) which describes the process (with photos) for adjusting the escapement for precision timing.

historictimekeepers.com/documents/Watch Adjustment.pdf

« Last Edit: June 28, 2024, 08:04:17 pm by watchmaker »
Regards,

Dewey
 
The following users thanked this post: RJSV

Offline Gyro

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9746
  • Country: gb
Re: Watches lovers
« Reply #79 on: June 28, 2024, 07:08:41 pm »
...
I have one, my wife has two. Citizen has warehouse sales twice a year and we bought at relatively good price.
Is it Lithium or supercap? I read somewhere that it is supercap. I never opened one but… now that you mentioned. 😁

Likewise, we both have one.

Irrc, Citizen Eco-Drive use a Lithium-titanate (LTO) cell rather than a supercap. So do Seiko Kinetic watches. They have high charge-discharge cycle life and good operating temperature range*. I think the Eco-Drive uses an LED in a basic overcharge protection circuit.

I've read of several examples of these cells not recovering from deep discharge, including a thread on here somewhere, so it's important to pull out the crown to the second stop if you are putting them in storage. This matches my own experience too, where my old, stored in the dark, Eco-Drive watch won't come out of low battery indication no matter how much sunlight it gets. Luckily the cell is replaceable.


Edit: * ...and fast charge acceptance, important if you want to get the most out of occasional glimpses of strong sunlight.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2024, 07:18:39 pm by Gyro »
Best Regards, Chris
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf