Los que amamos los relojes con movimientos mecánicos, ya sean a cuerda o automáticos, no podemos sino admirar a alquien que, en estos tiempos de cuarzo manía relojera, asume como proyecto el fabricar un reloj mecánico "a mano". En Timezone, hay un excelente artículo en el que, el autor, cuenta y muestra, en una excelente secuencia fotográfica, la evolución, desde la idea hasta la materialización final del mismo. Imperdible.
Making a watch by hand, Donald W. Corson
In these days of “fast” and “convenient” I decided to commence a work of “painstaking” and “craftsmanship”, making my own wristwatch. I have had the idea for a certain arrangement of the watch dial, as on the image at the right, for a while now. My investigations into available movements showed that no production movement would give me this layout. After a long period of indecision and wondering what I was really getting myself into I decided to make my own movement, followed by the case and dial.
That is a big jump, but we engineers are used to creating things that didn’t exist before so it was mostly the craftsmanship portion of the work that worried me. Am I able to do this watchmakers work, work at such a small scale? To put the chances on my side I decided to do two things: 1) take the watchmaking correspondence course of the BHI, which gave me a lot of the basic skills, but which I have to admit I haven’t even finished the first of three years, and 2) make a complete CAD model of the movement and watch before starting.
My first attempt at making a movement was to make one with all the pinions in a straight line. A simplified movement with the largest possible expansion, to be able to see and work on everything as easily as possible. Even so that first attempt at a movement was not crowned with success. But one learns fastest through failure and the attempt to fathom why, despite ones best efforts, things did not go right. And learn I did.
The following are posts I made to an Internet watchmaking forum describing the advancement of my work during the course of almost a year. From a few square pieces of cold brass to a working movement in a one-of-a-kind case. One of the joys of this work was the constant changes in skillset needed. From machinist to watchmaker to silversmith, etc.. As such the work is never boring, never repetitive, always new challenges and unknowns to be overcome.
The articles below describe the work to make this watch in approximately chronological order starting with cutting the first pieces of brass. At that time I had already spent about 6 months making a complete 3D CAD model of the movement and case along with production drawings of each piece I was going to make. Without such complete preparation such a project is doomed to failure from the beginning. And in spite this preparation, there was still enough that got changed underway or that I discovered that I had forgotten.
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