Watchmaking and the Nth dimension
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  1. #1
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    Watchmaking and the Nth dimension

    Pretty sure I can't be the only one around here who's noticed that there's a portal to a different dimension in the vicinity of every watchmaking bench.

    No matter what flooring you have, or how clearly you see a dropped part falling, sometimes they simply disappear, only to reappear hours, days, or even months later in plain sight where you couldn't possibly have failed to see them.

    I'm fairly convinced that this is a manifestation of quantum mechanics operating on a macroscopic scale. We're told that the only reason we don't normally see quantum effects is that, statistically, the chance of things like spontaneously disappearing matter becomes vanishingly small at anything above subatomic scales. My hunch is that they've got the maths wrong and, although very unusual, it does happen. And watchmakers benches, surrounded by lots of things that are pretty small by "material world" standards, are the ideal place for that to happen.

    But, on Saturday, it happend with a vengeance in my workshop. My partner was also down there, doing some silversmithing, and I stopped to put the kettle on to make us a coffee. While the kettle boiled I returned to my bench and found this box of parts right in the middle of my bench, sitting on top of the watch I was working on (a nice 9kt J W Benson writ watch with Cyma movement).

    What makes this one really odd is that I've never seen it before in my life. It's arrived through the lost-parts dimension from someone else's bench!
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    Re: Watchmaking and the Nth dimension

    I wondered where that went...when stars are correctly re-aligned, telekinesis back accross the pond will be just fine!
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    Re: Watchmaking and the Nth dimension

    No problem, but next time can you lose a Harrison chronometer please? Or a mid 60's Datejust will do if the Harrison's too much trouble :)

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    Re: Watchmaking and the Nth dimension

    Now there's a complication to muse on, an Antekythera type arrangement that will predict and track the arrival of such metaphysical anomolies! Moonphase? pah, a fing o' the past.
    Last edited by The Guvnah; September 30th, 2014 at 00:33.

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    Re: Watchmaking and the Nth dimension

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Horner View Post
    No matter what flooring you have, or how clearly you see a dropped part falling, sometimes they simply disappear, only to reappear hours, days, or even months later in plain sight where you couldn't possibly have failed to see them.
    Nicely put. I had (and still have) my share of accidents too, usually involving springs (also anti-shock jewels since my tweezers control is not nearly good enough). Just a few days ago I recovered a lost spring that disappeared nearly a month earlier.

    Sometimes a spring would pop out, then landed back on the bench right in front of my sight. Small miracles like these are enough to brighten my whole day.

  7. #6
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    Re: Watchmaking and the Nth dimension

    Well your case Joe is thouroghly explained in the most underestimated book in the watchmaking world:
    "The Watchmaker under his bench"
    very limited edition,something like the bergeon crystall ball written by the unknown watchmaker called Houdini

    p.s: sent from my s****y phone so sorry for typing mistakes
    Experience on watch movements repair:

    modern swiss movements: 5
    japan movements: 3
    older movements: 2
    chinese movements: 0


    According to above experience grades(smallest 0-5 highest) my advice can be incorect or completely out of mind, so beware and take my advices with caution if the grade is low!!!

    NOT FOR SALE !!!

  8. #7
    Member dom_'s Avatar
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    Re: Watchmaking and the Nth dimension

    Happened with another watchmaker at work the other day with a canon pinion from a ladies reverso.
    It was eventually found when removing the wooden trim around the window above his bench!

    For me three things make a big difference to not loosing parts.
    First, all tools are on the side of you dominant hand, so if left handed all tools are on the left hand side. This way you never reach over the parts or movement to get anything. At the same time the bench has to be clear of anything non essential. It also has to be cleaned of everything after everyday.

    Next is tweezers, only use one pair for handling parts, the others are used for specific tasks (hairspring, hands etc.). This way you get very used to them, you then also learn to keep them in good condition as it is your most used tool. Sharp straight points coming too at the end not a flat, I also grain the inside edge with fine diamond lapping paper.

    Finally if you ever ping a part, ignore the part for a second and learn from how it went and why. Ensure you change for example how you insert a click, so it doesn't happen again.

    Follow these three and you will only end up on your hands and knees to clean under your bench rather than to find things.

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    Re: Watchmaking and the Nth dimension

    Quote Originally Posted by dom_ View Post
    Next is tweezers, only use one pair for handling parts, the others are used for specific tasks (hairspring, hands etc.). This way you get very used to them, you then also learn to keep them in good condition as it is your most used tool. Sharp straight points coming too at the end not a flat, I also grain the inside edge with fine diamond lapping paper.

    All good advice, Dom, and I promise i don't make a habit of throwing parts around :D

    But the matter of tweezers is a bit of a sore point at the moment. My very favouritest pair ever in the whole wide world
    is a set of Dumont No 2 titaniums. They've had about 15 years of fairly hard use and are really due for replacement - you can only dress them so many times before they become eyebrow pluckers :)

    But I went to treat myself to another pair a couple of months ago and they've made them obsolete! They're still ok at the moment, just a little wide in the tip, but I'm dreading the time when I have to get used to something else :(

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    Re: Watchmaking and the Nth dimension

    I'm glad I'm not the only one to ping springs into oblivion! Like the click spring from my lovely Omega😥
    I was really looking forward to wearing it too, and now I'll have to wait until Cousins deliver a box of clicks.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

  11. #10
    Member dom_'s Avatar
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    Re: Watchmaking and the Nth dimension

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Horner View Post
    All good advice, Dom, and I promise i don't make a habit of throwing parts around :D

    But the matter of tweezers is a bit of a sore point at the moment. My very favouritest pair ever in the whole wide world
    is a set of Dumont No 2 titaniums. They've had about 15 years of fairly hard use and are really due for replacement - you can only dress them so many times before they become eyebrow pluckers :)

    But I went to treat myself to another pair a couple of months ago and they've made them obsolete! They're still ok at the moment, just a little wide in the tip, but I'm dreading the time when I have to get used to something else :(
    I feel your pain!
    I had to get a new case knife and couldn't get the same one again, I now have three in an attempt to find one I like. Still looking!


    Edit, oh and the advice wasn't aimed at you in particular, just anyone who pings things often and can't work out why.
    Last edited by dom_; October 3rd, 2014 at 08:41.
    Joe Horner likes this.

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