August 30, 2014 at 5:45 pm #23736
Like many of you, I have a soft spot in my heart for the way things used to be done – back before The Rot set in and we began our long decline…
I have a peculiar fascination with machinery from the 18th and 19th century. The more complex, the better. I try and put myself into the mind of the man who devised a particular device, or else marvel at a piece of workmanship that must have taken many weeks or months of labor – done well, because that was the only way the maker knew how to do it…
Came across something recently. Some of you might know what it is, but for me it was completely new. Called a “Repeater Pocket Watch”. Made one at a time, it keeps better time than a normal watch, or even the vaunted Railroad Watch – it is a true chronometer. Some do more than others, but all Repeaters make a musical chime – which is fascinating, since it must have been nigh impossible to cram tiny hammers and gongs into something only two inches across or less..
I found one, and it is truly amazing. I do not know for sure, but it is a good bet that each part was made by hand, probably by the same man. It’s called a “Grand Complication”…
It tells the hour, minutes, seconds. Day of the week. The date. The month. The phase of the moon. Plus, it is a Minute Repeater. It will chime the hour, the quarter hour and the minute if you want it to. All crammed into a space about two inches wide…
This is a masterpiece… a most wonderful device.. Nothing like it is made today that I am aware of… I’m not sure the skills exist in anyone alive today to actually make this, even if they wanted to…
This is why I prefer the old ways to modern methods. Over a century old, and still keeps time within a few seconds per year…
Quality will always trump quantity…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1August 30, 2014 at 6:54 pm #23745
Yes, but for $50, 000 I can get a Rolex and make a nice payment on my house.August 30, 2014 at 7:08 pm #23747
Thanks Malgus. To know that such a thing was made, and to be able to see it in the pic, brightens my day.
Bugs Bunny: "I speak softly, but I carry a big stick."
Yosemite Sam: "Oh yeah? Well I speak LOUD! and I carry a BIGGER stick! and I use it, too!" BAM!August 30, 2014 at 10:56 pm #23759
we have similarities here…
manual or “low tech” device amaze me with curiosity
( this curiosity lead me to studying “high tech” like electronic circuit and computer )
sometimes i even wonder
how does simple device doing “marvelous” job
without any electricity ? fuel ? anything ?
take an example hydrolic jack which can lift car, truck
even building with eazy pumping action
i have to wonder what thing in it
that can make this jack lift 1 Ton or more weight
at the end, we are not only studying mechanics
also physics… hydro dynamic and hydro static pressure
maybe in post SHTF ( even in SHTF situation it self ),
this “low tech” device will do the job better
( than doing only by hand )
yup… in crumbling system, environtment, no electricity, no pipe running water, no nothing including fuel for running car
we are “forced” to make many creative thing
to “rebuild” society
i thing this is important role for us…
beside prepare and “saving” our family from SHTF situation
Selco ever mentioned it in one article
about some wooden lever mechanism to make orange juice or whatever that used by some people in his area
that working well although its “funny looking”August 30, 2014 at 11:03 pm #23760
Just like you to focus on the dollar value than to appreciate something for the engineering masterpiece it is..
Not that I can afford such a thing, but the price to me was inconsequential when compared to the blend of skills that had to come together to create such a thing. Engineering brilliance meets artistic brilliance. The maths involved – just to design the gears. The goldsmith, the stonecutter, the glassmaker, the metallurgist – the guy who made the tiny springs that power the watch to this day… and then the man who brought it all together and built this marvel… it’s a product of The Guilded Age and we won’t be seeing any more made. Probably ever. It’s easier to substitute quartz for rubies. Easier to chuck a battery in there than make a spring the thickness of a cat’s whisker that’s two feet long when uncoiled, but will power a watch for decades… easier to make something that beeps instead of actually making a set of gongs struck by a set of tiny hammers… (in case you were wondering, if you look at the picture I included, the red arrows point to the dual hammers that sound the chimes. The yellow arrows point to the actual gongs – two tempered steel wires in the shape of a circle, on on top of the other and securely mounted with tiny screws. Took me a bit to figure it out, but I think that’s what they are… )…
It brightens my day as well. Amazing that men can dig up rocks, refine them into various metals and gems, and then fashion them all into something as complicated and beautiful as that… just knowing such a thing was made, once upon a time, makes me feel better…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.August 30, 2014 at 11:20 pm #23765
by the way this piece of manual watch
we can buy it not more than $100 dollar
i know… i know… the chinese “crap”
that its quality are not that good than “original” one
but for curiosities its better than not have it
take an example
or this one…
August 30, 2014 at 11:25 pm #23767
Things like this are true marvels and a demonstration of a genius. We use common things everyday that took a genius to invent and design.August 31, 2014 at 12:19 am #23771
If you like Mechanical watches that are beyond compare look for a patek phillipe, if you think Rolex is expensive you have another thing coming. http://www.patek.com/contents/default/en/home.html
one that sold at christies made in 1910 it is their 175 anniversary.
oh and they are about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch thickAugust 31, 2014 at 1:47 pm #23836
Just think of the years of experience and training required to even build a simpler watch!
No wonder those apprenticeships were unpaid, the kid basically had to become the Master Craftsman’s slave, or in a better situation, his son. Once reaching a certain level of expertise, he had to work for the Master for a period of time at a low wage to offset the training as well. In most cases…
Even today, our apprenticeship contracts use the term “indenture” and the apprentice is bound to the contractor he is employed by. They cannot quit in most cases, at least without repercussions.
"ROGUE ELECTRICIAN" Hoping to be around to re-energize the New World.....
Cogito, ergo armatus sumAugust 31, 2014 at 3:20 pm #23837
Malgus, don’t get me wrong, I look at that watch like the H&H .500 BPE I used to play with, with respect and awe. But them my practical side smacks me upside the head with my grandfathers old Elgin and reminds me that its within seconds every couple months.
As a curiosity its a marvel. As something I wouldn’t dare wear, its perfect. Watches I break yearly, yup hard on stuff. So I look at that and see all those perfect parts scattered across the floor.
I also see what that watch could become, a veritable mountain of food, medical supplies and gear.
When did I start thinkinf practically? Must go bang my head on the wall for a while.August 31, 2014 at 3:43 pm #23840
As kind of a watch fan, I really enjoyed seeing the old watch. Like many of you, I am amazed at the mastery of the men that make them. Saw a video once of a watchmaker putting a Patek Phillipe together. It was a wonder to see him working with all the miniature parts. I’d have those tiny screws scattered to the four winds.September 1, 2014 at 2:55 am #23883
These are such perfect watches I’d be to nervous to wear one. Imagine forgetting and going out to pound nails or split wood, the pounding it would take. But it is tempting. A diamond studded Rolex could be the perfect BO item if you needed cash or a vehicle.September 2, 2014 at 12:48 am #23935
No worries, bro… I’d probably mess my britches if I had to wear that thing… I’m hard on equipment too. Something so delicate and perfect wouldn’t last too long around here, I’m afraid…
Hey, found out something pretty cool from an engineering point of view.
Back in the late, great 17th century – and well into the 18th century – there was a problem with time-pieces, especially the ones that were being used to find longitude at sea. The tiny balance wheel would expand in the heat and contract in the cold. Tolerances were so fine that any change whatsoever would throw the chronometer off and thus, the ship’s navigation. It was such a problem that the English Parliament put up a bounty of 20,000 pounds sterling to whomever could solve the problem.
Enter one John Harrison, who won the prize in 1767. His solution? Differential expansion. Really an elegant engineering solution – and I admire the hell out of elegant engineering. (By the way, the 20,000 pound bounty stood for 53 years before Mr. Harrison found a solution to the problem).
The balance wheel, he created of steel, but then put a “tire” on the outside rim made of brass. The expansion of the brass was greater than that of the steel, and when done correctly, the two bands would reach stalemate in expansion/contraction and the tolerances would not change. The expansion of the brass “tire” would decrease the inner diameter, which would be resisted by the steel. Same with contraction. With the steel and brass in harmony, the chronometer would run regularly in heat or cold and thus, longitude could be calculated accurately…
Smart guy, that John Harrison…
Thought you might like that…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1September 3, 2014 at 4:03 am #24056
Namelus holy smokes 2.2 mil for a watch. I cannot wrap my head around spending that kind of money on a watch. I have no problem spending extra money on quality but jiminy Christmas thats crazy.
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