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Old 16 Apr 2005, 07:27 PM   #1
trew
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What happened to the Mechanical Watches?

Do you remember when you where very young and you went into a WatchMaker's Shop and listened to the big old Clocks and small arms Watches TicTocing their way.
A Universe of independent timekeeping. Everyone unique in sound and now we have these Digital wathches that are totally soundless.

Wild guess from me.

Our base Pulse is some 60 beats per minute when very calm or so and 120 beats is our pulse for Excitement?
So the watches going synk with these too states of mind had Attachment feelings about them.

I longed soo for an old mechanical Watch that I even entered such an old shop. wow no meachanical there, only Quarts mimicking the old ones and using a battery to wind it's way to future.

And then on holiday I looked into a container of dumped things and saw a womans watch there and me happy as a kid searching for the Gem at Beach in the form of rounded stones I lay my hands on it and it even was a working unit.

It even show time approximately on 30 seconds a day or so. Me frantically for some month trying to "ruck" it to be within some 10 or 5 seconds had to give it up. 3o seconds is managable for owning the last mechanical clock so I keep it as jewel around my neck. To show the world I am a rich man owning a True Gem.

trew
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Old 17 Apr 2005, 02:11 AM   #2
beeboy
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I don't really miss the mechanical watches.

When I was young a watch was a big investment. My first watch was a Rodania and these were cheap watches in their day. I had three of these in a row and one of them kept perfect time. They were very reliable unlike the Timex.
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Old 17 Apr 2005, 02:38 AM   #3
trew
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The digital watches are a good thing too.

I love Radiocontrolled Watches. They keep time within one second in thousands of years. *Big Smile* suit a control freak like me. I ahve three of them. But they are totally silent.

The cheapest digital I have costed me only 10SEK which is less the 2USD. ok it had cost 20SEK but none wanted to buy them so they had to sell them for 10 to get rid of them.
the Wall Clocks do sound ones a second but it is the wrong sound.

Ok I am only nostalgic I guess. I was very young when I visisted our enighbour with his numerous watches of different sizes.

trew
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Old 18 Apr 2005, 09:36 AM   #4
DrStrabismus
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I don't think you are really right about this, there's still a substantial market for mechanical watches at the higher end of the price range.
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Old 18 Apr 2005, 10:04 AM   #5
registered_user
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Yeah, mechanical watches are still out there. The digital and quartz movement watches are more common because you can produce thousands of them at a time at very low cost in factories in China so everyone can afford a watch nowadays.

Mechanical watches were always expensive items, because the precision craftsmanship that goes into them is just plain worth a lot of money. Before there were quartz movement watches, most people just didn't have a watch and those that did usually held them in high value (which is why pocket watches were more popular than wristwatches even decades after wristwatches were invented... it's easier to protect your watch when it's not dangling on the end of your arm).

For an extremely brief period of time, there was an increase in the use of mechanical wristwatches after a few companies started pressing the gears out of sheet metal in large quantities. This time was brief both because quartz movement watches started to hit the market shortly afterward and because the manufacturing processes in these watches produced timepieces that weren't as accurate or durable as the old-world mechanical watches. They were cheap crap basically, and if you were going to buy cheap crap, you could get it cheaper in electrical form. If you wanted a good mechanical watch, it always cost a lot of money.

Mechanical watches have always been a luxury item for most people. Times haven't really changed in that respect.
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Old 18 Apr 2005, 11:08 AM   #6
rmns2bseen
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Quote:
Originally posted by registered_user
Yeah, mechanical watches are still out there. The digital and quartz movement watches are more common because you can produce thousands of them at a time at very low cost in factories in China so everyone can afford a watch nowadays.

Mechanical watches were always expensive items, because the precision craftsmanship that goes into them is just plain worth a lot of money. Before there were quartz movement watches, most people just didn't have a watch and those that did usually held them in high value (which is why pocket watches were more popular than wristwatches even decades after wristwatches were invented... it's easier to protect your watch when it's not dangling on the end of your arm).

For an extremely brief period of time, there was an increase in the use of mechanical wristwatches after a few companies started pressing the gears out of sheet metal in large quantities. This time was brief both because quartz movement watches started to hit the market shortly afterward and because the manufacturing processes in these watches produced timepieces that weren't as accurate or durable as the old-world mechanical watches. They were cheap crap basically, and if you were going to buy cheap crap, you could get it cheaper in electrical form. If you wanted a good mechanical watch, it always cost a lot of money.

Mechanical watches have always been a luxury item for most people. Times haven't really changed in that respect.
Ironically, when quartz technology was first introduced in the late 1920's, quartz clocks (watches came later) were considered luxuries as well as being the most accurate timepieces up to that time The wheel goes round and round
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Old 6 Sep 2021, 04:13 AM   #7
Bamb0
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Thats a good article!!

I mi$$ the good days........ Things alot better than they are now.....

I love the movie BACK TO THE FUTURE .. Doc has all kinds of clocks like this in his house and its QUITE NOISY when it hits the top of the hour
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Old 6 Sep 2021, 05:08 AM   #8
somdcomputerguy
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I have to jump in on this 'old thread revival' bandwagon. My grandmother's brother had a 'clock repair' shop in his basement. Just about every other room of the house had at least two or three mechanical clocks in it. He loved timepieces and fixing them. I loved visiting him and his wife, that house was a wonderful place, esp. on the hour and half hour..

- Bruce
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Old 6 Sep 2021, 05:31 AM   #9
Bamb0
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Thumbs up

Thank you Bruce for sharing that
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Old 6 Sep 2021, 08:20 AM   #10
somdcomputerguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamb0 View Post
Thank you Bruce for sharing that


You know, there was an electric (AC) mechanical, not digital, clock in the kitchen. I believe it was the only plug-in clock in the house. Referring back to one of the years old posts in this thread, I recall reading years ago something somewhere stating that the frequency of AC electrical current (60 Hz) being beneficial to a clocks' accuracy, with a relation of 60 Hz to 60 seconds mentioned.

- Bruce
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Old 10 Sep 2021, 11:35 AM   #11
MagnumOpus
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War Department technical manual for wrist watches, pocket watches, stop watches and clocks

Download here:
http://www.90thidpg.us/Reference/Man...M%209-1575.pdf
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Old 10 Sep 2021, 09:38 PM   #12
pjroutledge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somdcomputerguy View Post


You know, there was an electric (AC) mechanical, not digital, clock in the kitchen. I believe it was the only plug-in clock in the house. Referring back to one of the years old posts in this thread, I recall reading years ago something somewhere stating that the frequency of AC electrical current (60 Hz) being beneficial to a clocks' accuracy, with a relation of 60 Hz to 60 seconds mentioned.

- Bruce
I remember being told (my school mate's dad worked at ETSA in SA) that the AC frequency was adjusted slightly during peak demand hours (to help cope with demand) and that made the clocks slightly incorrect so the frequency had to be adjusted the other way later to correct all the plug-in clocks.

I remember mechanical watches not being so uncommon too. Even we working class kids had them and had to wind them up every day. And I remember one grown-up who had a watch that wound itself up as he moved his arm around during the day. Luxury!
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Old 10 Sep 2021, 11:33 PM   #13
TenFour
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I'm old enough to have navigated across oceans with nothing but a sextant, a nautical almanac, and sight reduction tables (look it up). Having accurate time was critical, so we had a special chronometer onboard that would periodically be synced with the time signal still broadcast by WWVB in Colorado. Listening for that time signal and then syncing the chronometer was critical since being off by even one second could put your navigation off significantly. Needless to say, we all had mechanical watches back then and I grew up learning to wind my watch first thing each morning. You might see soldiers in old movies syncing their watches by pulling out the stem, setting their watches to an exact time, then all pushing the stems back in at the same instant in order to guarantee each soldier was operating on the same time.
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Old 18 Sep 2021, 06:41 PM   #14
chrisretusn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
I'm old enough to have navigated across oceans with nothing but a sextant, a nautical almanac, and sight reduction tables (look it up). Having accurate time was critical, so we had a special chronometer onboard that would periodically be synced with the time signal still broadcast by WWVB in Colorado. Listening for that time signal and then syncing the chronometer was critical since being off by even one second could put your navigation off significantly. Needless to say, we all had mechanical watches back then and I grew up learning to wind my watch first thing each morning. You might see soldiers in old movies syncing their watches by pulling out the stem, setting their watches to an exact time, then all pushing the stems back in at the same instant in order to guarantee each soldier was operating on the same time.
Being a retired sailor, we had to know the old methods.

One of the ship's Quarter Masters would visit all the spaces each day on the ship that had chronometers installed and would wind them and set them to the master time from the chronometer he carried. We always did a time check before a major evolution. Not sure what they do these days. It's an art that is slowly fading away with the new Navy.
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Old 18 Sep 2021, 07:43 PM   #15
TenFour
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Not sure what they do these days. It's an art that is slowly fading away with the new Navy.
I'm pretty sure that Naval navigators still learn celestial navigation, but of course very accurate time is available via satellites and even ordinary wristwatches. You can get home clocks that automatically sync with the time signals, so the clock in my father's kitchen is probably much more accurate than the chronometers we used to sail with. Even as recently as the 1960s long-distance aviators used celestial navigation (sextants) to cross oceans. Big passenger jets and military aircraft would have small clear domes in the top where the navigator could use the sextant to shoot the stars and sun.
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