I bought my first 3D printer a few months ago and started looking at mechanical watches. I was thinking about printing an escapement mechanism as one of my first experiments.
I think it would have been an interesting personal project. It would need some understanding of the printing process and knowledge of the printer to be successful. Apart from the mechanical aspect, the math behind the escapement mechanism was fascinating.
I bought a few books about mechanical clocks, and I am actively reading them. The main concepts have been the same for ages, and most books have been written in the past. This is fascinating to me. The pictures are hand drawn, and the style is quite different from what we are used to reading today. Mechanical clocks have evolved over time, and you can find some art pieces in this world—just Google for the Richard Mille RM UP-01 to understand the complication we have reached.
I moved to YouTube to find some inspiration on the subject, and, as always happens, I found an entire universe. I looked at so many videos. People 3D printing tourbillions, people were taking apart watches to fix them and enabling me to understand the basic architecture of a mechanical watch, people were building gears for their watches from scratch, and an infinite number of artisans were creating unique watches.
I discovered a fascinating world, even if highly complicated for a hobbyist.
You can easily buy basic tools to work on a mechanical watch. If everything in the watch is ok, you don’t need a lot.
If the watch is a “no-runner, ” you must play a different ball game. Every single problem that the look has may require a dedicated tool to fix it. There is a tool for everything. These tools are high precision and high quality, and for this reason, they can be costly. Depending on the complexity, you can range from a hundred bucks to thousands. A professional cleaning machine could cost up to five thousand euros.
I feel like it is something I would like to explore deeper.
Even if I usually wear an Apple Watch, mechanical watches have always been one of my interests.
I also tried to approach a couple of forums, but they are not immune to the problems on other forums. It always seems that newbies are not welcome.
Buying a “non-runner” pocket watch on eBay, trying to fix it, and bringing it to new life is fascinating. If you look at some of those watch repair videos, you will notice that you need patience, attention to detail, and care. I am sure I could love the experience and the excitement. Moreover, the idea of bringing back to life something that was headed to the trashcan is essential to me. Fix other than buy a new object.
As I said, it is not a simple hobby, and maybe, the complexity makes me feel like I have to dig deeper to understand it.
I cannot easily remember where I read this quote from a conversation:
– Why do you always choose the most uphill road?
– Because in the end, the view is better.
I think it’s just that.
Maybe some of my eleven readers are already having fun and will be able to give me some helpful direction. Sometimes even the advice not to start is good.