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About "The Watch Repairer’s Manual" by Henry B. Fried


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Just before Christmas a WRT member recommended me the book ”Bench Practices for Watch Repairers” by Henry B. Fried. The book is widely praised and mainly covers advanced repair topics about hairsprings and jewelling but also some other stuff. So far, I’ve only read a small part of it, but it is very well written and illustrated.

Anyway, this got me interested in the book “The Watch Repairer’s Manual” by the same author. However, I couldn’t find much info about it, so I decided to take a chance and buy it on eBay for approx. $21 including shipping, and I’m glad I did. It is equally well written and illustrated and covers both fundamentals and some pretty advanced stuff. Characteristic of the author is that he is extremely precise in his language and explanations which I both enjoy and find very enlightening. For example, you can expect sentences like: “The escape wheel pinion is the last part in the train, but its wheel belongs to the escapement”.

For those of you interested in this book and want to know a bit more about it I have taken pictures of its cover, preface, and contents which follow next. I realise my post may constitute a copyright infringement, but I’m thinking that as I’m not copying any actual content, not doing it to make any profit and as I’m in fact promoting the book, my post may hopefully pass. If not, please feel free to delete it.

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I really like this book too, it covers a lot of ground and is very well written.

I visited the horological society of New York last year and they have Henry's old bench and some of his tools in their office! They also gave me this book while I was there.

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42 minutes ago, JBerry said:

I really like this book too, it covers a lot of ground and is very well written.

I visited the horological society of New York last year and they have Henry's old bench and some of his tools in their office! They also gave me this book while I was there.

    good show.    did you get a pic. of his bench?   vin

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  • 2 weeks later...

That,s the best book I,ve ever read( best for watch enthusiasts).  It used to be available for loan in Waverley Public Library. Unfortunately, due to technological advancement, the book is now unavailable. Like smart watches take over mechanical ones - over times.

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On 2/18/2020 at 3:25 PM, watchweasol said:

All Henry B fried's books are worth a place on any ones shelf I have them on the computer as a reference along with a few others . 

May I ask how you got it on your computer? I prefer to have as many books as I can on my Kindle making all content searchable and you can easily insert bookmarks and underlinings, and so on. Plus, it's ultra portable and have a battery life of about a 2 to 4 weeks (!) depending on how much you use it. Anyway, as far as I can see it is only offered as paperback.

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  • 2 years later...
  • 1 year later...

My copy of 'The Watch Repairer's Manual by Fried, Henry B', has arrived. Purloined by my bride and I will receive it on Christmas day. Can't wait!!!

I've looked a the .pdf of the 'Electric watch repair manual' and envy the members who understand it. Goobledegook to me. Ah well. Just pleased that I am a 'mechanical' man.

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On 11/26/2023 at 4:02 PM, rossjackson01 said:

I've looked a the .pdf of the 'Electric watch repair manual' and envy the members who understand it. Goobledegook to me. Ah well. Just pleased that I am a 'mechanical' man.

Remember the early electric watches are partially mechanical so you're halfway there. It's the electric part that bothers people. The mystery parts the black box that you need test equipment To figure out what's going on you can't look at it like a mechanical watch that's the problem for most people. It definitely becomes a problem with the watches of working then they really have a problem.

On 11/26/2023 at 4:02 PM, rossjackson01 said:

Fried, Henry

Now that you have that book you can get the whole set of all of his books. Like for instance this is a really nice book to get as it has an entire section on straightening out hairsprings. But apparently comes in a whole bunch of variations CF be careful to get the right one?

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1 hour ago, rossjackson01 said:

John. The 'Bench Practices' will probably be my next watch book purchase. However,  I will take some time reading the 'Manual' before I get that far. Can't wait for Christmas.

Ross, I love the 'Manual', it's my first "go to" reference. 

In comparison, there's much less in "Bench Practices", as you can see from the index. 

It's useful, but I wouldn't spend a fortune on it.

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2 hours ago, mikepilk said:

Ross, I love the 'Manual', it's my first "go to" reference. 

In comparison, there's much less in "Bench Practices", as you can see from the index. 

It's useful, but I wouldn't spend a fortune on it.

 

16 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

Like for instance this is a really nice book to get as it has an entire section on straightening out hairsprings. But apparently comes in a whole bunch of variations CF be careful to get the right one?

Sometimes my dictation software doesn't do the best job so let's try again. The book  comes in variations  are those variations importance maybe maybe not. But let's compare the table of contents  and see if it would be of it of any help at all to anyone in this discussion

So basically they're identical except  there is a  section starts on page 26 ends on page 43  it's titled Correcting the bent hairspring wonder if that would be to use?  Then much farther down something about replacing wheel chief  which  I doubt any of us would ever do I might've done it wants  sometime in my life it's the other section  that's the more interesting section is why gave you the page which explains which edition that I have  why made the reference to separate editions because?

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The table of contents of this book doesn't exactly agree with  the contents itself for instance  what do we find on page  26 of my book well it looks like this

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Then as I scroll through the missing section of your book page 31 has something interesting on the bottom. This often comes up when people are dealing with their hairspring crisis often times in the group people say remove it from the balance wheel and it's not what's recommended it's easier to work with it when it's all together although it be easier to not to have to deal with this at all.

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Now we get the page 32 which is weird because it's section what exactly and in the next section has the exact same Number and it's almost like this section is into separate section so it was inserted at some point in time or possibly removed from the other books but it's back to my caution the book comes in variations make sure you get the right variation otherwise you're missing what I consider a really useful section on fixing distressed hairsprings.

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The title that has the "Correcting the bent hairspring" and "Replacing wheel teeth" section is titled "Bench Practices for Watch and Clockmakers" as shown above. The other book without the two sections is titled "Bench Practices for Watch Repairers". I have both because I wanted the hairspring section. I am not sure why he had two separate books like that.

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