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Latest Library Book (de Carle)


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Hello Everyone,

Just got my latest Horology-oriented book from the Hong Kong Public Library:

image.png.8451f00a729b6b5950066261e6c8c3df.png

It certainly has some very interesting stuff to say about clocks.

Does anyone have anything to say about this book?  Anything to pay special attention to or (conversely) to ignore?

For example, I think I will ignore the "tip" that cleaning balance springs with cyanide is a very effective but somewhat out of vogue method these days. ūüôā

What I did notice was quite a lot of carry-over of clock oriented practice and techniques to wrist watches, up to and including having a block of chalk readily available on the workbench, right beside the vice!  Wow!  The only other time I've heard of using chalk on timepieces was in a rather informal free Amazon book about clock rebuilding.  Apparently, chalk was (is?) used on clocks as a "finishing touch".  Can anyone explain to me why spreading an abrasive, salty dust on a clock movement after cleaning and oiling it makes any sense at all?

I am not finished with a close reading.  I just skimmed it - but still, it was a very interesting read for picking up various bit of Watchmaking Lore and Backstory, which I really dig.

- The French names of the components was quite revealing.  I found that they are sometimes more intuitive than some of the English names.

- The discussion of the use of ultrasonic cleaning machines was extremely interesting to me, given the recent debate on this very topic on YouTube (re:  Chronoglide)

Does anyone else have anything to add? 

I'm very keen to hear from the "Old Hands" who may have read this when it was originally published, and have a perspective on it.

g.
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Edited by Gramham
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Hi Graham   I have both his books , practical watch repairing and practical clock repairing  first publish date 1959/60, whereas time has moved on and the methodology has changed as has the watch and repair industry the fundamentals remain the same and are therefore in principal still worth sticking to.  The co-relation to clocks is that they are both time pieces and work in the same way the clock adding the strike and chime trains, watches date ,day complications and the chronograph. The chalk block was used for brushing the plates to achieve a lustre. Some what similar to the process of cleaning the clock/watch and putting the parts into sawdust to dry them out.  Bothe now outdated with the use of cleaning chemicals etc.  Both books are out dated in that respect as is the works of Henry B Freid but both authors explained their craft so the professional and amateur alike could understand the complexities of the Horological world and like any other text books are treated as a point of reference for information. I have quite a few books mainly on Clocks and they are used in that way, for information and guidence.

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13 hours ago, watchweasol said:

Hi Graham   I have both his books , practical watch repairing and practical clock repairing  first publish date 1959/60, whereas time has moved on and the methodology has changed as has the watch and repair industry the fundamentals remain the same and are therefore in principal still worth sticking to.  The co-relation to clocks is that they are both time pieces and work in the same way the clock adding the strike and chime trains, watches date ,day complications and the chronograph. The chalk block was used for brushing the plates to achieve a lustre. Some what similar to the process of cleaning the clock/watch and putting the parts into sawdust to dry them out.  Bothe now outdated with the use of cleaning chemicals etc.  Both books are out dated in that respect as is the works of Henry B Freid but both authors explained their craft so the professional and amateur alike could understand the complexities of the Horological world and like any other text books are treated as a point of reference for information. I have quite a few books mainly on Clocks and they are used in that way, for information and guidence.

Hello @watchweasol,

Thank you for your thoughtful comments! 

Yes, of course I am taking the information gleaned from these original sources with an eye to identifying where things may have evolved or moved on.  But I do agree with you that the fundamentals remain.  Another thing I find so interesting is the "lost art" aspect of Watchmaking that may not be as apparent on YouTube because a lot of people are taking a Triage or even Archaeological approach, i.e. "I've never seen this watch before!  Let's open it up!" which I find dramatic and fun but not exactly prudent. 

It's certain in my mind that quite a lot of prep was done before opening up the timepiece "blind", or there must be a very many videos on the cutting room floor (not to mention watch parts!).  This is one of the reasons why I enjoy ChronoGlide so much - that dude has a serious theoretical foundation upon which his Watchmaking is predicated.  This is not to take away from the more "adventuresome" Watchmakers who just obtain an unusual watch, crack it open and get on with it. 

Hey, both serve their purpose and their own unique audience.  My preference (mostly personality-driven) is to not only see "the story" of the watch repair, but also hear stuff about "the story of the story" in the form of a running sports-event style commentary where what would otherwise be silence is filled up with play-by-play explanations and also back story.

Some people hate the commentary.  I like it.  And that's what I plan to do when I start recording my own videos.

g.
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Hi Graham  I like you am of the mind quite a bit of prep work was done before hand, I some cases its been opened and every thing is almost ready to pop out the movement to begin.  My self when I have a repair take time to research the piece and gather technical information (computers full of it) before opening it up so you are ready for the unexpected.  A certain amount of commentary is required to give insight to the piece and to explain what's being done. I myself get a little weary of the sports style commentaries and the irrelevances they put in to fill blank space.  If its interesting and relevant all to the good. The Chronoglide chappie is very good as all he says is relevant   to the job in hand.  all the best with your endevour.     cheers

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