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david pierce

    There are a few videos available on Youtube that cover the production of hairsprings. The ones that come to mind are for the Hamilton, Elgin and Rolex companies. The Hamilton and Elgin videos are old but the process is the same. It is obvious to me that this was a multimillion dollar issue for these companies. Just working out recipie for the metal and actually producing it requires a team of highly skilled and educated experts. After smelting and pouring the metal into ingots, the metal was rolled and drawn through incredibly expensive machinery in order to get the wire to the proper size and geometry. The actual winding of the wire into a hairspring coil could be done in a small one man operation. The winding tool is an arbor suporting a couple of guide plates and could easily be made in a small machine shop. Once wound the springs could be set by tempering in a toaster oven.
    After reading a blog about Roger Smith last night, I found out that he does not make all of his parts in his shop. I do not know if George Daniels also outsourced some of his parts or not. In any case, watch the videos on Youtube and see some operations that manufactured every single screw, spring, gear, dial etc. in house.
    David Pierce