Timing Machines

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  • #48977
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
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    Watch timing

    Next to jeweling, hairspring forming, gear cutting etc etc
    There is the holy skill of watch timing, a gift granted by the ancient gods of Rome to only those worthy of this high honor, and of course to those who can afford to cough up the small fortune required to purchase a timing machine.

    Like my search for the right fit of milling machine, I’ve been looking, watching und listening to threads and videos for about two years, and after all that time spent, enjoyable, useful time I might add.. This is where I currently stand, or possibly crouch, in the fetal position, because I’m scared, not of the machine, but of my own spending habit on this addiction LOL

    1. Do I really need a timing machine for 90+ yr old watches?

    2. Am I just getting caught up in the hype and desire that one of these machines will miraculously make me into a master watch fixer upper and find my problems at the flick of a switch .

    3. Which model to invest in?

    4. The old ones managed fine without timers and used skill, took time to test, didn’t they?

    There is a PC type that is basically software with USB leads that reads amplitude. There is also an iPhone app that does the same thing, yes, really LOL

    On one hand I feel that for me, personally, as a collector, that perfectly accurate time is not important, by that I mean +_ 5 mins a day is muy aceptable, so possibly I am infected with #2

    I suppose if this was my business I would like to present a fully functional, reliable time keeper to my client. Something that William and myself have discussed, which basically comes down to pride of work, our own standards and a sprinkle of perfectionism.

    Anyhow, this is my usual morning breakie, by the beach, brain floating over the sea whilst allowing random thought to chose my direction LOL

    I’ll be curious to hear everyone’s views/experiences regarding these machines & timing antiques in general..

    #57060
    mahlon
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 28
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    Chris I think your spending way to much time in the salty air. Is funny though that the people I service clocks for are so worried about their clocks keeping perfect time, when they are usually the ones who are never on time to pick them up 😆 I do my best to get these old clocks to keep as good of time as possible, but when you are dealing with 100+ year old time pieces there only going to get so close. Then after spending all that time working towards perfection, I check back with the customer only to here him say, he only wound it once and had to stop it, because the chime interrupted his tv progam. Most of my customers just want to here grandpa’s old clock work, so they can bring up memories of they’re childhood. I have a few that collect clocks, and will actually wind them weekly. I wind mine every Sun. before church. I think I just like to see the look on our visitor’s faces when they all start chiming 😆 It is funny though that, when you live with them you rarely ever here them chime :) Mahlon

    #57061
    bernie weishapl
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 58
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    Chris don’t know if a timer is necessary or not. IMHO I think it is a valuable troubleshooting piece to have. I have this one and love it. http://www.bmumford.com/mset/modelwatch1.html It can do clocks and watches. There are so many things this thing can do. With the software I can analyze on my computer and spot a lot of problems that otherwise would be harder to determine. I do this as a business and am somewhat of a perfectionist. So to me yes it is important. Is it a absolute necessity? I think that is up to each person to determine. I worked for many years without one which took a lot of time sometimes. When it is a business time is money. I got a Timetrax at first but still was limited at times. I got the microset some 10 yrs ago and could not imagine doing without it. Most of my clocks are within a minute or two a week which is perfectly acceptable to me. My Seth Thomas #18 Jewelers Regulator I think right now is + or – about 10 seconds a month. That is what I use to check the repaired clocks with on their weekly test run after being repaired. The gentleman that brought that clock to Nebraska was a watch repairman for the railroad. His granddaughter told me he used that clock to time the watches he repaired.

    #57062
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
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    Chris:

    The one posted by Bernie is top notch. However, if you don’t want to go all out for pocket watches here’s one that does a good job and won’t break the bank.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/400167716220?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    I don’t have this one, but it’s one that David recommended to me awhile back… I just can’t stop buying machines and tools long enough to save up the money for it. :(

    Later,
    Tom

    #57063
    daryn
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 2
    • Total Posts: 97

    Hi tom / David , will this one do pendulum clocks ?
    Thankyou
    Kind regards’
    Daryn

    #57064
    bernie weishapl
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 58
    • Total Posts: 1218

    Daryn I don’t think the one Tom posted will do clocks from what I can see. The microset will do clocks and watches.

    #57065
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
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    Daryn:

    The one I posted is just for watches (I think).

    Tom

    #57066
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    Thanks for the info guys.

    Tom, this one is pretty pricey still, and it doesn’t include the software if I read it correctly, these guy must think that watch repairers are loaded$$ what’s up with thaat 😆

    I think they should sell a set of tools for those that are high grade watch certified, and equal but less expensive models for the rest of us 😆

    #57067
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1552

    Hey Chris,
    The link that Tom put up takes you to a fairly decent machine. It actually does a good job and also displays amplitude. I think this is the same or similar to Williams machine.
    It’s nothing fancy but works fine for normal timing and is a good entry to intermediate level machine. Some of them are big bucks and I think a bit overkill in some cases.

    Bob

    #57068
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Chris,
    The timing machine I got (the one Tom mentioned) does what I consider to be a fantastic job but I do not know if it would be suitable for clocks. It shows you on a graph if the tick equales the tock, how many seconds per day it is off, the amplitude, and by analizing the graph can identify several repair problems. When I bought mine it was around $200.00 dollars. The designer label Swiss models were around $1000.00
    david

    #57069
    daryn
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 2
    • Total Posts: 97

    Mines a German made one by perils ,badged timegrapher
    It can be set so the screen shows a graph such as the old ticker tape ones used to print out , can also pick up a signal for te calibration if needed ,you program in any beat rate manually it has preset ones also and will also pick them up and choose automaticly.
    As a side note I recently bought the cheapest guitar pick up I could find ( about $5)
    Just to see if it’d work , it does ! Bit of a saving on the swiss $500 pick ups . . . .
    They’re not available anymore but the guy was considering making them again , paid about £220 for mine about six years ago
    Daryn

    #57070
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    Thanks for the info fellas, I think I was looking at the right machine, it was $375 + $175 for the software?
    Looks like I might have to go and wait tables 😆

    #57071
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    Chris:

    I can’t afford a machine for watches either, so I purchased a cheap disco strobe light that I MIGHT be able to set with a cheap stop watch. I also bought a little stand that I think I can modify to work about like that little hairspring vibrator that you have. If I can get the strobe set to 5 flashes/sec for the typical pocket watch then I might be able to check the timing for them without spending more than $30.00. Of course, if it doesn’t then… what the heck will I do with a disco strobe? ;)

    Later,
    Tom

    #57072
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    I contacted Bryan Bumford and he stated that the optical scanning timer can be used to time the balance wheel on a watch. The optical unit sells for under $300.00 dollars.
    david

    #57073
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
    • Total Posts: 1259

    david:

    Do you have a link to that site?

    Thanks!
    Tom

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chris mabbottTiming Machines