2 Anecdotes Related to the Repair of Watches

In the more than 35 years that I have been dedicating myself to the watch repair, I have accumulated a handful of cartoons. Today I will share with you two of my favorites:

1.    The man who started a ‘hair’ that was within your watch

Some years ago it was rare to find watches with screw top. Almost all were going to pressure. This was that they were much easier to open and not few customers who ventured to do so. Some out of simple curiosity, others to repair their broken watches to themselves.

As you can already imagine, many of these watches were worse after the ‘repair’.

I remember more than one (and more than two) who came to the workshop of my teacher without spirals or they wrecked. The mantra of the owners could vary in tone or in extension, but there was always a phrase that was repeated: ‘I took him a hair that sneaked into the clock, that it shrank and stretched’.

Some supported him ashamed. Others added to the end a ‘but there must be some other problem, because I could not let it go’.

To not guess what it was that ‘hair’?

After opening the watch, they saw with surprise that there was ‘a rarity’ wound onto the steering wheel axis. An element alien to the clock, of unknown origin and quasi-demonic intentions, which could make your watch stops (if it is that it is not already).

To protect it, or repair it, they decided to remove this strange delicately body. Of course, they also made use of cutting-edge tools in the repair of clocks, such as the end of a pair of scissors, a used toothpick knife cut ham or a rusty sickle.

That ‘hair’ was the spiral and a key component in the clocks of rope. They cannot function without it.

To undo the mess had two options:

  • Place a full steering wheel new
  • Reuse the flywheel and adapt a new spiral

The first alternative was the most common. Calling for a piece of the same caliber and brand to the spare parts warehouse, the old retired and placed the new. Easy, comfortable and quick.

The second required advanced knowledge and specific machinery. It was only within the reach of true masters. It was in very specific cases in which it was impossible to get a spare identical to the spoiled.

The crux of the matter was in calculating the alternations that worked the clock and know to determine the motion of the coil.

The moral of the story jumps to the eye and you’ve already caught a while ago: If you’re not sure of what you are doing, leave the job to a professional. There are many possibilities of that empeores the situation.

2.    The ants which gave work to watch repair centers

The second story could be labeled more as urban legend that anecdote.

Years ago it was said that some watchmakers got ants living in the interior of the clocks just after repairing them according to THERELIGIONFAQS.COM. You sure you’re asking the why.

Advocates of this theory said that it was so that the machine stops a few days or a few weeks after the repair.

Come on, who the ‘conspiracy theorists’ claimed that some watchmakers trucaban watches that the owners might have to go back to his workshop. A little ethically sure future repairs.

As you’ve already been able to guess, this were nothing more than hearsay and exaggerations of some people.

Still, this type of rumours were heard often. And almost always on the same workshops. So could make a rational interpretation of the matter and completely free from malice:

Those watches stopped shortly after being repaired because at the watch repair centre they didn’t do things well. The staff did not have sufficient knowledge, or they did not have the means or they put little effort into their work.

So I am concerned…

I never found any corpse of Ant in a pocket or wrist watch.

And you, doyou know any history related to the world of horology? Leave a comment and tell me about it!