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Basic Care Instructions #12: Time And Watches

 

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BASIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS  #12: On Time And Watches 

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This is the 12th in a series of articles on common care instructions for domestic items and materials most often seen in antiques and vintage textiles, including but not limited to housewares and clothing. I hope this care information is helpful to you.

You may well know a lot more about the care of domestic items than I can tell you here, but it's nice to have all this information in one place. So at the risk of boring you, this article goes into some detail.

I've put the care of many aspects of time and watches together into this article.The information here is basic information, relevant to the care of most moderately sized clocks and watches. Future issues will cover other aspects of antiques, fine leather goods, jewelry, and textiles.

See our issue BASIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS #1 for information on how to read care labels you may find on vintage fabrics (and you should follow them if you do find them!). All previous articles in the series can be found in our library and in the magazine archives.  

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ON TIME & WATCHES

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 Click on a topic to jump to it:

I. WHAT IS TIME?
II. HOW TIME FLIES
III. MAINTAINING WATCHES
IV. ADDITIONAL RESOURES: History and Artists

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1. WHAT IS TIME?


Time is an invention designed to keep everything from happening all at once, and a way to arrange for those things we want to happen simultaneously to do so. Throughout history, we've changed our relationship to time and the ways we use time, and this in turn has changed how we use time now.  Every generation has needed, and lived by, more precise and exacting time standards than the previous generation.

 

   

 

 

The first measurements of time were derived from the sun's shadow.

(This is a Groundhog seeing its' shadow!)

 

The irregular daily movement of the Sun was known by the Babylonians. Prior to the invention of consistent mechanical clocks in 1656, sundials were the only reliable timepieces. Sundials served humanity for centuries, and the correct time was essentially defined as what the sundial showed; apparent solar time was the generally accepted standard.

 

 

In the mid-17th century, the newly invented mechanical clocks, while internally consistent, were found to only agree with sundials near four annual dates. Because each system measures time differently, using different intervals, the time shown by sundials and the time tracked by clocks will rarely agree.It's rather like the difference between centimeters and inches.

A sundial indicates the current position (the "hour angle") of the Sun; it indicates "apparent solar time" by tracking the sun's position and motion and this motion is irregular. A clock, on the other hand, indicates "mean solar time" by tracking a theoretical "mean" sun with noons precisely 24 hours apart, "regular day intervals" of always equal length. Mean solar time would be the time indicated by a steady clock set so that over the year, its' differences from apparent solar time would resolve to zero.

In the mid-17th century, an "equation of time" was introduced to reconcile the difference between sundial time and clock time, and to correct the clock's time to obtain the sundial's time. This situation reversed itself shortly afterwards however, and eventually clocks replaced sundials, sundials were instead used to obtain clock time, and the clock's "mean time" became the accepted standard instead.

 

 

Between the invention of consistent mechanical clocks in 1656 and the development of commercial time distribution services around 1900, land-based clocks were set in one of three ways.

The first method simply noted the moment when the sun passed overhead, crossing the meridian, and the clock was set to noon, and corrected using the number of minutes given by that date's time differential (the equation of time).

The second method read the time off a sundial and then consulted a table of differentials (the equation of time), usually engraved on the sundial, to adjust the watch or clock. This method calculated the mean time, local to a specific longitude point.

The third method used stellar observations to give sidereal time, exploiting the relationship between sidereal time and mean solar time.

 

 

Initially, the difference between sundial time and clock time could be ignored but with the ascendency of clocks, clock time began to stamp every aspect of daily life.

 

 

Today, the average person uses clock time, and may be completely unaware that our notion of time was originally designed to keep pace with the sun, and irregular orbital cycles.

 

 

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II. HOW TIME FLIES


In the 18th Century, we managed our lives sufficiently using an infrastructure accurate to the nearest quarter-hour.In the past, everything in our world infrastructure operated with a larger margin and tolerance for error; everything was less precise. Social conventions embodied this structure; they were complex, and required time to complete.

 

In the 21st Century, we've become totally dependent on precision and exceedingly accurate time.Everything encompassing our lives depends on our Time Tools being as precise as possible, as precise as is currently scientifically feasible. Our activities, communication, financial transactions, manufacturing, electric power, technology in general, the minutia of our schedules, all depend on and demand that everyone use accurate clocks. Our social conventions embody this structure: we have fewer social conventions now than in the past, and we spend as little time as possible on them.  The past generation has different habits, and views the present generation as "rude" and "perfunctory" while the present views the past as "taking forever".

 

 

All time keepers depend for their accuracy on maintaining reference access to a consistent source of constant oscillating rhythmic pattern. There are as many ways and means of creating rhythmic reference patterns for time as there are cycles in Nature herself. The rhythm reference source can be external or internal, and it can be just about anything so long as whatever means is used produces regular periodicity. The periodicity itself can be achieved by many different means, including but not limited to oscillations, resonance, synchronicity, mechanical, electrical, magnetic, chemical and subatomic changes, and changes in pressure, temperature and density. By "oscillate" I mean to move or swing back and forth at a regular speed and by "rhythm" I mean a strong, regular, repeated movement or sound which forms a pattern. If you need to know what I mean by "density", I can't help you.

 

(This is a working model of the Antikythera.)

 

Unfortunately about 15% of us have inherent biological rhythms that interfere with some of the commonly used modern sources for reference oscillating rhythmic patterns. One such example is about 15% of the population's inability to wear a quartz watch without it immediately either losing more than 50% accuracy or coming to a stop altogether.Theories abound as to why this is true, and most revolve around the fact that each of us has our own individual resonant frequency which is somehow interfering with the piezoelectric properties of quartz crystal resonators or oscillators worn near our bodies.

 

 

Quartz watches and quartz clock operation are based on the piezoelectric property of quartz crystals. When you apply an electric field to a quartz crystal, it changes shape, and when you squeeze a quartz crystal or bend it, the quartz crystal generates an electric field. When put in a suitable electronic circuit, this interaction between mechanical stress and electric field causes the crystal to vibrate and generate an electric signal of relatively constant frequency that can be used to operate an electronic clock display.Quartz crystal watches and clocks have no gears or escapements to disturb their regular frequency. Even so, they rely on a mechanical vibration whose frequency depends critically on each individual crystal's size, shape and temperature, and no two crystals are exactly alike.

 

 

Standard-quality quartz resonators usually have a long-term accuracy of about 6 parts per million (0.0006%) at 31 °C (87.8 °F). This means a typical quartz clock or wristwatch will gain or lose 15 seconds per 30 days (within a normal temperature range of 5 °C/41 °F to 35 °C/95 °F) or less than a half second clock drift per day when worn near the body. They're great value for the price, if you can wear them.

 

 

We already know atoms (and molecules) have resonances. Each chemical element and compound absorbs and emits electromagnetic radiation at its' own characteristic frequencies. These resonances are inherently stable over time and space. An atom of hydrogen or cesium here today is, as far as we know, exactly like one a million years ago or in another galaxy. This is how atoms constitute a potential "pendulum" with a reproducible rate that can form the basis for more accurate clocks.

 

 

Early research aimed at developing an atomic clock focused first on microwave resonances in the ammonia molecule.

 

 

Some molecules produce more "useful" resonances than others and some can be more accurately measured than others.In 1967, the cesium atom's natural frequency was formally recognized as the new international unit of time, replacing the old second that was defined in terms of the Earth's motions.

 

 

This second "second", pun intended, was defined as exactly 9,192,631,770 oscillations or cycles of the cesium atom's resonant frequency. It is this structure which forms the current basis of "the time of our lives", in many ways.

 

As of 2013, you can purchase an atomic cesium watch. It contains a tiny cesium atomic clock on a chip, and must be recharged every 30 hours. It's reported to keep time to an accuracy of one second in 1000 years. You won't know if your resonance interferes with it until you try it. It uses coherent population trapping of microwaves.

The motion of the Earth fluctuates in rate by a few thousandths of a second each day. Prior to 1967, we led our lives according to it. Until 1918, we had no international standard meridians. Long distance time synchronization wasn't possible. The international time zones that we know and love today were a matter of contention for decades, finally settling down in the USA by an Act of Congress in 1918.

 

 

In the 1840s, several local time systems were replaced by a railway standard time for all of England, Scotland, and Wales.In 1852, The Royal Observatory in Greenwich began transmitting time telegraphically.By 1855, most of Britain used Greenwich time (GMT - based on the Earth's motion ); it was the most important time reference for the world. While the more accurate measurement of time intervals arrived with the 1967 cesium adoption, much fumbling ensued trying to couple GMT with the cesium atom's natural frequency.  On January 1, 1972, after much fuss, a compromise time scale emerged, and Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) became effective.

 

 

UTC runs at the rate of the atomic clocks, however there's a differential between the Earth's motion and the cesium atom's natural frequency.

When the difference between them approaches one second, a one second adjustment (a "leap second") is made in UTC.

As before in history, we again have to make a "time adjustment".

 

 

Atomic timekeeping has become vital, and the world's standards laboratories are actively involved. The international UTC scale is coordinated in Paris by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM). Data is contributed from more than 25 countries, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)'s clock systems, and other atomic clocks located at the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO).In the United States today, NIST and USNO cooperate to provide official U.S. time for the nation.

 

(The atomic clock was invented at Columbia University by Professor Charles H. Townes, left, with the assistance of J.P. Gordon, right.)

 

Time signals are an important byproduct of the Global Positioning System (GPS); they are the premier satellite source for time signals. The time scale operated by the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO) serves as reference for GPS; the time scales of NIST and USNO are highly coordinated, synchronized to well within 100 nanoseconds, or 100 billionths of a second. Signals provided by either NIST or USNO can be considered as traceable to either. The agreements and coordination of time between these two institutions simplifies the process of achieving legal traceability when required by regulations.

 

 

Official U.S. Government time, as provided by NIST and USNO, is available on the Internet at

http://www.time.gov.

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III. MAINTAINING WATCHES

 


So what has all this to do with maintaining watches?

Well, sundials take care of themselves.

 

 

But if you can't wear quartz watches, you're stuck with wearing mechanical. The most important thing you can do is to learn how to properly handle good watches and to know where and when not to wear them.

 

 

All good watches, regardless of whether they're mechanical or quartz, atomic, sand, or water, require proper care and maintenance.Good watches are subject to a variety of everyday stresses, from dings to magnetization or contact with rain and perspiration. Aside from age, the worst culprits are shock, moisture, magnetic fields, positioning, improper handling, and for quartz watches, power and temperature.

 

Let's take these one at a time.

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ACCURACY

This is your metric.

If your watch isn't keeping accurate time, then you need to clean it, or have it properly cleaned by a watch cleaning service. Yes, they still exist.

 

 

In general, antique watches and mechanical watches experience an error of up to 5 to 7 minutes a day. Any accuracy of plus or minus 5 minutes is very good. Really.

For quartz watches, it's normal for a typical quartz clock or wristwatch to gain or lose 15 seconds per 30 days (within a normal temperature range of 5 °C/41 °F to 35 °C/95 °F), or less than a half second clock drift per day when worn near the body. Standard-quality quartz resonators usually have a long-term accuracy of about 6 parts per million (0.0006%) at 31 °C (87.8 °F). To compensate for this drift, many inexpensive quartz clocks and watches use a technique known as inhibition compensation, where during manufacturing, the crystal is calibrated and deliberately made to run somewhat fast. Take this into account when wearing new cheap quartz watches.

 

 

Watches are complex systems and should not be handled cavalierly. Watches are not stuffed toys. Keep them at room temperature when not wearing them, and store them in a dry place out of sunlight.

 

 

Before wearing the watch, be sure watch bands are in good condition and securely holding the watch. Don't allow symptoms to continue; they will get worse and may progress to ruining more and more of the watch mechanism. Service your watch regularly, and have it cleaned by a watch cleaning service. Watches in general should not be shaken, stirred, bounced, bumped, whacked, flipped, or dropped.

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SHOCK

Watches and shocks don't mix.

The International Organization for Standardization ISO 1413:2016 specifies the minimum requirements for shock-resistant wrist watches;the standard is based on the simulation of the shock received by a wrist watch while falling from a height of 1 m onto a horizontal wooden floor

(https://www.iso.org/standard/62753.html).

For more more information on the test, see

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock-resistant_watch.

A "shock resistant" mark on a watch is supposed to indicate that the delicate pivots that hold the balance wheel are mounted in a spring suspension system intended to protect them from damage if the watch is dropped. This does not mean, nor does it imply, that you can drop your watch and have it survive! Do not bang or bump or drop your watch. Make sure your watch band fits and that it stays on your wrist and holds your watch in place.

When you have to reach into something using the arm wearing your watch, first take off your watch. You'd take off your eyeglasses before pulling on a turtleneck shirt!When a watch is dropped, a sudden impact may cause an axle of one or more wheels to break. It will stop running. Most commonly the balance staff, the axle of the wheel that makes the tick-tock noise, breaks. The balance staff will need to be replaced in conjunction with a complete maintenance.

Antique watches will require expensive mechanical repairs because their parts are not standard.

 

 

Quartz watches, while not as delicate as mechanical movements, are not to be underestimated; they have their own problems. Most mechanical watches can't take being worn during anything resembling an active sport; that exposes them to excessive vibration loads.

This doesn't mean you should only wear your watch while quietly reading, but it does mean you should keep some facts in mind.

 

Recoil forces affect mechanical watches' reliability and precision. No matter how perfect an anti-shock mechanism, as long as a watch is moving when you are, there is always the chance of some excessive load arising that the mechanism can't cope with and survive. Again, remember that watches should not be shaken, stirred, bounced, bumped, whacked, flipped, or dropped.  And unless you're in the Olympics, neither should you.

 

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MOISTURE

Watches and water don't mix.

Any watch labeled "Water Resistant" no matter what the atm or meter, is NOT for use around water. The label indicates how well the watch is sealed.It may be resistant to your perspiration, and to light drops of mist, but this does not mean, and does not imply, that you can wear it with impunity while showering, bathing, swimming, snorkelling, around water or water related work, around people splashing in water, or when fishing. If you need to wear a watch doing any of these things, purchase a diving watch.

 

 

Protect your watch from exposure to moisture. If it gets wet, dry it off immediately, if not sooner. Carefully open all covers and use a hair drier to blow dry the movement, dial, covers, crown. This will reduce the amount of rust. If your watch becomes wet with any kind of salt water, immediately immerse or spray your watch with fresh (no-salt) water to remove all the salt from the works before drying the watch completely. Any salt left in the watch will combine with moisture in the air to rust metal components of the movement, case, and all parts. Salt (Na) is corrosive.If the watch crystal keeps fogging up and you can't see the dial, the internal gaskets, which make a watch water resistant, may require replacement or the watch may have been exposed to moisture while the crown was not properly closed. The crown, crystal and back gasket should be replaced in conjunction with a complete maintenance. The watch should be serviced as soon as possible, or other internal components might get damaged. Water resistance is not a permanent feature; it requires regular periodic service to maintain it.

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MAGNETIC FIELDS

Watches and magnetic fields don't mix.

Keep magnets away from watches and keep watches away from magnets.

Strong magnetic fields affect accuracy; many watches were made with iron based components in the movement.

 

When a quartz watch has stopped running, the first step is to see if the battery needs to be replaced. Most watch batteries are designed to last about 2 years.However, some quartz watches are designed to have extended battery life, which can last up to 3 or more years. (Most of these watches do not have second hands). A watch service technician can check the battery and the condition of the contacts.

On quartz watches, when the second hand is ticking back and forth in one spot and the watch (or clock) won't run, this may indicate the watch is functioning electronically, but the mechanical portion is not, due to a problem with the internal gearing. Or it may mean you need to change the battery. Quartz watches don't have enough power to push through obstructions like mainspring-wound watches. In this case, the watch movement most likely needs to be serviced.Although there are numerous conditions that cause this malfunction, it's usually corrected by complete maintenance.

 

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POSITION (winding)

Watches and rough handling don't mix.

Do not wind any watch hard. Take a deep breath, and think of this as winding a snow flake. Wind your watch GENTLY, at the same time every day. Winding any mechanical watch tightly may break the mainspring.

 

 

When adjusting the hands of your watch, move them in a clockwise direction only. Counter-clockwise adjustments can damage the movement. Adjust the hands of your watch at the same time every day. If you must adjust counter-clockwise make it for small adjustments only (i.e. for minutes, NOT hours).Be careful, gentle, and patient when adjusting the movement speed (faster or slower). Don't make sharp movements, don't be in a hurry, and don't touch other components in the movement, especially the pendulum mechanism.

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AUTOMATIC SELF-WINDING MECHANISM

Your automatic watch stops after you take it off. This is a typical occurrence with an automatic watch and there are a couple of things that can cause the problem. An automatic or self-winding watch should be worn for at least 8 hours a day.As a result of natural motion of the wearer's arm, the mainspring is wound automatically, making manual winding unnecessary. An automatic, or self-winding, watch requires a certain amount of physical activity of the wearer to wind fully.If the wearer is not sufficiently active, the watch does not build up enough power to run. In rare cases, it could be that the mainspring has become worn, which sometimes happens after a few years.This is corrected by replacing the mainspring and conducting a complete maintenance.

You put on an automatic watch and find it's running slow.Automatic watches must be wound to start the watch running, either by manually winding at the crown or by wearing the watch for a sufficient amount of time to wind the mainspring. When worn regularly, most automatic watches should function normally and continue to run for approximately 36 hours after being removed from the wrist.If the watch is fully wound and still runs slow, this is an indicator that it needs maintenance.Most manufacturers of automatic watches recommend movement service approximately every 4 to 5 years, depending on the degree of wear and usage.

 

 

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TIMING

The watch was running fine for many years, but now it is running slow and stopping. A complete maintenance should correct this problem. A watch is a finely tuned mini-machine. Similar to an automobile's engine, lubricants must be replaced periodically, usually every 3 to 5 years, to maintain optimum performance.

 

 

The watch is running very fast. There can be a few reasons for this. Over time, the internal lubricants in a watch movement may migrate to the hairspring and cause it to stick.It could also be from dropping the watch, in which case the hairspring is out of adjustment. Lastly, the watch may have been exposed to a magnetic field and become magnetized.When you wind the watch, it never stops winding. This happens in true manual-wind watches and indicates that the mainspring has broken.Automatics have a clutch so you can feel when the watch is fully wound. The mainspring must be replaced along with a complete maintenance.

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IMPROPER HANDLING

Handle watches carefully; they're fragile. Service and oil mechanical watches every 2 to 3 years. If the accuracy is slowly getting worse, the watch needs servicing.

 

 

Should the watch get dirty, allow the watch to run down, and don't wind it again until you have it serviced by a qualified watch repair expert. Dust will absorb and remove important lubricants and cause the movement pieces to wear down. To clean the case, dial, and crystal, use only a LINT FREE cloth; this is a cloth that won't leave fibers that might be caught up in the movement.  Check with your watch repair expert or jeweler for an appropriate cloth.

 

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CALENDAR WATCHES

 

A sophisticated mechanism is involved in the automatic day and date display.

 

 

Make date changes when the watch or clock arrows are both pointing in the lower sector of the dial, for example at position 6 (18.00) hours. Don't change the DATE between the HOURS of 20.00 and 06.00; the two mechanisms, one for date and another for time, are intertwined when the watch shows these hours on the face.If the calendar changes at noon, the hands are 12 hours out of alignment. Reset the watch manually by advancing the time by 12 hours.

 

 

If the watch always stops at midnight, it doesn't mean you should go to sleep with crossed fingers; the watch is most likely stopping due to a problem with the calendar trip mechanism. You should have it serviced.

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CHRONOGRAPH WATCHES

 

Frequent use of the chronograph function, or leaving it running constantly, will considerably shorten battery life. It is important to understand that far more battery power is required for the chronograph than is required for basic timekeeping.Don't run the chronograph / stopwatch function continuously. In fact, some electronic chronograph/stopwatch functions will stop running automatically if left running for extended periods of time. To conserve battery power, stop the chronograph function when the timing feature is not being used.In most cases, these watches contain "start/stop" buttons and "reset" buttons. Don't press "reset" if the chronograph is running. Before pressing the "reset" button, stop the chronograph by pressing "start/stop". Using the "reset" when running the chronograph can damage the mechanism.

When the chronograph second hand does not set back to "0", this can be corrected by a simple manual re-setting of the chronograph hands. Over time, mechanical chronographs will require adjustment. When chronograph hands do not reset to zero, or 12 o'clock, it typically means the watch needs regular maintenance.

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PROBLEMS SPECIFIC TO QUARTZ WATCHES

 

With many of today's quartz watches having an end-of-life (EOL) feature, it is not advisable to replace the battery until it is absolutely necessary. Opening the case can compromise the factory seals, creating the need to perform water-resistant maintenance before it is required.

How long does a battery last? This depends on the age of the watch and the type and number of functions (i.e., stopwatch chronograph applications, alarms, second hand, etc.). A battery should last for at least 1 year in analog watches and digital styles.When the second hand skips several seconds at a time, this is a battery end-of-life indicator (EOL). Watches with this feature have electronic circuits that detect when the battery voltage is getting low.Their circuitry makes the second hand move forward erratically to alert the wearer that it is time to replace the battery. Installing a new battery should restore the second hand to advancing normally.

If the alarm worked fine until the battery was changed, there are several factors that can cause the problem. The most common explanation is that the alarm contact spring is not in the correct position. The watch may need to be sent to the service center.Other possible causes may be the case back was installed incorrectly or there is a problem with the alarm contact plate. The watch will usually need to be sent for service.

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QUARTZ WATCHES ARE TEMPERATURE SENSITIVE

 

Quartz watches can run fine when you don't wear them, but can stop working when you put them on. This is a somewhat common problem and a bit bizarre.

 

 

This can happen when the electronic circuitry has a defect; the "only-works--when-off" symptom can be explained by basic physics. Expansion occurs when there is an increase in temperature.In this case, the electronic circuit may have a bad contact or there may be a defect in it. When the watch is at room temperature, off the wrist, all of the contact points and circuits function properly.However, when the watch is worn, body temperature causes an increase in the watch's temperature, which causes a slight expansion of the watch, and this causes the circuit connection to break.The result is that the watch won't function when worn but it does function when it returns to a lower temperature. Even a tiny temperature differential can exacerbate this symptom. The defective circuit will need to be replaced and the watch will need a routine maintenance.

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DIGITAL DISPLAYS

 

 

The display on a digital watch can turn black and the numbers will no longer be seen. This usually happens when a digital watch has received a severe shock or has been dropped. The digital display, a very thin sandwich of glass filled with a conductive fluid, has become either contaminated or cracked, causing air to leak in and damage the conductive fluid. This can be a very expensive repair and, depending on the value of the watch, replacing it may be the most economical alternative. Higher-end digital watches with this problem must be sent to their manufacturer's service center.

 

The digits in the digital display may not show complete numbers or letters. This usually indicates that the contacts connecting the digital display with the circuitry of the watch have been damaged by a shock, or the contact points are corroded. This prevents the section(s) not displayed from receiving the necessary voltage to ignite the display segment. In less expensive digital watches, this repair can cost as much as a replacement watch.

 

 

If you must have such a watch repaired, it will have to be returned to the manufacturer, to be serviced thorough the manufacturer's service center. Higher-end digital watches with this problem can be repaired at a reasonable cost compared to buying a new watch, but they too must also be sent to the manufacturer's service center.

 

 

The analog hands work but the digital display doesn't, or the digital display works but the analog hands don't work. Analog/digital combination watches are really two watches built together. It's possible that one section will malfunction leaving the other part working. Watches with a digital feature must be repaired by the manufacturer, thorough the manufacturer's service center.

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PROBLEMS WITH PUSH BUTTONS

 

What's wrong when the push buttons don't push in or will not return after being pushed in? Push buttons have a stem attached to their underside that moves in and out of a tube located inside of the watch when depressed.Inside the watch, a tiny spring pushes the stem back out when the button is released.Over time, dirt or corrosion can accumulate inside the tube resulting in the spring being unable to restore the button back to its original position. The spring will most likely need to be replaced and the watch should have a routine maintenance.

(Professor Charles H. Townes, inventor of the atomic clock, and an unidentified assistant.)

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FINALLY, love your watch.

 

Its' "time keeping" is keeping everything from happening to you all at once, and it may in fact be helping you live at a better tempo, by providing you a way to pace and organize life's events.

Time is a four letter word in English, and Zeit in German, but it's Temps in French, Tiempo in Spanish, and Tempo in Italian. The next time you feel pressed for time, sit back, breath deeply and remember, time is in fact measured by any metric you choose.

 

"Knowledge and time abide in the same place."

(Inscription on the Tippet Sundial, University of Boulder, Colorado, Erickson Monuments builder, Stephen A. Ionides designer.)

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IV. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 


There's a plethora of great Time information on the internet.

To save you TIME sorting through this, here are some personal favorites.

 

 

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HISTORY & UTILITY

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10 Early Firsts in Timekeeping Devices by M. Safyan Mughal

http://vuhelp.pk/m/blogpost?id=3891483%3ABlogPost%3A147077

(accessed 170416)

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History Of Watchmaking

https://www.hautehorlogerie.org/en/encyclopaedia/history-of-watchmaking/

(accessed 170416)

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The History of Timekeeping: Wrist Watches

https://www.torgoen.com/blog/history-timekeeping-wrist-watches/

(accessed 170416)

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The Clock Depot

http://www.theclockdepot.com/grandfather-clock-quick-setup-guide.html

(accessed 170416)

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Pieter Merckx

http://www.astroclocks.nl

Website of the master circular astronomical clock builder Pieter Merckx, from the Netherlands, who like Bach, was a genius unrecognized in his lifetime.

(accessed 170416)

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The Internet Archive WayBack Machine: A Walk Through Time

https://web.archive.org/web/20080511154836/http://physics.nist.gov/GenInt/Time/ancient.html

(accessed 170416)

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6 Wrist Watch Survival Hacks

http://www.instructables.com/id/6-wrist-watch-survival-hacks/

The watch used for the demonstration is digital; mechanical watches also qualify for some of the tricks.

(accessed 170416)

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Bizarre Clocks and Watches - 16 pictures Photoshop Contest Gallery 

Images of clocks and wrist watches made with unusual items and/or materials - e.g. tires, vegetables, cookies, etc. The Winning 16 Images:

http://www.freakingnews.com/Clocks-and-Watches-Pictures---1071.asp

(accessed 170416)

 

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Clock of the Long Now

http://longnow.org/clock/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clock_of_the_Long_Now

(accessed 170416)

The Clock is designed to run for ten millennia with minimal maintenance and interruption, powered by mechanical energy harvested from sunlight as well as the people that visit it.

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ARTISTS

A partial list of contemporary professional sculptors; these artists are working with ancient mechanical principles and incorporating found parts.

 

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Christopher Conte

http://www.microbotic.org

(accessed 170416)

Born in Bergen, Norway, Christopher uses a wide range of diverse materials and construction techniques to create his unique one-of-a-kind pieces. The work is usually a combination of original cast components with found/recycled parts using materials ranging from bronze to carbon fiber. Many exotic materials used in the aerospace industry and the medical field have found their way into his work. Techniques such as lost-wax bronze casting have become an integral part of the process; creating a sculpture often takes months.

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Arthur Ganson

http://arthurganson.com

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Ganson

(accessed 170416)

Arthur Ganson (born 1955) is a renowned kinetic sculptor from the Boston area, with a sly, perceptive, and gentle sense of humor. His work makes you smile. His moving sculptures, both humorous and serious, integrate Rube Goldberg silliness and Marcel Duchamp Mime with serious physics and mechanics; they're an absolute delight for children of all ages. Examples include a blue sky overhead whose clouds can be changed each day, a gerbil-powered kinetic art sculpture with flipping tiles, mechanical eggbeaters that reverse to become saws or running moustaches, and a toilet paper dispenser constructed of bent wire that alerts the user when empty, by moving a weight balanced arrow from Safe to Critical. You can see some here: http://arthurganson.com/machines/ Ganson was artist-in-residence at the Mechanical Engineering department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1995–1999 and since 1995, a large collection of his works have been on permanent display at the MIT Museum.

 

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Bernard Gitton

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Gitton

(accessed 170416)

Bernard Gitton (born 24 June 1935) is a French physicist and artist who has built modern water clocks, fountains, and other devices relating art and science. He uses simple physics on a grand scale to construct water clocks with transparent glass works. His Clepsydras are breathtaking. There is simply no one else in all the world that can do what he does. He constructed "The Water Clock", at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis,"Clepsydra Water Clock" at Abbotsford, British Columbia, "Time Flow Clock" Europa Center, Berlin, "Time-Flow Clock" Rødovre Centrum, Denmar , for Yabachō Station in Nagoya, Japan, and the Water Clock displayed at the Iguatemi Mall in São Paulo city, Brazil.

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Science You Can Try At Home:The picture doesn't do this justice, so here's a "live" html version of Bernard Gitton's Time-Flow Clepsydra Water Clock you can run from our server at this URL:

https://www.suityourself.international/BlueGitton/BGClock.html

Copy this URL into your browser window, and the browser will display the clock, and it will run live displaying your own local time, until you close the window. When you want to use the clock again, just use the above URL. I keep this running on my desktop as my desk clock; it's restful, and beautiful. The html version is the creation of this URL: http://www.marcdatabase.com/~lemur/dm-gitton.html  Enjoy!

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Jessica Joslin

http://jessicajoslin.com/jessica/

(accessed 170416)

For osteological specimens, she recommends this company: https://www.skullsunlimited.com/ She sculpts with found objects. None of her work is welded or soldered. She mixes metals and their patinas with mechanical fastenings such as miniature machine bolts, universal joints, and couplings.

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Mike Libby

http://insectlabstudio.com

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Libby

(accessed 170416)

Mike Libby is a contemporary American artist who created the Insect Lab Studio in 1999. Within this sculptural series, he combines real preserved insect specimens with mechanical components, in order to create whimsical bio-cybernetic sculptures. 

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Edouard Martinet

http://www.edouardmartinet.fr

(accessed 170416)

Edouard Martinet was born in Le Mans, France in 1963. Martinet collects material, found everyday items—rusted kitchen pans, type writer keys, car lights and other scrap metal—from flea markets and car boot sales, and forges them into objets d’art. He starts by drafting several detailed sketches and then embarks on a meticulous journey of fitting together all the loose components, not with a soldering iron, but ‘as if assembling a puzzle of random pieces and parts.’ Martinet has won several awards and his work has been exhibited across France and in London.

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Jeremy Mayer

http://jeremymayer.com/

(accessed 170416)

Mayer sculpts with old typewriter components. He does not use any power tools to disassemble the typewriters he uses, instead taking them apart piece by piece by hand. When reassembling the typewriter components into his sculptures, he uses no welds, solder, glue, wire, or any material that is not part of a typewriter. His works usually are of human figures, animals, and insects. His work has been displayed at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Salon Des Indomptables in Paris, the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not museums. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Mayer)

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Dukno Yoon

http://www.ornamentmagazine.com/backissues/backissue_35_1_dukno.php

http://art.ksu.edu/people/faculty/yoon.html

(accessed 170416)

Yoon’s work tackles practical mechanical engineering and industrial design problems by creating tiny mobile sculptures with efficient mechanical solutions; the inherent beauty is a natural byproduct. Yoon is currently in his second year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Metalsmithing at Kansas State University.

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I sign our magazine articles "See Into The Invisible". Thanks for reading.

Best Wishes, 
Debra Spencer

All Content is © Debra Spencer, Suit Yourself™ International. Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.
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All Content is ©2019 Debra Spencer, Appanage™at www.suityourself.international Suit Yourself ™ International, 120 Pendleton Point, Islesboro Island, Maine, 04848, USA 44n31 68w91 Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.

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All Content is ©2019 Debra Spencer, Appanage™at www.suityourself.international Suit Yourself ™ International, 120 Pendleton Point, Islesboro Island, Maine, 04848, USA 44n31 68w91 Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. ~ Winston Churchill