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Thread: New Movement: How hard can it actually be?

  1. #1
    Member BillyR___'s Avatar
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    New Movement: How hard can it actually be?

    I've had this idea floating around in my head for a while now, and would love some input. If someone were to take up the task of making their own movement, disregarding patents and everything else that might get in the way, how difficult (the definition of difficult being genuinely hard to figure out, not time consuming, because time isn't an issue) could it actually be? Say you want to start from scratch and you have the math, metal, jewels and tools to do it. I'm talking about a movement, not a case. The only thing that might need to be borrowed would be a hairspring.

    The possibility of recreating a movement is ok. I'm more interested in the development and construction process.
    B.-

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyR___ View Post
    disregarding patents and everything else that might get in the way, how difficult (the definition of difficult being genuinely hard to figure out, not time consuming, because time isn't an issue) could it actually be?
    I don't think there any patents standing in your way, unless you're plagiarising.

    and a lot all comes down to level of finish you are achieving .... and a steep learning curve of actually developing the skills, and that depends how adept you are in the first place...

  3. #3
    and how small you want it to be..... and how accurate you want it to be.....

    You want to buy a copy of something like George Daniels watchmaking (like wot I've got )

    George Daniels


    Watchmaking: Amazon.co.uk: George Daniels: 9780856677045 ...

    (Ignore the price there , it can be got (in hardback) for about 40)

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Seriously View Post
    I don't think there any patents standing in your way, unless you're plagiarising.

    and a lot all comes down to level of finish you are achieving .... and a steep learning curve of actually developing the skills, and that depends how adept you are in the first place...
    Oh, there'd be patents in your way alright. You couldn't make a balance out of titanium or a jeweled rotor pivot without Hayek Jr. or the ghost of Hans Wilsdorf trying to sue your arse.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Domo View Post
    Oh, there'd be patents in your way alright. You couldn't make a balance out of titanium or a jeweled rotor pivot without Hayek Jr. or the ghost of Hans Wilsdorf trying to sue your arse.
    If there are any patents in the areas you mention, they'd only really be interested if you were going for a commercial watch , I doubt they'd bat an eyelid if you're making one for yourself ..... and anyway , just outsource these parts and purchase in

  6. #6
    There's an awful lot of physics to contend with and the maths of calculating the torque out of a spring, across a half dozen wheels and into an escapement that will give a balance a nudge just so is pretty intimidating. Over so many variables a suck it and see approach probably wouldn't be terribly effective. I guess that the bottom line is that you'd need to get the theory right and I suspect that means an extended technical apprenticeship. Exactly the same issue comes up with the metallurgy. Anyone can harden brass or steel, but making it hard enough not bend or spread while making it so brittle that it will snap would be a trial once again, an intuitive grasp of 'just right' would take endless practice and/or a good teacher. So I guess, from those two examples and like many things, once you are standing on the shoulders of giants (as Newton put it) and have the appropriate tools then I guess it wouldn't be that hard. It's the getting ready to start that would take the time, money and effort.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    It's the getting ready to start that would take the time
    Yeah , after all George Daniels took 250 years !!

    It says so in the link

    The greatest watchmaker of the last 250 years

  8. #8
    Hall Monitor Samanator's Avatar
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    I think it depends on what your going for. There are some great articles on watchtime.com about the development of the Tag V4 and that took over 7 years, but it is a pretty wild design. I believe the Breitling B1 chronograph was about 5 years. So my guess is 3-5 years is a reasonable estimate. Now if your doing all the tooling then that could be a whole other time table all together.
    Cheers,

    Michael

    Tell everyone you saw it on IWL!

  9. #9
    I have bunch of pdf books on watch-making principles and I've always toyed with the idea of modelling a basic movement in cad.

    I'm off for four weeks so maybe this is an excuse to "design" a movement.

    The arrangement of parts doesn't seem too complex. I reckon my first sticking point would be modelling the gear teeth and getting the setting correct along the train.

    It's a good thing the gearing is pretty "standard"; that'll save me some headache but I can forsee me also struggling with the spacing of the teeth.

  10. #10
    ...man I am so out of touch with AutoCAD...

    even doing this basic bit of packaging took me an hour.




    ...and that feels like maybe 1% of the job...

    I can't even to begin how much of a headache this will be once I start extruding parts
    Last edited by drunken monkey; May 9, 2015 at 11:51 PM.

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