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Unlike two years ago when Joe was working intensely on building a prototype for the Tourbillon Model, we are at the moment tackling the current project sans prototype. Because we gained experience with the Tourbillon Model, that experience carries over to the Detent Model; both models also share several components throughout the mechanism.
The design philosophy of both models is classic, clean, and minimalist, as is the manufacturing process. We are in a profession that has a history of many centuries, and its culture should resist the influx of digital elements. Let’s face it, we watchmakers are in demand because of the passion for high end mechanical watches. And we should be the last ones who contaminate our beautiful “nature preserve” with CNC, 3D printing and the like technologies that are applied by some in the hope to substitute the masterful skills of a competent watchmaker. Our profession is built on a high level of skills and knowledge, and we better make sure that it stays that way.
I will get off my soap box now and continue talking about the project.
These are some of the players: The first year students, who started at the Lititz Watch Technicum three months ago, in September 2015.
And this is the equipment used to create these beautiful pieces – it is as traditional as the watchmaking profession itself:
Two Schaublin lathes, with milling attachment and dividing head.
Watchmaker’s lathes. Very similar to the Schaublins, just much smaller.
Drill presses. Most drilling can be done with a lathe, but a drill press is an efficient alternative.
This fantastic little machine helps you create flawless pivots in a very reliable and time efficient way.
The individual components of our detent model
6. Escape Wheel Arbor
This is a relatively long piece with a small diameter, which can be a challenge when it comes to maintaining concentricity during machining and heat treatment. We developed and optimized our process on several workpieces:
5. Hairspring Collet
4. Impulse Roller
3. Unlocking Roller
2. The Balance Bridge, made by Cory Schell and Jacob Curtis.
1. Transmission Wheel Arbor – stages in chronological order (click on image for high resolution).