Modern Clock and Watch Repairing

Discussion in 'Horological Books' started by Mike Kearney, Sep 7, 2002.

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  1. Mike Kearney

    Mike Kearney Guest

    Modern Watch and Clock Repairing, by P. Buford Harris, copyright 1944, Nelson-Hall Company. About 5"x7", 250 pages.

    When those who've come to be known as the greatest generation came home from WWII, they picked up where they left off and set about making careers for themselves. Some chose watch repair. They might have attended the Joseph Bulova school (or other watchmaking schools) under the G.I. Bill. Or they might have served an apprenticeship with a local watchmaker, in a time-honored tradition. Still others might have enrolled in a mentored home-study course in watch repair from the Chicago School of Watchmaking, founded by Thomas B. Sweazey in 1908. Some, I suppose, spent several dollars on 'Modern Watch and Clock Repairing', a 'Benj. Franklin Illustrated Home-Study Course Complete in One Volume', the subject of this review. It's my opinion that the Bulova School on the G.I. Bill was probably a much better deal.

    This isn't an awful book, but the text references illustrations that don't appear until the middle of the next chapter, the author says things that I believe are impossible "By 'good motion' is meant the balance makes an arc of 360 degrees or more with each stroke." (stroke of what? certainly not the pallet fork), and the subjects of the chapters are all over the place. For instance, vibrating a new hairspring is chapter 17, but putting a watch in beat is chapter 30. Which skill do you think a watchmaker will need to learn first?

    On the plus side, this book has lots of illustrations of the tools used in watch repair and brief illustrations on their use. And the text is usually not that bad. Just don't try to learn watch repair from it alone, OK? (And nothing beats someone showing you the ropes in person. The NAWCC School has some great classes if you're able to attend. Feel free to email me and I'll tell you how much fun you can have in and around Columbia, PA.)

    Best thing about this book is it shows up regularly on ebay and doesn't usually go for more than ten or fifteen dollars. I'm reminded of a Disney cartoon from the '40s where Goofy takes a home study course (on what, I can't remember). Anybody remember that one?

    Regards,
    Mike
     
  2. Mike Kearney

    Mike Kearney Guest

    Modern Watch and Clock Repairing, by P. Buford Harris, copyright 1944, Nelson-Hall Company. About 5"x7", 250 pages.

    When those who've come to be known as the greatest generation came home from WWII, they picked up where they left off and set about making careers for themselves. Some chose watch repair. They might have attended the Joseph Bulova school (or other watchmaking schools) under the G.I. Bill. Or they might have served an apprenticeship with a local watchmaker, in a time-honored tradition. Still others might have enrolled in a mentored home-study course in watch repair from the Chicago School of Watchmaking, founded by Thomas B. Sweazey in 1908. Some, I suppose, spent several dollars on 'Modern Watch and Clock Repairing', a 'Benj. Franklin Illustrated Home-Study Course Complete in One Volume', the subject of this review. It's my opinion that the Bulova School on the G.I. Bill was probably a much better deal.

    This isn't an awful book, but the text references illustrations that don't appear until the middle of the next chapter, the author says things that I believe are impossible "By 'good motion' is meant the balance makes an arc of 360 degrees or more with each stroke." (stroke of what? certainly not the pallet fork), and the subjects of the chapters are all over the place. For instance, vibrating a new hairspring is chapter 17, but putting a watch in beat is chapter 30. Which skill do you think a watchmaker will need to learn first?

    On the plus side, this book has lots of illustrations of the tools used in watch repair and brief illustrations on their use. And the text is usually not that bad. Just don't try to learn watch repair from it alone, OK? (And nothing beats someone showing you the ropes in person. The NAWCC School has some great classes if you're able to attend. Feel free to email me and I'll tell you how much fun you can have in and around Columbia, PA.)

    Best thing about this book is it shows up regularly on ebay and doesn't usually go for more than ten or fifteen dollars. I'm reminded of a Disney cartoon from the '40s where Goofy takes a home study course (on what, I can't remember). Anybody remember that one?

    Regards,
    Mike
     

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