Need book recommendations!

Discussion in 'Horological Books' started by Wiseman501, Nov 30, 2019.

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  1. Wiseman501

    Wiseman501 Registered User

    Jun 26, 2019
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    Hello all! I hope you are having a great holiday season.

    I'm fairly experienced in repairing many watch and clock movements at this stage, and can/have made many replacement parts so far. I have recently started gathering equipment and knowledge for my next evolution as a watchmaker; designing and constructing a movement from the ground up. I am looking forward to the years long journey of developing a movement and manufacturing a few bespoke timepieces per year that may or may not pay my bills on their own.

    I am looking for suggestions on books and videos on horological theory and specifically the design of escapements. I am familiar with cutting wheels and pinions, depthing and placing wheels, setting jewels and the like, but some of the finer points of escapement design are still a little vague to me. Can you amazing people help point me in the right direction?

    And none of that "don't waste your time, it's going to take thirty years to get a half decent 10x model" talk. I am certainly crazy and I know it. Let me try while I am still somewhat young and passionate. I have an aptitude and need to put it to use before this industry finishes crushing it. Haha.
  2. Al Dodson

    Al Dodson Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Brass Member

    Aug 22, 2019
    Columbia, PA
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    If your talking about designing Swiss Lever watch escapements, "Watch Escapements" by James Pellaton would be great start. Its available from the NAWCC library. Call Number: MB 200 Pella Pel 1949

    If you want to study existing escapements and understand how they work, "Know the Escapement" by Barkus is very good.
    Call Number: MB 200 Barku Bar 1943

    If you want to build watch escapements, then steady hands, magnification, good light, and decent equipment are essential.
    Call Number: Good luck 501
    Wiseman501 likes this.
  3. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
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    Hi Wiseman501,

    Yes, all power to you!

    I can add some more to Al's list; 'Watchmaking' by George Daniels includes a lot of information on the theory and geometry of escapements, particularly levers, and 'Clock & Watch Escapements' by W.J.Gazeley has some practical advice on their manufacture.

    Regarding his third suggestion, that's all necessary, plus a sound understanding derived from your reading around the subject. A failure to observe this in the past has led to many peculiar and some positively outlandish solutions to 'improve' on existing designs, most of which were backward steps.


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