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The Art of Being Drunk

Richard Watkins

Registered User
NAWCC Fellow
May 2, 2004
I was going to submit this to be published in the Bulletin. However the present editor's requirements are impossible for me to satisfy. (see https://nawcc.org/index.php/watch-a-clock-bulletin/submissions)

Requiring the article to be in MS Word (which is best described as a **** application) is possible; I use Adobe InDesign and I discovered that I could convert it into Word by tediously copying and pasting the text. However, I cannot fit it within the 5000 word limit and it cannot be split into a series; it is 6702 words.

Actually, I suspect nothing I have published in the past could be published now.

Using http://www.montereylanguages.com/pdf-word-count-online-free-tool.html, five published articles and their word counts are:

"The Repeater part 1": 14,612 words
"The BHI and American Watchmaking, 1858-1862": 8,839 words
"Jacques David—and a Summary of American and Swiss Watchmaking in 1876": 7,573 words
"Confabulations  A Humorous Look at Complications": 8,656 words
"Berthoud, Harrison, and Lalande: A Near Myth": 9,222 words

and "Meditations on Breguet and Mathematics" is 16,974 words.

Obviously I am far too verbose!

I also think that this requirement is strange: "Submit photographs and illustrations in files that are separate from the text. If photographs and illustrations are embedded in the same Word document as the text, the document will be returned to the author for the photographs and illustrations to be removed."

In the past, articles submitted to the Bulletin were peer reviewed. That step is, I think, essential, because no author is perfect and peer reviewing often throws up problems that need to be considered and fixed. Indeed, my experience has been that the reviewers have greatly improved my articles. But the requirements of having illustrations submitted separately probably make peer reviewing impossible, unless the editor reconstructs the article first. But then, perhaps the editorial staff have enough expertise in house?

So I will stick to using my web site.

"The Art of Being Drunk" is study of drunken fusees. Normally the fusee arbor is rotated anti-clockwise to wind the mainspring, and the arbor cannot be turned clockwise without breaking something. Drunken fusees can be wound both anti-clockwise and clockwise.

I explain different designs and conclude (if I am right!) that only 5 different designs are possible.

The article is available from http://www.watkinsr.id.au/drunk.html


Registered User
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Diamond Member
Aug 28, 2000
Novelty, OH

What I found most amusing in the current Bulletin was that after the editor described in excruciating detail all of the requirements that an author must endure in putting an article together, Tom Wilcox, in his first Message from the Executive Director, was able to get away with splitting an infinitive!


Steven Thornberry

User Administrator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Jan 15, 2004
Here and there
To willy-nilly split an in / finitive is something up with which we should not put (apologies to W.C.).


Registered User
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Dec 5, 2014
Thanks for sharing your article, Richard. When I started collecting watch keys, I was told that the ratcheting, "tipsy" or "Breguet-style" watch keys were an effort to ensure that the winding was clockwise to avoid damaging the watch. This seemed reasonable, and not being technically inclined or familiar with the possibilities you describe, I never thought about the underlying issue. It may take me a while to fully comprehend each of the configurations you described, but it's definitely an eye-opener.

With respect to the article submission guidelines, I wondered if you have checked with the editor about various options? It certainly might be worth a try.

Thanks again for sharing "The Art of Being Drunk" - and your other articles.