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Watch casemaking?


#1

One of my other hobbies is repairing pocket watches. Because of past
economics, there are many antique watch movements that aren’t
exceedingly difficult to repair, but lack a case. I was wondering if
anyone knew of books dedicated to making watch cases? I have one
book, Watchmaking by George Daniels, which gives a discussion, but I
would like to find one that is dedicated to the subject.

Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

Paul Anderson
http://www.andersonloco.com


#2

is there hands on machine shop training in your area ? i would
imagine thread cutting on a lathe would be essential and some
training in creative methods of work holding unless you can feel ok
about jumping in feet first and making pure science Research &
Development come alive on your own - goo


#3

What you have is the best resource I’ve found in print so far. The
only other great resource I’ve found is a video by Martin Matthews
entitled Four Generations of Watchcase Makers.

Chris Manning


#4

Paul,

There aren’t any books on watch case making that I know of - and I
have most ‘serious’ books on horology. The Daniels book is the one
giving the most in book form or you could get a copy of
the Martin Matthews video from http://tinyurl.com/mt9nxw which will
show you how the last specialist watch case maker went about it.
Whichever way you go about it, case making requires quite a few
specialised tools and fixtures - you’ll see that when you look at
Matthews’ furnace ( a watering can!!) and techniques which go beyond
the realm of normal silversmithing. It is unfortunate for us
nowadays that, in the past, was passed on by word of
mouth and example under the apprentice system and very little was
written down - many of the old-time craftsmen were, of course,
illiterate. Consequently, the only readily available is
that from the few recent craftsmen who were willing to take time out
to pass on their skills in written or video form. Even now, as I’m
sure you have realised from the Daniels book, these crasftsmen won’t
reveal all their secrets but give only insights and teasing glimpses
into their worlds. I have known George Daniels for many years and was
fortunate to visit Martin Matthews in his workshop two or three times
and can say that they were both true masters of their craft during
their working lives so you can rely on the they give as
true and tested, however, you will still need to do more research and
experimentation to be able to make watch cases yourself. There may
be more in some of the older French, Swiss and German
texts but my research in this area is still ongoing - and very slow
going at that!! Good luck - please share any other info you find…

Ian W. Wright
(Antiquarian watch restorer)
Sheffield UK