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Has it come to this, then?

  1. trackpad Jun 1, 2017

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    The Speedmaster's Delrin brake – introduced in the mid 70's – comes to mind.

    DelrinBrake.jpg

    ---
    * Photo and thread
    * Wikipedia: Polyoxymethylene
     
  2. M'Bob Jun 1, 2017

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    However, should one do a case back that allows the enjoyment of the innards, that one piece stands out like a fart in church.
     
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  3. trackpad Jun 1, 2017

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    Hallelujah and Amen.
     
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  4. Karbon Jun 1, 2017

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    Polymers are utilized for strength vs weight ratio... not always cost
     
  5. dwightlooi Aug 19, 2019

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    I have owned THREE of these Swatch Irony Automatics, including two of the aforementioned Body & Soul model (YAS100G). This was, and in many ways still is, my favorite watch and an incredible value at $150 ($115 back then actually). A little bit of history here...

    (1) My First Swatch Automatic was a Red Ahead (SAK101) which had a plastic case and leather strap. I got it in 1992 when it came out. The automatics of this era DID NOT have the relieve cuts in the 2842 movement. There was no 2841-1 in those days; they were all 2842s. They had a metal pallet fork with stones and a metal escape wheel. I lost the watch so I cannot tell you if will be running fine after 27 years.

    (2) The Swatch Irony Automatic Body and Soul (YAS100G) which I got in 1999 has the 2841-1 movement with a plastic fork (blue) and metal escapement wheel (chrome). It also has the relief cuts in the movement and rotor which shows off the movement pretty neatly in the skeleton YAS100G. It is still running today. 20 years later with no service, no maintenance, a few drops, lots of showers and plenty of dips in the swimming pool. It goes about 2~3 minutes fast a month which I can tolerate because it is consistently 2~3 minutes fast every month. I dial it back 3 minutes every month, no big deal. Not great but not terrible as far as mechanical watches go really.

    (3) I love the watch so much I bought another one in 2018 to keep around in case the good old Body and Soul broke. Still designated the YAS100G it now comes with a 2841-1 movement with a Plastic Pallet Fork (blue) and a Plastic Escapement wheel (grey). This one is sitting new in my drawer.

    Compared to a great many watches costing ten times as much, I'll say the durability under zero maintenance and daily use of these Swatches are amazing. Anything that is disposable but last over 20 years is not really disposable IMHO. Also, the 2841/2842 are plenty decent movements specifications wise. 21,600 bph, KIF shock protection, 21 Jewels (23 for the 2842s with date function), 40 hour power reserve and silent bi-directional winding. An ETA 2000-1 or 2892-A2 are noisier with their ball-bearing rotors, and the former is actually a single direction winder.
     
    Edited Aug 19, 2019
  6. Wryfox Aug 20, 2019

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    If I had a nickel for everyone who thought " just use a 3d printer to make the parts".....

    I was engineering metal 3d printing designs almost 20yrs ago, before it was even heard of (thanks to a 20 billion dollar company backing), developing one of the first successful titanium matrix products.

    Industrial 3D printers can do about as well as a fabrication process, speed over quality is the goal. Precision is not.
     
  7. Fritz genuflects before the mighty quartzophobe Aug 20, 2019

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    If you saw the 3D printed parts I was handling last week you be satisfied with the precision. They’ve come an awful long way in 20 years. For the part in question some post processing finishing might be required but if your only making one who cares. In producing one off calipers for measuring product in production i’ve Happily spent a few hours rubbing the details to size, as a gauge to monitor quality it has too prove out as near perfect, I can’t waste my tolerance in gauge inaccuracy. And It’s nice relaxing work actually.
     
  8. Wryfox Aug 20, 2019

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    Started working with 3d printing (technically called 'additive manufacturing') 20 yrs ago. Followed it all along to today. It can be impressive for what it is, but precision in the 3D world is not the same as precision in the machine world or others. Spent many years in MIM technology at the same time. Many don't know you can get to tenths in that world but its possible, just very expensive. But that's not the general purpose of 3D printing. Its not the intention to make precision, but rather fast and affordable for 99% of uses. That's the true value. The future?..who knows, but the idea that aerospace parts are going to be printed on site for maintenance(like the article I just read) is very much far off and the advantages of that service would have to be so incredibly valuable to justify the cost to make local 3D parts equal to a tightly controlled, regulated and validated manufacturing environment.
     
  9. Fritz genuflects before the mighty quartzophobe Aug 20, 2019

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    Ya had to bring up aerospace... I don’t miss that.

    $100 worth of paperwork for every $5 worth of part... Oi.

    I used to stop myself once in a while. I would find myself demanding two tenths out of a tool so we could get that bearing component that little bit closer to nominal. You just have to stop and laugh at it all sometimes...

    And than you get back down to it and get those two tenths.

    Because Borg Warner wants it man!
     
  10. Wryfox Aug 20, 2019

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    I worked in medical devices for years.. Young engineers would specify 2 tenths on everything because they didn't understand design for manufacturubility and literally didn't know what would happen unless the parts were perfect. Fun times.
     
  11. Fritz genuflects before the mighty quartzophobe Aug 20, 2019

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    Oh yes, We recently had to cut a young engineer loose after trying for two years to get him to understand designing for manufacturing.

    I told the head of engineering that next time he was interviewing for a mechanical design position, he should give the guy a half dismantled bicycle and some tools. If he couldn’t assemble the bike in 40 minutes, and have it work, he wouldn’t get the job. Picking up a hammer or vice grips was an automatic fail. He thought I was joking but the number of “professional engineers” i’ve Encountered over the last few years who don’t know how to use basic tools let alone understand basic manufacturing techniques really is depressing.


    And then we wonder why the jobs keep going overseas.
     
  12. Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Aug 20, 2019

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    About as far off as printing ready to use watch parts I would imagine. There's so much people who claim this is "just around the corner" don't understand...

    And to be clear there are people in the watch world who are looking at this technology seriously, but accuracy, materials, and surface finish are a long ways off what is required. When people are comparing surface finishes produced by polishing v burnishing, and using electron microscopes to show the differences, let's just say 3D printed pivots aren't going to cut it (BTW burnishing is superior for the most part).

    You guys talking about tenths...child's play in my former industry...we measured things in millionths in many circumstances...:)

    Cheers, Al
     
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  13. Retro_Rabbit Oct 23, 2019

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    I'm a bit late reading this thread but I have a relevant comment...
    I downloaded the service costs PDF from Rado the other day, it gives a full list of the services they offer and the costs. Under Quartz Service heading they say they replace the whole movement when servicing a quartz Rado... Obviously slightly higher end than a Swatch quartz but the same group (possibly a similar movement base?) and I think overall it's an easier way to go than completely stripping, cleaning and oiling the movement and it left me wondering if they then took these old movements and maybe refurbish and test them for the next time one needed serviced or if it just got flung out/ recycled.
     
  14. Canuck Oct 23, 2019

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    Rado, being part of the Swatch group, can produce movements far less expensively than it would cost the Swatch Group to maintain the staff and equipment required to service quartz watches. I don’t have an answer as to what Rado (or Omega, or Longines, to Tissot, or any other of the Swatch Group) does with the old movement, but I have my suspicions. I’m certain some of the higher end mechanicals (i. e. Speedmaster) are sent to the factory for servicing on an exchange basis. But there might be exceptions there, as well. It must depend on the extent of the repairs required to resuscitate an older movement. I can hardly imagine ANY movement from any Swatch, ever, at any time, plastic escapement or otherwise, would ever be serviced.
     
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  15. Retro_Rabbit Oct 23, 2019

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    I've often wondered if the movement of a (newish) more expensive mechanical watch sent for service is just popped out and sent for reconditioning and a replacement, previously reconditioned, popped in and then sent back to the customer... Like the process used for many components in the auto industry. It would obviously take the pressure off the service center and give a faster turn around for the customer.
    This would obviously be a lot less practical for an older watch, even if you do take into account how some older movements are still very much in production and use. The ubiquitous ETA 2824 gets a few adjustments, a bit of decoration and a fancy escapment and suddenly it's a coaxial 8800 and gets popped into an Omega. (Not ragging on Seamasters or the 8800, just illustrating a point).

    I can't imagine Swatch watches being serviced at all by the company, to be honest, I always thought they were glued together with just the battery compartment, if fitted, accessable. To discover they can be opened without destroying them was something of a revelation for me.
     
  16. Canuck Oct 23, 2019

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    There would likely be enough differences in the base 2892 Eta movement and the base co-axial movement, that converting a 2892 to co-axial would be out of the question.
     
  17. Retro_Rabbit Oct 23, 2019

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    Did I get my numbers mixed up..? Lol. I always do that...
    Yeah, definitely beyond my skillset at least.
    But you see what I mean? If a brand had enough spare movements in storage, they could easily do a swap and send back, then send the customer's original movement to be refurbished and put back into stock... I'm not saying they do that but they easily could.
    It's really just something I've thought about in the past that came back to mind when I read about the quartz swap out rather than servicing each one.
     
  18. STANDY schizophrenic pizza orderer and watch collector Oct 23, 2019

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    @Retro_Rabbit Quartz movements are cheap.

    google Quartz movements for sale and see how cheap they can be.

    There is several comments from watchmakers here that Swatch will change a lot more parts on a movement to make servicing a watch easier and quicker.
    And reduced Speedmasters the piggy back chrono is swapped out and reconditioned.
    But replacing whole mechanical movements would be costly for them.

    Bottom line is luxury watch companies don’t care about turn around times and do care about rising costs.
     
  19. Retro_Rabbit Oct 23, 2019

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    I know quartz movements can be cheap, you just need to look at the difference in price between a quartz model and the same watch only mechanical to see a difference.
    The idea of swapping out the piggybacked chrono module is definitely a timesaver, no doubt it can be serviced separately and reused if desired at a later date.
    I don't see how swapping the whole movement would be more expensive though as the idea would still be to service it and then use it in the next service/ repair for the same movement...

    I don't think it happens, it's just something I have wondered about in the past as it would take the pressure off and groups like the Swatch group have many watches with the same or similar movements, so keeping a few of each on hand could free up watch service/ repair technicians for more pressing work, such as older/ irreplaceable movements.
    While at the same time give them actual movements they could use to train the apprentices they must have at the group to service the actual movements and the types of little things they'd need to look out for like very slightly worn teeth or tiny flat spots on levers etc.

    I'm probably just applying my knowledge of my own trade (HV electrical and mechanical engineering) and how we do things to the watch service/ repair industry but I feel like big companies must do things a bit different to how a small independent watchmaker would work, who'd obviously not be able to keep that kind of stock or require so many movements to train apprentices etc.
     
  20. STANDY schizophrenic pizza orderer and watch collector Oct 23, 2019

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    @Archer has mentioned most service centres don’t have all watchmakers, many are just workers that do certain things like remove parts to make it easier for the watchmakers