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Author Topic: Mechanical Watches (non-electric)  (Read 3698 times)

gaurdduck

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Mechanical Watches (non-electric)
« on: May 13, 2010, 01:15:41 am »

Something most of us need to do to manage our day is to occasionally check the time. After TSHTF, it might be difficult to acquire a watch battery and carrying a sundial around is impractical.
The solution, is simple. Get a watch that doesn't require a battery. Then get a spare. "2 is one and 1 is none." Wikipedia defines a Mechanical Watch thusly:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanical_watch
Quote
A mechanical watch is a watch that uses a non-electric/electronic mechanism to measure the passage of time. It is driven by a spring (called a mainspring) which must be wound periodically, and which releases the energy to activate the balance wheel, which oscillates back and forth thanks to the Balance spring at a constant rate, transmitting the impulse through the lever escapement to the gear train, that divides the impulse into hours, minutes and seconds, thus making a 'ticking' sound when operating. Mechanical watches evolved in Europe in the 1600s from spring powered clocks, which appeared in the 1400s.

You can get several here, though I have as yet to do so due to my upcoming move which requires all my funds: Gentleman's Emporium
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MamaLiberty

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Re: Mechanical Watches (non-electric)
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 10:25:53 am »

Perhaps, but then again... I very seldom wear a watch since I came to Wyoming. In fact, I didn't even have one for a while when my old nurse watch quit. I get up with the sun, eat when I'm hungry, and go to bed when it gets dark.

Different strokes... :)
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But, in the end, I live and therefore I am. I don't need any other person's permission to live or defend myself. I don't need anyone's vetting of my intentions or sanity, nor approval for the self defense tool I choose or how I carry it.

I don't NEED to explain myself. I don't NEED any reasons at all.

gaurdduck

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Re: Mechanical Watches (non-electric)
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010, 02:41:43 pm »

That sounds great, but what about doing business?

I'll prolly still need one. I have a bad sense of time.
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MamaLiberty

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Re: Mechanical Watches (non-electric)
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2010, 02:48:08 pm »

That sounds great, but what about doing business?

I'll prolly still need one. I have a bad sense of time.

Well, depends on what your business might be, of course. :) Right now, you probably do need a clock or watch of some kind. After TSHTF, however, I suspect that isn't going to be a big priority for most folks. Business will be keeping the tummy from getting glued to itself, and probably keeping zombies from stealing that which you'd rather put in the tummy. Neither one requires a watch. :)

And, if you live with the rhythm of nature and the seasons long enough, your time sense gets very good. I usually have a pretty good idea what time it is when I wake up in the middle of the night - if I can see the stars and moon, of course. Otherwise, I have to look at the clock like everyone else. :)
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But, in the end, I live and therefore I am. I don't need any other person's permission to live or defend myself. I don't need anyone's vetting of my intentions or sanity, nor approval for the self defense tool I choose or how I carry it.

I don't NEED to explain myself. I don't NEED any reasons at all.

rockchucker

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Re: Mechanical Watches (non-electric)
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2010, 05:36:42 pm »

I wish I still had my last mechanical watch.

There are, however, some alternatives, from both Seiko and Citizen, and probably some others as well. Citizen makes the "Eco Drive" series -- all they need is sunlight (or any sufficient substitute). I had thought Seiko made something similar, but all I'm finding right now is the "Kinetic" line, which uses motion to charge a battery (or maybe it's an ultra-capacitor). Of course, there's the question of the life expectancy of the storage cell, whatever type it is. But it isn't going to just run down like purely battery-driven quartz movements.

Or, you can get a pocket sundial, or other type of portable sundial. Or make one yourself. Do a web search for portable sundials. Some of them are quite exquisite.
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nurseflo

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Re: Mechanical Watches (non-electric)
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2010, 05:50:57 pm »


You could always just get an old watch.  My favorite one is from the 1930s.  Runs well and looks great.
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Radio Flyer

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Re: Mechanical Watches (non-electric)
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2010, 06:31:00 pm »

I wish I still had my last mechanical watch.

There are, however, some alternatives, from both Seiko and Citizen, and probably some others as well. Citizen makes the "Eco Drive" series -- all they need is sunlight (or any sufficient substitute). I had thought Seiko made something similar, but all I'm finding right now is the "Kinetic" line, which uses motion to charge a battery (or maybe it's an ultra-capacitor). Of course, there's the question of the life expectancy of the storage cell, whatever type it is. But it isn't going to just run down like purely battery-driven quartz movements.

Or, you can get a pocket sundial, or other type of portable sundial. Or make one yourself. Do a web search for portable sundials. Some of them are quite exquisite.

Watches can get quite expensive, I have one of the Citizen Eco-drive watches the Aqualand.



A friend of mine was a dealer at the time and I got a great deal - at the time (about 8 years ago) they retailed at 5-700 bucks, I traded a rifle for it and some silver.

The battery was replaced about two years in (a factory flaw) and it is slowly loosing its ability to keep a charge.

This particular model I WOULD NOT recommend:

The extra features kill the battery.
It is too heavy.
It is easy to scratch the crystal because it is so heavy.

Now there are many citizen eco-drive watches under 100 bucks along with Casio, pulsar, seiko and others make solar watches.

I replaces a very expensive watch with this solar watch, I can tell you that I am happier with the solar, the expensive mechanical watches required too much maintenance.
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rockchucker

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Re: Mechanical Watches (non-electric)
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2010, 07:42:56 pm »


Now there are many citizen eco-drive watches under 100 bucks along with Casio, pulsar, seiko and others make solar watches.

I replaces a very expensive watch with this solar watch, I can tell you that I am happier with the solar, the expensive mechanical watches required too much maintenance.

That brings up a good point. I read a while back that the trade of watchmaking / repair is dying out. How true that is, I don't know. Might be a valuable gulch skill would be basic clean / lube of mechanical watches. The electronic ones, if they break, you're probably SOL for repair parts. With a mechanical watch, if you have the skill, you can fabricate the parts.

I don't wear a watch right now. Will probably buy one at some point, when other things are taken care of. I do get a little irritated at having to use my phone in place of a watch. Not sure why that should be; I guess I've worn a watch for too long. But I want one that does nothing but tell time. With a big big analog dial face.
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rockchucker

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Re: Mechanical Watches (non-electric)
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2010, 07:45:22 pm »


You could always just get an old watch.  My favorite one is from the 1930s.  Runs well and looks great.

There's some appeal to having a vintage Benrus or Hamilton. Lots of good old brands to choose from.
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Radio Flyer

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Re: Mechanical Watches (non-electric)
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2010, 10:08:02 pm »


Now there are many citizen eco-drive watches under 100 bucks along with Casio, pulsar, seiko and others make solar watches.

I replaces a very expensive watch with this solar watch, I can tell you that I am happier with the solar, the expensive mechanical watches required too much maintenance.

That brings up a good point. I read a while back that the trade of watchmaking / repair is dying out. How true that is, I don't know. Might be a valuable gulch skill would be basic clean / lube of mechanical watches. The electronic ones, if they break, you're probably SOL for repair parts. With a mechanical watch, if you have the skill, you can fabricate the parts.

I don't wear a watch right now. Will probably buy one at some point, when other things are taken care of. I do get a little irritated at having to use my phone in place of a watch. Not sure why that should be; I guess I've worn a watch for too long. But I want one that does nothing but tell time. With a big big analog dial face.

Watches were an old habit for me, made worse because my best friend owned a large jewelry shop and I had the chance to look over all of his new orders and buys (I used to stop by his place about 3 times a week after work). He was a Breitling, Citizen, Fortis, Omega, and TAG Heuer dealer, and he had a huge stock (this was avery big store BTW). He first talked me into TAG mechanical watches, I would buy and then trade the mechanical watches for others, but over time I just found them troublesome.

Because the watch is one of the few acceptable "mens jewelry" item there will literally be THOUSANDS of styles and features to choose from, in price ranges from 20 bucks and up, the respectable solar watches start in the 40 buck range, and that is reasonable to just about everybody.

I did get hooked on the chronograph watches with multiple complications like the 24-hour dial, day, and a seconds dial, my Aqualand has a depth guage, but now I wish I had one with a altimeter and or compass. They say the Eco-Drive battery will last 20 or more years (with the company claiming 80% charge at 20 years).

The items that made me switch to the solar electric was the "ticking" and the good watches this is not that notable, but it is there, the lack of accurate time - this is an issue with some "automatic" (self winding) watches, and the fact that the very good mechanical watches that keep excellent time are expensive. Even the best of mechanical watches will loose time over days, a few seconds each day, over a few days this is noticeable - an electric watch will loose time over I guess years.

Price, well there are mechanical watches in the sub-100 range, in the end, it would be an issue of choice and redundancy if you wanted them to last over years.
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mutti

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Re: Mechanical Watches (non-electric)
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2010, 10:16:49 pm »

Of course you could just store a few conventional watches in an EMP proof case and move on?

muttti
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rockchucker

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Re: Mechanical Watches (non-electric)
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2010, 11:17:54 pm »

I did get hooked on the chronograph watches with multiple complications like the 24-hour dial, day, and a seconds dial, my Aqualand has a depth guage, but now I wish I had one with a altimeter and or compass. They say the Eco-Drive battery will last 20 or more years (with the company claiming 80% charge at 20 years).

The items that made me switch to the solar electric was the "ticking" and the good watches this is not that notable, but it is there, the lack of accurate time - this is an issue with some "automatic" (self winding) watches, and the fact that the very good mechanical watches that keep excellent time are expensive.

My first good watch was a Breitling chronograph. The mechanism was just too fragile for me to wear it at the time. Not sure there would ever be a good time for it for me, because I'm not one to have a dress watch, a sport watch, etc. Just one, thanks (though I do have 3 Casios and a Seiko in a drawer -- there's a reason they're in the drawer). The gadget freak in me wants a watch with almost everything but the kitchen sink on it, but over time, practicality has tamed that beast. My last good watch was an Omega Seamaster Titanium. Wish I still had it.

Since I'm not planning on playing Magellan anytime soon, I actually don't need the super accuracy. The geek in me thinks it's nifty, but again, I have no practical need.

I did get a new band for the Seiko not too long ago, and the watch guy said it was worth about $350, which really surprised me. If it's really worth that, I'd like to find a buyer.
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MeyerLemon

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Re: Mechanical Watches (non-electric)
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2010, 12:23:56 am »

Very expensive....but I have a Rolex perpetual motion watch from around the 1960s. Very cool, never needs to be wound, and is water resistant and darn near indestructible.

Mine was a gift from an Aunt when I graduated law school - it belonged to my paternal grandmother who passed away literally 30 days before I was born, and she held on to it for me for all this time. I love it :)

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Radio Flyer

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Re: Mechanical Watches (non-electric)
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2010, 02:44:36 am »

Very expensive....but I have a Rolex perpetual motion watch from around the 1960s. Very cool, never needs to be wound, and is water resistant and darn near indestructible.

Mine was a gift from an Aunt when I graduated law school - it belonged to my paternal grandmother who passed away literally 30 days before I was born, and she held on to it for me for all this time. I love it :)

I have a gold oyster perpetual datejust, my father gave me, I wish I could say that I love that watch, but it sits in a box in the gun safe. My father gave it to me because he knows I am a geek and he could never get it to work (as in keep time for more than two days) I could get it to keep within 10 min. each week but by the time I figured out how to develop that "mechanical wrist-shake" habitual I had already switched to the Eco-drive.

I would never suggest the exact model of Eco-drive because of the weight it takes to keep a working depth gage and multiple complications (extra dials and features BTW) - but I would say that with a 20 year battery, more accurate, fewer moving parts, and a reasonable price and weight, I would think the eco-drive watch would be a good choice, at least the non-dive watch versions would be relatively inexpensive and much lighter in weight.

Also, there are the features - what do you want it to do? Years ago you could tell (and still can to some extent) tell what a man's passion was by the type of watch, managers, lawyers, and bankers had rolex, engineers and space/spy techies had Omega, Flying pilots had Breitling, Track and racing had TAG, and the filthy rich had Patek Philippe. Then you have the diving watches like mine pictured earlier and all of the big boys in watch making make at least a few models that are actual diving watches (yes there is an ISO standard for them btw) and they are all heavy (thicker glass, machined cases, mono directional bezel) it's like wearing a rock and you will knock it against everything, I have broken things by accident with my old TAG 2000 and my current Eco-drive, and the Eco-drive is heaver.

The standard eco-drive watches are reasonable Overstock has the simple men's watch for 82 bucks.
http://www.overstock.com/Jewelry-Watches/Citizen-Eco-Drive-Mens-Canvas-Strap-Watch/3950637/product.html?cid=123620&fp=F&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=11986828



Hell Timex and Casio even have solar models available for under 100 bucks (some under 40).

You will not find an inexpensive mechanical Omega, Breitling, or TAG, but they are very nice but do require a "service visit" every few years, the electric watches will not have that problem. As others have stated you could likely get a lifetime supply of inexpensive watches and batteries for the cost of a single mid priced mechanical automatic.

What is so strange is that there are so few movement manufacturers (the factories that make the moving guts of the watches) and many watch brands share the same maker of the internal parts.

Two other things, men are sensitive to style even if they will not admit it, so a cool watch can make a guy/geek happy...

The other thing is body compatibility, I kid you not, there are some people that cannot wear a watch without destroying it. Some humans have such corrosive skin excretions that they will destroy the metals and seals on watches, others just cannot keep from hitting things with them (that would be me), and then others have "problems"
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gaurdduck

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Re: Mechanical Watches (non-electric)
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2010, 03:01:48 am »

I always get pocket watches because I've broken a few wrist watches and the pocket kind look pretty d*** cool.
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