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How Elgin made Jewels for Chronometers

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Michael Gilligan22/06/2021 23:55:23
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18734 forum posts
916 photos

I was delighted to find this video …

**LINK**

https://youtu.be/C2WOqFw7MMo

absolutely fascinating, mind-boggling stuff.

MichaelG.

Bill Davies 223/06/2021 00:26:44
242 forum posts
11 photos

A very interesting find, Michael; a surprising number of stages.

However, posting at this time is not doing my sleep any good!

Bill

David Colwill23/06/2021 07:35:20
763 forum posts
40 photos

Alas I have only watched the first ten minutes as I have work to do but it is saved for later.

Thank you.

David.

Ady123/06/2021 08:20:22
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4689 forum posts
713 photos

Fascinating and Exhausting to watch the huge number of processes

Elgin watch company

"The operator puts a squirt of benzene onto the surface to stop the jewels sticking"

benzene is as nasty as it gets and should be totally avoided

Martin W23/06/2021 11:02:13
894 forum posts
29 photos

Thanks for that Michael, no wonder that jeweled chronometers were so expensive to produce in those days with so much manual input required just to produce the bearings let alone the rest of the instrument. All I can say is thank goodness we don't live in the same world today. What with naked flames, exposed moving parts on machines, toxic/corrosive chemicals, and no PPE modern day HSE would have had a fit.

That said it is always interesting to look back to see how things were done, especially in times of need. Workshops with banks of lathes and their operators are now a thing of the past with cnc machines each producing more output and to a far higher standard than those workshops, progress yes I think so. You only have to look at modern car engines that run for over 200,000 miles and other than having a regular service never needing to be worked on.

Thanks again Michael for another interesting look at the world.

Martin W

Ady123/06/2021 11:10:32
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4689 forum posts
713 photos

Only quite recently that they started using electronic marine chronometers

A wrist omega chronometer is about £5k but as long as you know the periodic error of a half decent Seiko or whatever you can use it for basic celestial navigation for months before recalibrating it

You'll pay £200 for a Seiko which is out by 10secs a month and £5k for an Omega which is out 1 second a month

Edited By Ady1 on 23/06/2021 11:21:11

Mark Rand23/06/2021 11:44:19
1055 forum posts
12 photos
Posted by Ady1 on 23/06/2021 08:20:22:

Fascinating and Exhausting to watch the huge number of processes

Elgin watch company

"The operator puts a squirt of benzene onto the surface to stop the jewels sticking"

benzene is as nasty as it gets and should be totally avoided

Benzine, not benzene. Different product entirely

ega23/06/2021 12:18:49
2242 forum posts
186 photos

I don't know about benzene or benzine but carbon tet which is also used in the process is frowned on today.

Presumably, olive oil, shellac and honey to name a few more are safe enough!

old mart23/06/2021 20:19:39
3316 forum posts
203 photos

Benzene was used in cleaning aircraft instrument parts up until the early 80's when its carcinogenic properties got it replaced by trichloroethane 111. Carbon tetrachloride went out slightly earlier.

Mark Rand24/06/2021 12:25:53
1055 forum posts
12 photos

I apologise, you are quite right. I don't know why I come across as an opinionated bottom (Unless I am one!). I should have remembered that Schoolfriend Keith Ayres's dad, who was a watch repairer, used benzene to clean watches in the mid '70s, Even to the extent that wiseguy me told him that it was poisonous!

Circlip24/06/2021 13:02:31
1332 forum posts

Trichlorethylene, ( pre Ethane) Carbon Tet, Ether, Nitromorse Sulphuric acid, how the hell have I managed to survive to mid septagenairian.

Regards Ian.

Russell Eberhardt24/06/2021 15:47:35
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2695 forum posts
86 photos
Posted by Circlip on 24/06/2021 13:02:31:

Trichlorethylene, ( pre Ethane) Carbon Tet, Ether, Nitromorse Sulphuric acid, how the hell have I managed to survive to mid septagenairian.

Regards Ian.

Add to that mercury being played with at school, making various explosives in my parent's garage (the best one was nitrogen tri-iodide), etching glass with hydrofloric acid, etc.

Regards from another mid septagenarian surviver.

Russell

Mark Rand24/06/2021 16:01:20
1055 forum posts
12 photos

Post deleted because it was more thread drift about poisons and stuff from a sexagenarian. laugh

Edited By Mark Rand on 24/06/2021 16:28:59

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