Forgotten beauties: Few that are still around


The
starting of new workweeks always make my mind go off-scale. So watch-fantasies take a back seat too though it never stretched beyond a day so far. The mood improves with the day advancing towards midnight. This is when you feel drawn again towards stuff you seldom use but also never bothered to stop using them completely.

My watch-drobe has a few of them (see one here). They still run and I want to see how long they can go on if not left high-n-dry. I get them done lube (and tune-) jobs every 20 months. I know a lot of you will argue that with modern synthetic lubricants most will run just fine for three years or more, but I also change engine lubes for my ‘cycle every 2000 km. I like my stuff fit to function for generations.

One of them stopped working last month after a sudden, afternoon downpour. It took more than a new set of seals to tick again but this time, it’s not the natural rubber that rots out and cracks and lets moisture leak in around the stem and the case back. This polycarbonate seals don’t degrade with sweat, soap (or soapy water), creams, lotions or gels. That’s perfect protection for the jeweled movements inside.

I guess you know what a jewel is. Some believe the more of them, the merrier – which it is, only till an extent. Watches a couple of hundred years old started with 7 jewels (real Rubies) while with synthetic rubies, it shot up to 17 and 23 jewels. Till this much, it is essential for complications in high-grade watches; maybe 25 or 30 jewels, in rare cases, to support very high end complications. But 80-jewels?

It’s sillier than an insane idea that watch companies got into during the seventies. The race was to put as many jewels as they could and convince the public that more jewels were better. Some Swiss brands stuffed even 100 jewels in a watch, followed by the Jap. The larger part of these extra jewels was mere eye candy. Anything more than 30 has nothing but collector value. If you are investing into a jeweled movement for the first time, consider these (1, 2 & 3). You get no more of the ‘real Rubies and hardened-steel bushings’ combo like before, but routine service from a professional watchmaker will make them last like one, for generations. Much better than your battery-powered quartz going toast once battery is discontinued – eh?

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