The shiny tiny bit on the tip of my finger is a very special horological component. It is a screw. But what makes it special is the fact that it is one of the smallest screws in a watch mechanism. It comes from an Omega Flight Master manufactured in the 1970s and here is the curiosity: the screws you find in watches made today are not any better, shinier, more precise or even smaller. Watchmakers have been making such small screws for at least 200 years. And despite all the advances made in manufacturing technology, we reached the peak of screw making many decades ago.
The above screw as seen under the comparator.
What an exciting journey!
Note from Laura, Nick's assistant: when I first saw the screw I didn’t even believe that it was a screw. It was explained to me that the purpose of it is to hold a tension spring attached to a barrel which also holds a small gear in a chrono-hour counter train. And here is the photo of the actual assembly showing two of those tiny screws doing their job.