Friday, June 26, 2020

The most abused horological masterpieces

are pocket watches. Butchered, slaughtered, molested then discarded. Being larger than wrist watches, pocket watches are simply a magnet for 'wannabe watchmakers'.
Here is a perfect example of a 1920 pocket watch made by Moser and Cie. Heinrich Moser was a famous watchmaker who set up his shop in St. Petersburg. His clients included Russian princes and members of the Imperial court. Lenin also owned a Moser watch.

The original click (ratchet locking lever) was most likely missing and while the intentions were good, the lack of skills and watchmaking tools is evident.

Yet bizarrely, this crude, oversized click functions - and the watch works!

I happen to have another Moser pocket watch in my collection, so you can see how the original click looks like.

But then again, perhaps, there could be another side of this 'less than perfect' restoration. What if the owner of the watch was positioned on a remote Siberian island? Or even worse - if he was a prisoner in Stalin's gulag, maybe an engineer who understood what the function of the click spring was, but had no tools - other than crude workshop tools - to make a sophisticated replacement?

We should be not too quick to judge and ridicule. And sometimes, trying to 'fix the wrong' could cause even more injustice to our appreciation of humanity and history.

My rule is simple: whatever it is - if you didn’t make it, you have no rights to destroy it. If you really feel compelled to destroy something, then here is a suggestion - start with destroying your own masterpieces.            

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