“Tune in next week and see if I can finish the Rotate Watchmaking Kit!” I said that two weeks ago in Part 1 of the Rotate Watches series. The update is late mainly because of shipping. The part I lost took longer to arrive than the replacement for the other part which I inadvertently destroyed. I’d like to say that I had no further problems and now have a completed watch, assembled by my own hands. Writing for The Truth About Watches means I can’t tell such a lie. There will be at least one more part to this saga . . .
The second free replacement part took about a week and a half to arrive. It appears to have shipped the day after requested, so I blame the postal service. Looking up the ETA 6497-1 shows that this part is “Winding Pinion Ebauches #410.” It’s tiny and the padded envelope gives every appearance of being empty.
I probably shouldn’t have downed a glass of gin and juice before opening the envelope. Still, I knew to cut at the edge. The problem is that the micro machines part has about no weight or bulk. You can’t feel it through bubble wrap. It doesn’t fall to the bottom of the bag.
Obviously the part ships inside a little clear ziplock pill baggie so it can be located. If you’re really unlucky, you’ll cut this baggie open while cutting the outer padded envelope. I know, because I found myself holding two nested sliced-open empty pouches with no little gear.
I was not looking forward to pleading with the Rotate Watches customer service for a third time. I searched the discarded cut-off section of the envelope, retrieving it from the pile of coffee grounds in the trash. Nothing.
Before committing to thoroughly investigating the kitchen garbage bag for a pinhead sized object, I figured I’d look on the floor. Because it was cleaner. This was a good idea, as I found the missing section of baggie. And there it was: the missing gear! I was back on track.
Pull the stem, drop in the gear. The instructions said it only goes in one way. I’d put the project aside. That’s my excuse for why I was initially trying to drop the part into the gap between the case and the underside of the movement. Once I consulted the photo, I discovered the shiny striped Côtes de Genève finish is handy for making one realize they’re approaching things upside down.
I did get the gear installed. The little clutch surface is subtle but it’s in there facing the right way. Still the same result: always setting time and never winding. Describing this all verbally is tricky. But the (looks at diagram) Set Bridge Ebauches #445 has this flexible stick with two slots. I’m not trying to do innuendo here but I figured I had the peg in the wrong slot.
Manipulating these things with tweezers is like playing Operation without the buzzing. I was able to get it to wind. This was a relief, as the balance spring beating away meant that I hadn’t wrecked that vulnerable part.
But I remain unable to achieve the proper arrangement – where stem in winds and stem out sets the time. So I wrote to Rotate Watches customer service, again. I’m surely wearing out my welcome with them.
The reply took longer than before, though still well under 24 hours. It cheerfully requested that I provide some better explanation of the condition my condition was in. In fairness, I suspect I’ve messed things up worse than usual and there is no easy answer.
Looking at the handy imagery at TZToolshop.com, I get the feeling that maybe the set spring is not in the right place anymore. I’m surprised it works at all, given the amount of trial-by-error “adjustments” I’ve done to this little linkage system. But it doesn’t work right. Yet.
So once again I must say “Tune in next week and see if I can finish the Rotate Watchmaking Kit!” In Other News . . .
His money has backed (that’s the term) this Nixie tube watch and we’ll be keeping you abreast of that process too. Will the money disappear with no trace of a product? A long string of delays and excuses? A timely product delivered for our totally impartial and honest review? Who knows? Stay tuned!
*Correction: Actually the backing is for the Nexoid Classic, which seems to be the same thing without the tilt function. This means that a button must be pressed instead of merely flicking the wrist to light it up for reading. There is a $109 price gap, and we’re committed now anyhow.