Monday, 31 January 2011

(5) Setting the hands

Both watches were now dismantled enough to swap the dials and hands over. First I slipped the dressier dial onto the good movement, and tightened the dial screws.

Now, about the hands. I had a hand setter tool, but that wasn't the whole story for me - especially putting on the smaller hands for the subdials. To get the hands into position, line them up and so on, I found it helped to use a little blu-tack on a wooden toothpick. This was especially handy on the tiny subdial hands, where it was hard to see whether they were on their centre posts properly.


Speaking of the subdial hands, I learned something interesting while replacing them. Remember the reason I wanted to swap the movements over - on my daily user, the day hand only advancing halfway between certain days of the week? Well, here's the thing - now that I'd swapped the dressier hands and dial onto the known good movement, I was getting the same symptoms, until I pressed the hand down with extra pressure.

After that, the hand went round the dial properly. Maybe that was all that was wrong with the dress Jaragar in the first place? A surprising business. I found using the hand setters a vague and imprecise exercise, but felt I was getting there - until the following mishaps.

There were only 2 small hands left to fit - for the 24 hour and date dials - and the large second hand (which I wanted to leave last, in case moving the watch around started the movement ticking). Unfortunately, I couldn't get the date hand to stay in place. It was as if it just wouldn't stick to its post, no matter what. Baffled, I got the magnifying loupe out for a good look at the problem...


This tiny brass coloured tube on my finger was the culprit. It's supposed to be part of the hand, but got left behind when I took the hand off the other movement! After this photo was taken, I tried setting it back in place with a pair of tweezers. Ping! It flew off somewhere. God knows where; being so tiny it probably defied gravity and shot straight through the ionosphere. I had to substitute one of the casual, chunky style hands instead - and it looks pretty out of place.

Lastly, I hadn't noticed beforehand - the large second hands are another difference between the two watches - the casual movement needs a sort of long peg style second hand, whereas the dressier movement used a second hand with the same shape as the rest of them. Therefor, I was forced to use the casual second hand as well. I think the overall effect is a little strange to say the least! Judge for yourself:


Does anyone know of a supplier for these tiny swallow shaped hands? Please let me know if you do.

All that was left was to reassemble the casual watch - with the added challenge of having donated one of its subdial hands to the dressier model. I decided the best direction - the one that would give me a little fun exploring - would be to make up a glossy black dial - no markings - and use only the 24 hour complication.

 Photobucket to follow!

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