It takes some time

Whilst my watch collection may be sadly lacking, my collection of watch-related blog posts is growing nicely. Here’s a wonderfully interactive tutorial from Bartosz Ciechanowski on what’s going on under the dial. Think of it as an update to Hamilton’s explainer from the 1940s.

Mechanical watchBartosz Ciechanowski
In the world of modern portable devices, it may be hard to believe that merely a few decades ago the most convenient way to keep track of time was a mechanical watch. Unlike their quartz and smart siblings, mechanical watches can run without using any batteries or other electronic components. Over the course of this article I’ll explain the workings of the mechanism seen in the demonstration below.

It starts off simple enough, with springs and levers, but when the mechanisms get gradually more complex and sophisticated, the explanations and colour-coded diagrams remain relatively easy to follow. It’s quite a long, in-depth read that takes some time to get through, but it’s very cleverly done.

And check out the archives for similar breakdowns — from cameras and colours, to tesseracts and GPS.

Author: Terry Madeley

Works with student data and enjoys reading about art, data, education and technology.

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