Hairsprings are miniscule. Generally no more than one centimeter in overall diameter when coiled, they are roughly 50 microns thick and 150 microns wide. Tiny they may be, but insignificant they are not. In fact, they are so significant that Rolex refers to them as “the guardians of time.” But what do silicon hairsprings bring to the table? Watchmaker Ashton Tracy explains why he went from skeptic to fan.
About Ashton Tracy
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Entries by Ashton Tracy
Humans have long had a fascination with the depths of the ocean, striving to go ever deeper, ever further, and ever faster by pushing the limits of the human body, technology, and advancing modern science. But like all things, we are often faced with limits. And the helium escape valve was invented to push one of those limits as watchmaker Ashton Tracy explains.
Does anyone really care how many jewels their watch has? Watchmaker Ashton Tracy thinks that you’d be surprised how many people do as they’ve been duped by a vintage practice of announcing the amount of movement jewels on watch dials. What is the real story here?
Humans have long had a fascination with the depths of the ocean, striving to go ever deeper, ever further, and ever faster by pushing the limits of the human body, technology, and advancing modern science. But like all things, we are often faced with limits. Enter the helium escape valve.
You may be familiar with numbers such as 18,000 vph, 28,800 vph, and even 36,000 vph describing the frequency of a watch’s regulator, but few really know what those numbers mean. Watchmaker Ashton Tracy explains why watch frequencies matter, but he oscillates in choosing a winner. Follow the discussion here.
In its simplest form, the equation of time is defined as the difference between the time displayed by the position of the sun (as by a sundial) and the mean time displayed by any modern clock or watch. But that’s just the beginning. Watchmaker Ashton Tracy explains more.
General everyday contact with magnets isn’t going to cause your beloved wristwatch any real harm, but overdoses of magnetism may still present a problem, causing erratic timing and even stoppage altogether as watchmaker Ashton Tracy explains. What to do when this happens?
Date windows on wristwatches can be a touchy subject. Many feel they are downright ugly and destroy the look of a good watch, while others swear by them as the most useful and affordable complication. Whatever camp you may be in, the date function can be the cause of considerable grief, particularly the rapid-set mechanism.
Ask any watchmaker about the Rolex 31 family of calibers and the story will be the same: it has stood the test of time. Ashton Tracy hasn’t met a single watchmaker who doesn’t love working on these workhorse Rolex movements. They are easy to service, keep great time, and stand up to abuse. Put simply: they work. So how does it stand up to new big brother, Caliber 3235? Find out right here!
Most will agree that re-painting a dial is a big no-no. Vintage pieces with re-painted dials can be had for a steal as they are difficult to shift and mostly unwanted. But not all dial restorations are created equal, and we do encounter varying degrees of “upgrades.” Some of these upgrades are purposeful deception, while others are not. Here is what one watchmaker feels about the subject.