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Do we need chronometers anymore?


SolaVeritate
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The function of mechanical accuracy seems redundant in this modern age. We have accurate world timers in our pockets & exploration is by satellite navigation. We control it all by filtering down time from automatic clocks to the watch on our wrist with extreme precision through radio waves, Internet and TV. 

Personally, I wear a watch from my collection roughly every 14 days or so and all my mechanicals spend most of their life in a state of hibernation. So they are reset and wound each time I wear them and to be honest, I don't even notice if they gain or lose minutes in a day.

It seems that having the knowledge of how full the moon is going to be tonight is more necessary in my watch than knowing if it is 2 seconds slower than the chiming of big ben. 

Sure, for watchmakers it is a bit like climbing a mountain 'because it's there' or taking part in the Olympic games of horology..

..but do we need one? Yeah sure, we may want one.. but they aren't necessary anymore.

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On the accuracy side of things? Not really, watch companies tend to use Chronometre as a way to continue to sell their brand, or as you mentioned, to challenge themselves in their watchmaking journey. I'm facing a dilemma myself, in making my own watch I am wondering if I should invest in a more expensive movement that boasts a premium regulation, or simply, it runs more accurately - the difference being around a hundred pounds.

Is it worth it, I ask myself?

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I like my watch to be within about 30 seconds of the right time, I generally set them a little slow and let them catch up. As I tend to wear each watch for a week, as long as they don't gain more than about ten seconds a day that's good enough for my use.

So I don't need a chronometer and in fact, I find regulating and hand winding enjoyable, so buying a chronometer would be a bit boring.

I do own a Citizen solar quartz (not radio controlled) which when I wore it took me about three weeks to work out if it was gaining or losing. So anyone who needs accuracy really is better off buying one of those.

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I'm in no way trying to hijack this post and apologies up front if anyone is offended,  but I thought the following might have relevance and once it's been read it might just answer many of our questions about time.

Do you know, without getting into the Philosophical argument/debate, that there is a beautiful poem written by a Welsh Poet W.H Davies which goes something like this:-

Courtsey of ww.Goodreads.com

“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

This speaker is lamenting that human beings are strapped with cares, worries, and so much responsibility that they cannot even begin enjoy the beauty and glories of life.

What more can I add ? notworthy.gif.c15e371c736e21897d15b4b72378d497.gif

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When you start looking at the things you have its actaully unreal the amount of stuff we dont need. But then you end up at the point of thinking why are we here. If you were sat in your stone broch youd made from seawashed flat slates, with a timber roof covered in vegitation. Youd caught your fish, penned your sheep, found a mate and where sitting round the camp fire at night. Eventually youd start carving a stone ball to play with, making games, ornaments, paints for your house walls, hats with antlers etc etc. 

The next cave man could should over, hey do you really need that stone ball and hat that makes you look like an animal? 

All I have is food and bog roll. :thumbsup:

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1 hour ago, WickerBill said:

we dont need anything, but then as humans we posess wayyyy more than we actually need. 

In reality all we need is a 1 bed shed, toilet paper and a method to cook food. 

Life is about more than just necessitys though and luxury is about giving you more than you need. 

 

Quite so. This is why I say that "need" is irrelevant.

As you say, we don't exist merely to meet our needs; we exist to further our preferences and desires.

It is very important to not justify anything we do on the basis of need, in my opinion.

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My feeling about this that as long as manufacturers continue to produce mechanical movements, the idea of a chronometer standard is a probably a good idea, even though in today's world of electronic accuracy, such a standard seems an outdated concept. Mind you, I personally have no watch in my collection that has an officially sanctioned chronometer standard attached to it, and I am not really grieving the loss.:biggrin:

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4 hours ago, SolaVeritate said:

The function of mechanical accuracy seems redundant in this modern age. We have accurate world timers in our pockets & exploration is by satellite navigation. We control it all by filtering down time from automatic clocks to the watch on our wrist with extreme precision through radio waves, Internet and TV. 

Personally, I wear a watch from my collection roughly every 14 days or so and all my mechanicals spend most of their life in a state of hibernation. So they are reset and wound each time I wear them and to be honest, I don't even notice if they gain or lose minutes in a day.

It seems that having the knowledge of how full the moon is going to be tonight is more necessary in my watch than knowing if it is 2 seconds slower than the chiming of big ben. 

Sure, for watchmakers it is a bit like climbing a mountain 'because it's there' or taking part in the Olympic games of horology..

..but do we need one? Yeah sure, we may want one.. but they aren't necessary anymore.

How dare you? What a blasphemy ! :whistling:

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John Harrison’s lifetime task was to manufacturer the most accurate time pieces he could achieve and make perform in a challenging environment with a view to furthering science and saving lives.

Should we, 250 years later, be satisfied with lower standards?

It’s not an obsession but sure, I want my timepieces to be as precise and accurate as they possibly can be.

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26 minutes ago, AVO said:

John Harrison’s lifetime task was to manufacturer the most accurate time pieces he could achieve and make perform in a challenging environment with a view to furthering science and saving lives.

Should we, 250 years later, be satisfied with lower standards?

It’s not an obsession but sure, I want my timepieces to be as precise and accurate as they possibly can be.

Yeah, but 250 years later most timepieces have actually moved on from lesser quality movements into the realm of sub-chronometer level. Even the pin lever escapement is now around 130 years old and modern watches would astound John Harrison.

We don't need the type of precision in our watches to help circumnavigate the globe anymore. 

The benefit of being precise by either 1 second or 20 seconds will not further mankind anymore or save lives.. especially from a wristwatch timepeice. Having your wristwatch with the same capability as John Harrison needed for the royal navy for navigation 250 years ago is nonsense. 

I fall back on my statement that it would be more beneficial for you to know what phase the moon is on and less beneficial to exactly calculate your longitude in the North Sea.

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6 hours ago, SolaVeritate said:

The function of mechanical accuracy seems redundant in this modern age. We have accurate world timers in our pockets & exploration is by satellite navigation. We control it all by filtering down time from automatic clocks to the watch on our wrist with extreme precision through radio waves, Internet and TV. 

Personally, I wear a watch from my collection roughly every 14 days or so and all my mechanicals spend most of their life in a state of hibernation. So they are reset and wound each time I wear them and to be honest, I don't even notice if they gain or lose minutes in a day.

It seems that having the knowledge of how full the moon is going to be tonight is more necessary in my watch than knowing if it is 2 seconds slower than the chiming of big ben. 

Sure, for watchmakers it is a bit like climbing a mountain 'because it's there' or taking part in the Olympic games of horology..

..but do we need one? Yeah sure, we may want one.. but they aren't necessary anymore.

I love my Ball chronometer - it sits on the winder and when I grab it, it is good to go.  No idea when I last set it, and it's still only around ten seconds out now, it's jolly convenient not having to unscrew the crown and all.

 

5 hours ago, Welsh Wizard said:

 

I'm in no way trying to hijack this post and apologies up front if anyone is offended,  but I thought the following might have relevance and once it's been read it might just answer many of our questions about time.

Do you know, without getting into the Philosophical argument/debate, that there is a beautiful poem written by a Welsh Poet W.H Davies which goes something like this:-

Courtsey of ww.Goodreads.com

“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

This speaker is lamenting that human beings are strapped with cares, worries, and so much responsibility that they cannot even begin enjoy the beauty and glories of life.

What more can I add ? notworthy.gif.c15e371c736e21897d15b4b72378d497.gif

A man is as rich as the fewness of his wants ..

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44 minutes ago, SolaVeritate said:

We don't need the type of precision in our watches to help circumnavigate the globe anymore. 

 

Take it you prefer to commute like this...

The old man, his horse and wagon. – Prosophos

 

44 minutes ago, SolaVeritate said:

The benefit of being precise by either 1 second or 20 seconds will not further mankind anymore or save lives.. 

 

Clearly your assumption is wrong, again.

Near enough would not be an option here, when initiating a 'crucial' burn...

Rocket watch

 

Chronometers?...

H4 | Royal Museums Greenwich

 

...yes please, particularly if the have Beetle & Poker hands!

 

:biggrin:

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Karrusel said:

Take it you prefer to commute like this...

The old man, his horse and wagon. – Prosophos

This might be what modern people call ..

4 minutes ago, Karrusel said:

 initiating a 'crucial' burn...

..and yes.. timing was important!

:notworthy:

Nice pocketwatch BTW.. does it come with a miniture sextant or is it just all fluster and flash so people didn't miss their connecting horse and cart? Perhaps it's precision was to time modern pizzas in prehistoric ovens.

Only joking.. but a chronometer pocketwatch? It must have served a unique purpose. 

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Chronometers were very important not only to sailors, and indeed airman, who calculated their plots by the known positions of stars at precise times, and could be thrown a long way off course by a watch being a matter of seconds adrift; but also railwaymen - one of the effects of the railways, connecting all the towns and cities with steel arteries, was that each place could no longer set their church or town hall clock to local noon (when the sun was available), they had to set to the same noon as everybody else, so the trains' timetables would mean the same all over the country, and trains would arrive and depart in orderly queues and junctions would be safe. Hence, railroad standards for watches best known in the US and Canada, but true the world over.  The realty is, of course, that a cheap quartz will outperform most mechanical Chronometers - apparently 'standard' quartz are sold as accurate to within 15 seconds per month, and though I have two mechanical watches that beat that, the reality is most quartz watches are well inside 15 seconds per month.

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25 minutes ago, SolaVeritate said:

a chronometer pocketwatch? It must have served a unique purpose. 


It must have done..

39 minutes ago, Karrusel said:

 

H4 | Royal Museums Greenwich

 

 

                                                                  John Harrison’s H4 ‘Chronometer’

 

It satisfied the ‘Board of Longtitude’ -  John Harrison ‘had’ solved the riddle of Longtitude. :notworthy:

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On 23/11/2021 at 13:32, Welsh Wizard said:

 

I'm in no way trying to hijack this post and apologies up front if anyone is offended,  but I thought the following might have relevance and once it's been read it might just answer many of our questions about time.

Do you know, without getting into the Philosophical argument/debate, that there is a beautiful poem written by a Welsh Poet W.H Davies which goes something like this:-

Courtsey of ww.Goodreads.com

“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

This speaker is lamenting that human beings are strapped with cares, worries, and so much responsibility that they cannot even begin enjoy the beauty and glories of life.

What more can I add ? notworthy.gif.c15e371c736e21897d15b4b72378d497.gif

Being Welsh I am surprised you missed the last line

"A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare" 

At all those bloody daffodils. :thumbsup:

(Courtesey of Bill Wordworth )

 

 

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