Having had an interest in 'time' and the recording of it since as a young boy I saw an
Orrery and was disapointed on discovering that the distances of the planets was not to scale.
Wanting to make one for myself that was 'correct' I worked out the scale based upon the Earth being 1"
diameter. When I discovered (after many re-calculations - believing that I must have an error) that the Sun would have
to be some 20 miles away I was utterly dis-heartened and I did nothing more with my interest for over 50 years.
Through the internet I came across a Skeleton Clock made from wood and thought
"Wow, I could make one of those."
In the intervening 50 years I had done an engineering apprenticeship and worked with wood both at my father's side (who had been a carpenter with Rover Cars when they used solid walnut for the dash-board and window reveals) and in a 'D.I.Y.' capacity, so it was not such a 'leap of faith'. I had also formed my own business supplying D.I.Y. goods and later moved to Computing and Graphic Design so I did have some incling as to what was involved.
In 2004 I bought various small pieces of machinery - Wood-Working and Metal-Working - to more easily accomplish the precission required to realize the designs that were now evolving in my grey-matter. I also set about making a variety of jigs and tools so didn't actually get to make anything like a clock until November 2005.
Again through the Internet, I made contact with many people who had an interest in Horology and I had contributed ideas for an exclusive watch design which met with some approval. This 'iterative' design process (primarily with Dieter Michel) included me making a twice full size model of a watch-case out of Oak and a chance remark by Claude Girardin fired a spark of creative instinct which resulted in the first 'Wooden Cased' watches - but first I had to find a supplier of movements, hands, dials, straps etc. I did not want to buy large quantities because the concept is that each piece is unique. Likewise I wanted a good quality movement but at a resonable price - after all, the major cost is the time spent in hand-crafting each case. After much consideration of Swiss, Japanese & Chinese movements I settled on Miyota (Citizen) movements for the initial prototypes but will be evaluating Swiss ETA (Quartz & Mechanical) over the coming months.
Having aquired a stock of hardwood offcuts from various sources, I set about overcoming the potential problems of using timber as a case material. Quite obviously the 'push fit' back was a no-no so the breach-lock took its place. Fitting the strap was another area for concern since even with the most dense hardwood a 0.8mm dia. pin would soon pull through the grain, so Stainless Steel and Brass inserts were designed to solve this issue.
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