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    Re: mechanical chronometers
    From: Geoffrey Kolbe
    Date: 2006 May 15, 00:21 -0500

    I recently had my Ulysses Nardin (made in 1920) chronometer cleaned and
    serviced. That is where you will run into your major problem in keeping
    your "beautiful mechanical device
    in good running condition" - finding someone who can clean and service it.
    It must be understood that a chronometer is not a "clock". Ordinary clock
    repairers are not qualified to work on chronometers, which require very
    special knowledge to keep them working reliably. In the United Kingdom, the
    number of people to whom I would entrust my chronometer could probably be
    counted on the fingers of one hand, and there would still be some fingers
    left over! They are all old men now, and I do not look forward with any
    confidence that any of them will still be active the next time my
    chronometer needs a clean.

    Interestingly, the man who cleaned my chronometer has a Poljot 6MX. He has
    a house full of chronometers - some very old - all ticking away, but the
    Poljot was cheap and so he bought it. He had taken it apart and re-built it
    (of course), but his opinion of it was, "not bad", considering they are not
    made to be used for their original purpose, but rather as working
    ornaments. The Poljot he had rebuilt was working very well and he was very
    pleased with it.

    The Hamilton chronometers, made in the United States, are the apogee in
    chronometer manufacture. They are the best designed and most accurate. They
    are also designed to be taken apart and serviced by a non expert and their
    manual gave full instructions on how clean, repair and service them. The
    Hamilton chronometer was derived from the Ulysses Nardin of the type which
    I have. Indeed, my chronometer came from the United States.

    Geoffrey Kolbe

    At 05:12 15/05/2006, you wrote:

    >As part of my plan to immerse myself in the time of kepler, newton
    >with respect to navigation and other things.  I have been researching
    >mechanical watches and chronometers.   The only manufacturer of
    >mechanical timepieces suitable for navigation is Russian the poljot 6mx
    >At  1500.00  us dollars the price does not seem out of line.  What I am
    >concerned about though is either learning to maintain the device or finding
    >someone who can.
    >I know quartz, electronic watches are dirt cheap and more accurate
    >but it is outside the parameters of the game.   After all I can just
    >turn on the gps and make all these subtleties go away.
    >Anyone have direct experience with the 6mx  and what effort or costs would
    >be involved in keeping such a beautiful mechanical device
    >in good running condition?
    Border Barrels Ltd, Newcastleton, TD9 0SN, UK
    Tel: +44 (0)13873 76253   Fax: +44 (0)13873 76214

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