Precision Horology
Precision Horology


The movement design is quite straightforward and is time only with a regulator style dial. The hours appear in an aperture in the dial. The dial itself is a solid piece of etched silver with the numerals filled with enamel. The hands are impulsed once a second by means of a solenoid arrangement acting on a ‘scape wheel and activated by one of the mercury relays as the pendulum passes the center point of its excursion. The solenoid draws less than .1 amp and is an insignificant load on the relay, well within the operating specs. The movement has been running for almost 7 years now with no problems whatsoever. I used C-flex spring bearings in the design of the actuator in order to eliminate the problems of wearing pivots and stretching springs. Instead of traditional bearing surfaces (brass or jeweled) in the movement itself, I opted to use precision miniature ball bearings at every pivot point.

When I built Q1, my shop wasn’t particularly well equipped and the project was somewhat ambitious. I had only a Myford Lathe and a small Clausing Mill as well as the usual hand tools. Because of  that, a number of the machining processes were quite challenging. Because I enjoyed designing and building this clock, I decided to enhance my workshop as time and finances permitted. My workshop today is fairly well equipped and sheer enjoyment to work in.

The Workshop

(LEFT)  Rear view of the dial movement. All of the bearings are miniature ball bearings to mitigate wear.

(BELOW CENTER) The seconds impulsing mechanism. C-Flex bearings are used at all of the pivot points. This eliminates  all leaf and most coil springs.

(BELOW RIGHT) An open view of the dial movement. I opted to relieve the gears in an untraditional way. It’s a bit faster and I think a little unusual and attractive.

The regulator dial has an aperture  through which the hours are viewed.
The dial is made of solid silver. To the right is a u-tube vacuum gauge, to the left a thermometer.

wo views of the finished movement on its test stand

The bell jar cover was custom made for the clock. At the right rear is a vacuum vernier gauge. It contains a capillary tube resting in a tinted vacuum oil that  rises in the tube

The unfinished movement during the trial and testing phase.↓