Re: Timex durabilityFebruary 14 2012 at 10:21 PM
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|George S |
from IP address 184.108.40.206
Response to Timex durability
Greg, from a technical point of view, I agree with what you say about the merits of rigorous servicing techniques, but from the practical point of view of a collector there are some additional considerations, not the least of which is cost, in terms of time and money. Im an engineer and have a highest admiration for the Timex movement, not because it has the best materials, the most sophisticated design, or that it is the most accurate, but rather that it does such a great job for the money. A fellow engineer one told me that as a youth in Germany near the end of WWII he witnessed an advance U.S. scout driving a Jeep across a rolling field toward his village. He said he knew when he saw the elegant utility of that machine, that Germany could not win the war. (One of theWWII originals was on display at MOMA a couple of years ago and I too was impressed that it did not have a square inch of metal, glass, rubber, or fabric on it that was non-utilitarian.) In engineering, economics is always a consideration and any design that hopes to be commercially viable involves compromises (though we prefer the less pejorative term tradeoffs.) The thing I like about the Timex is that, like the Jeep, it a triumph of both utility and economy.
With respect to durability, I would venture that the overwhelming majority of Timexes that come into our hands have never been serviced, and yet ran reliably for many years. Many still run like new and those that dont, are frequently satisfied with only a small sip of Moibus. This is a testament to the Timex design. My calculus for servicing also includes the realization that, as a collector, of the >200 items in my in use collection, most will receive only a few days of wrist time a year, i.e., the wear I inflict on the most polluted pivots will be negligible over the course of my ownership. (Dont worry, I am not as of yet an eBay seller, and if I do become one, my listings will include the obligatory cautions about the need to properly service the watch after receipt.) It may sound cold hearted to some purists, but my realization that an irretrievably worn out #24 movement can be replaced for a buck or two, tempers somewhat the effort and expense I am willing to put into its preservation before I strap it on my wrist. On the other hand, I recently performed a teardown servicing of a rare and irreplaceable #20 movement. And sometimes I will spend an afternoon restoring a piece that clearly does not merit the effort from a commercial or rarity point of view, just for the satisfaction of a job well done. Other times I will do what I have to to coax a movement back to life, and take my chances that it will still run 4 months later when I wear it next.
Greg I applaud your efforts to raise the skill and expertise of our community; there is no sin in that. But, to paraphrase Ophelia, I hope that you do not judge too harshly those of us who occasionally shun the steep and thorny way in favor of the primrose path.