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Tennessee Horologist Constructs Watch

From Horology magazine, May, 1938


The watch illustrated here was just recently completed by V. E. van Hoesen of Memphis, Tennessee. The movement itself is patterned after the Swiss style.  The case, dial and hands are made after the style of Breguet, even to the extent of concealing the fact that the watch is stem wound.

Mr. van Hoesen states that the drawings for construction of the watch were begun on August 10, 1937 and the adjusting completed on March 21, 1938. The movement has 23 jewels, including jew
eled bankings which were patterned after a design by Ferdinand T. Haschka.

The escapement is of a style similar to that used in the finest Swiss watches, differing, however, in having the wheel polished on both sides instead of having it hollow ground. It is non-setting and starts functioning when the mainspring is wound only one tooth of the ratchet. The watch is equipped with stop works and runs nearly 30 hours with one winding.

Mr. van Hoesen was kind enough to send the watch to Horology for examination and testing in the laboratory. While the photographs do not truthfully indicate the immense amount of work involved in the construction of the watch, the accompanying chart records do give some idea of its performance. These records show the rates of the watch in 12 vertical positions at the same stage of winding. The rates in the horizontal positions were so nearly equal to these that the difference could not be noted from the chart records.

In addition to these tests the watch was also tested in 6 positions at 5 different stages of· winding. In none of the positions was isochronal error in rate greater than 3 seconds noted. Since this probably did nor persist for a greater period than a few hours the cumulative isochronal error was exceedingly small.

Besides exhibiting a knowledge of watch construction Mr. van Hoesen has demonstrated remarkable ability as an adjuster. The hairspring of the watch is fitted with both outer and inner theoretically correct terminals, the exactness of which is proven by the rates. 

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