why can't we?

why can't we?

Postby Ocean » May 27th 2015 12:39am

A little pissed off today. Many of you know I have been messing with vintage movements. Anyone else wonder why other than RGM no one else is making American made movements? Disassembling a movement about 10 months ago it came to me. Why not try and make one? So that's what I set out to do.


I am very proficient with cad software. It took me about 3 months of design and 3 months of redesign with some help. What I have come up with is a day,date 32 jewel 3 hand movement. A couple friends helped me out with the machining of parts needed. Over the last two months I have completed assembly of the prototype. On the bench test it was one minute 10 seconds fast, no good. For about a week and a half I was able to regulate it to +/- 2 seconds.

My question is why if I can do this in my spare time with limited resources was I able to accomplish this? Why can't others do the same? I know money is a constant concern. One of the machines used was 1.5 million but from what I understand is that you can rent them.


My problem is that I believe we have become far too fat and lazy. Why do for yourself when you can buy cheap generic movements from someone else slap it in a case and call it your own.

I have so much more respect for RGM today.

So what's next? I haven't decided yet but I'm really tempted to try something different.
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Re: why can't we?

Postby airframer » May 27th 2015 1:08am

That is beyond cool. Pictures of the M-Ocean1 movement?
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Re: why can't we?

Postby Ocean » May 27th 2015 1:14am

Pictures will be posted upon trademark.
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Re: why can't we?

Postby airframer » May 27th 2015 1:30am

Of course - got excited and ahead of myself over here.

To answer the other question: Anecdotally, it appears to me the population of the US is/was in a funk concerning people who actually make or do things. As in, "No sonny, you want the cushy office gig with all the money - then you can pay other people to do the hard work for you! Manual labor is bad, m'kay!".

Trades were talked down upon as a career when I grew up (I'm in my late 20's, to give you an idea), even by many tradesmen. Learning by yourself or through apprenticeship was not "as good" as a college education, etc, etc.

Loads of crap spoonfed to kids.
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Re: why can't we?

Postby kahuna74 » May 27th 2015 5:49am

And now there seems to be a swing in the other direction. College bad, trades good. At least here in New England. Trade schools are being pushed. Sounds like a great item to make. And I thought my pin vise was cool.
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Re: why can't we?

Postby airframer » May 27th 2015 10:11am

Agreed. The shortage of tradesmen and a change in culture seems to be driving a re-population of doers.
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Re: why can't we?

Postby svaglic » May 27th 2015 7:41pm

We are a disposable country. We buy it, it breaks, we throw it away.
I had an uncle that used to fix T.V's, radio's etc... he made a good living and was considered the go to guy in Kansas City. Today.... he would never be able to make a good living doing it. He would be poor, homeless and begging for street change.
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Re: why can't we?

Postby kahuna74 » May 28th 2015 7:40am

Its what our kids and grandkids are taught on some level. Companies don't want you fixing their old radio, or TV, they want you to buy a new one. That is how they make insane amounts of profit. And why our earth is starting to look like one big dump. Shit, Apple comes out with a new phone about every 7 or 8 months and makes sure their soft-wear won't work in the older models. Other companies do pretty much the same thing on some level. It has to change. Hell even War is about making money for some people and keeps some companies in business, without it they might run the risk of going under. Profit, profit, profit.
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Re: why can't we?

Postby biglove » May 28th 2015 8:57pm

I am impressed, Ocean!

Excited for you and hope your original movement goes big places.

It would be my assumption that the failure to design and implement movements in house is strictly about costs. Up front manufacturing costs, training repairmen, paying repairmen, marketing, QC issues and a potential business killing issue, etc... So much can go wrong with a new, unproven in-house movement.

Buying movements from Citizen, Seiko, Sellita, ETA and even Sea-Gull are known entities, on the other hand, with their shortcomings well known and hashed out.
"I believe in a God who doesn't need heavy financing." Irwin M. Fletcher, Fletch Lives, 1989
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Re: why can't we?

Postby AJC » May 29th 2015 10:14am

Damn Ocean!

I've dreamt of doing the same but don't have access to or proficiency in any CAD software.

Very proud of you. What other forum admin makes his own movement from scratch?

Side note... RGM is right down the road, yet I've never been. I did make my way up to the NAWCC Museum. Lancaster was the Geneve of the States back in the day, so I might take a day trip up there and check out the second hand shops. Probably some pretty cool watches.


But congrats Oceanaut!
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