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My growing collection of American-made watchmaker's lathes

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cazclocker

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I already have a workhorse watchmaker's lathe, a Rivett, featured elsewhere on this forum. Well I happened to recently purchase another lathe marked "Perton" from a local jeweler's shop. At the same time a good friend of mine GAVE me three more, all he wanted was his shipping cost! And to top it off, he has one more to send to me when he finds it. Woo hoo!

As I understand it, watchmaking enjoyed a popularity surge during & after WW2 because of all the returning servicemen with legs blown off. There were MANY brands out there.

Here's my collection so far. On the stands, left to right: Elson, Lancaster Special, Moseley. Below: Reese on the left, Perton on the right. So now I have six examples of American watchmaker's lathes - only about 15 or 20 more to go! Yeah right...hey, you never know what's out there.
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12bolts

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Nice collection there. Looks impressive.
.....he has one more to send to me when he finds it. ....
What sort of junk pile does he have if he is "looking" for a lathe?!

Cheers Phil
 

chuckorlando

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Nice. I like that one on the floor. I'm a fan of old cars with all the chrome and alum. So I like the bling. ahaha
 

darkzero

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Those are very nice! I've always wanted something like those to rebuild & just keep on my desk as a show piece. All the ones I've found around here are too nice & expensive, I've been looking for something in a bit worse condition for that.
 

cazclocker

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Nice collection there. Looks impressive.

What sort of junk pile does he have if he is "looking" for a lathe?!

Cheers Phil
Ha! I don't know - I've never been to his shop, but he says it's hidden away somewhere on one of his top shelves...
 

JHP

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"As I understand it, watchmaking enjoyed a popularity surge during & after WW2."

That's true, another "hobby/trade" that the VA provided for those disabled vets was leatherworking. As a kid I bought a huge collection of knives, stamps and assorted tools for that craft from an old veteran. Interestingly, I came across something the other day that you might want to check out. Apparently watchmaking is has come back in a big way to Detroit. Located in the historic Argonaut Building in downtown Detroit (formerly GM's design center), the Shinola Co. is manufacturing upscale watches, bicycles and other items. Google "Shinola", or check out; http://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmu...ola-puts-its-faith-in-american-manufacturing/
 

Tony Wells

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Very nice, Doug. Not something that you'd run across every day, that's for sure. Right place, right time......
 

cazclocker

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"As I understand it, watchmaking enjoyed a popularity surge during & after WW2."

That's true, another "hobby/trade" that the VA provided for those disabled vets was leatherworking. As a kid I bought a huge collection of knives, stamps and assorted tools for that craft from an old veteran. Interestingly, I came across something the other day that you might want to check out. Apparently watchmaking is has come back in a big way to Detroit. Located in the historic Argonaut Building in downtown Detroit (formerly GM's design center), the Shinola Co. is manufacturing upscale watches, bicycles and other items. Google "Shinola", or check out; http://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmu...ola-puts-its-faith-in-american-manufacturing/
Thank you JHP...I just read the article you pointed us to, and I'm not only amazed, but also feel hopeful for America's industrial spirit. Who would have thought - Shinola watches! I guess when you think about it, Detroit's bleak fate has only provided a vacuum, and nature abhors a vacuum. I recently saw an episode of Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" in which he visited Detroit. He found a streetside food vendor (kind of like a kid's lemonade stand, but run by adults) which served some kind of dish (I forget what) that was so good Anthony said it ranked among the best he's ever tasted. Anyway, Americans know how to excel, and watchmaking is certainly an endeavor that requires excellence! It's funny though, yesterday in my weekly trip to our local swap meet, I saw an antique can of Shinola. I wish the best for Detroit's newest watchmaker.
...Doug

- - - Updated - - -

Very nice, Doug. Not something that you'd run across every day, that's for sure. Right place, right time......
Thank you Tony!
...Doug
 

Ray C

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Very, very interesting... I am convinced America has a future for certain kinds of manufacturing and I'm glad to see this and am happy for Detroit that somebody is trying to help.


Ray
 

george wilson

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#10
I used to have a watch lathe. It is true that returning service men could get them through some type of government source after WWII. I can't recall the make as I sold it over 30 years ago. Oh,it was a Moseley. It had a 3 slide slide. It had a cross slide and 2 compounds. I never understood what the extra compound was good for. Everything was nickel,to avoid being magnetic.
 
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steve323

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I also like the chrome one on the floor with all the bling. Where would a normal guy with no friends like yours find a lathe like that? And if you don't mind me asking, what is the ballpark price for a lathe like those?

thanks
Steve
 
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TOOLMASTER

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#12
I used to watch the repair guy at sears 40 years ago...I knew right away there was no way in hell I had the patients for that.
 
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steve323

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#13
I used to watch the repair guy at sears 40 years ago...I knew right away there was no way in hell I had the patients for that.
I know what you mean. My only clock so far is a wooden gear clock cut using a 1/8" router bit. My next one may use a 1/4" bit, but then I will try to go smaller for a brass clock

Steve
 
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