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Kingston Update

The second batch of parts is almost ready to go to Switzerland. I am currently working on the C3 non-date Kingstons and getting them ready for assembly.

I still have to post the pics I took from the BG W9 preparation which will give you a better idea of the scope of the process. In a nut shell though the process takes about 30 minutes per watch.

Kingston Test Assembly: Part 3B

A look at the inside of the Kingston and the final stages of assembly. In this first pic you see the under-appreciated movement ring. The Kingston movement ring is clamped into the case body rather than using a metal or plastic ring that relies on the case back to hold the movement in place. This more complicated case construction method is more secure and lasts longer than the compression type movement rings normally found at this price range. This caseing method also leads to better time keeping.

A picture of the front of the watch. The installation of the bezel comes next. I always do the bezel installation last so that I can line the bezel up with the dial more precisely.

Now the final regulation of the movement.

Here is a peak at my notes from the regulation. I don’t normally publish this information as the accuracy on the bench always varies a little with the timing experienced in the real world due to factors such as how much the watch is worn and temperature. After a number of years of experience it seems that +5 seconds a day, averaged across the positions, seems to be ideal for a new movement of this grade. The positional deltas are also particularly good on this movement. If you look back to the first post where I did the first QC of the movement you will see that the timing has changed after the movement has been cased. The movements always perform differently after they are cased.

Now getting ready for the bezel installation. The key components below: bezel inlay, water proof double sided tape, and the bezel itself.

After some tweaks to the retention spring and the click spring the bezel is mounted using a crystal press.

And now a final cleaning of the inside of the case body and a final check of the screws to make sure everything is tight before we close up the case back.

The watch easily passed its final water resistance tests and the bracelet can finally be attached. It took a few days to finalize spare parts kit with the cusomer and get it together before shipment.

When it was finally ready to go it was a little too late in the day and I wanted to get the watch in the mail. As a result I forgot to snap a final picture of the whole package.

Kingston Update

The first Kingston shipped earlier today. Part 3B of the test assembly post will be posted later today. I got the photos edited but didn’t have a chance to write the post.

Kingston Update: Oct. 7, 2011

The reason I haven’t posted part 3 of the test assembly is because I have been glazing the case bodies for the first 50 pieces that will be heading to Switzerland for assembly. I actually did 75 cases. The first batch of parts will be leaving to Switzerland tomorrow. it will take about 2-3 weeks for the watches to return. In the mean time I will continue working on custom Kingstons.

I will post part 3 of the test assembly later today. I will also prepare a series of posts summarizing the behind the scenes work done to prepare the components for assembly in Switzerland.

Kingston Test Assembly: Part 3A

Finally the dial is on the movement!

The hands have been set and have been checked for alignment with the dial and clearance between the hands.

It’s more than just a nod to nostalgia. The hands here are curved toward the end because the hands have to clear the interior surface of the crystal. To get the thickness of the overall watch right I designed the crystal to be closer to the dial than normal, hence the “curved” hands.

Here is the process for hand cutting the stem. First is a rough cut with a pair of pliers. It leaves a rough end that won’t screw into the crown properly.

Here is the stem half-way through the filing. Normally all of the stems for the custom watches are cut and finished by hand to get the optimal length for each watch. In this case, as is the norm in watchmaking, several hundredths of a millimeter make a big difference in the action of the crown.

The finished stem…or actually not quite. This stem ended up a little on the long side. It required a little too much effort to screw down and onto the case tube. Over about an hour I trimmed it down little by little. Finally I got to the point that the stem as slightly too short. The way you can tell is that the crown begins to wind the movement again when it is close to bottoming out on the case tube.

One night, and part of a morning later, I was able to install the finished stem. It wasn’t too far off the original number I had from working the case samples but the adjustment was worth it and I learned some more valuable information about this style of case tube/crown assembly. I expect working with this assembly will get easier with time but it’s not as simple as the standard dual gasket assembly that is featured on the rest of our watches.

I only had time to post the first half of Part 3. I didn’t mean to jerk everyone around but I am trying to give current orders and getting the Kingstons ready to go to Switzerland for assembly priority over the updates. I will post the final part by Monday. I have to get some watches shipped on Saturday. I spent much of the first half of this week working on preparation for the Kington assemblies and have been neglecting custom watch orders.

Kingston test assembly Part 2 of 3

The first Kingston is a non-date gilt dial watch so the day/date bits and pieces have to go

I have removed the day of the week wheel, date of the month wheel, the gear that drives the quick adjustment, and the gear that powers the instantaneous date change.

Here are two close-ups of the movement with the extraneous parts removed.

I have decided that it best to include the parts that I removed with the watch for the Plank Owners and the 2nd stage customers that ordered parts kits.

I abbreviated today’s post as I am working on the final QC for the BGW9 non-date gilt Kingstons that will be on their way to Switzerland for assembly. I finished up the dials this afternoon and am checking the lume of the hands right now. I got a little carried away and spent more time than I planned working on the QC of the parts. The good news of course is that we are that much closer to shipping the parts out.

I just tried to post to WUS only to find the site down. I will try again tomorrow morning.