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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.

Kingston Test Assembly Part 2 postponed…

until Monday. Sorry but I am just worn out again from clearing out the basement and the water that was in it. Conservatively I estimate that I moved about 800 pounds worth of water from the basement in two shifts, carrying it up stairs so that I could dump it out the door. Right now I am waiting for the basement to dry out enough so that I put everything back.

On the bright side I saved all of the packaging from becoming water damaged. If that had happened the Kingston would have been further delayed as it takes about 4-6 weeks to replace the packaging. So hopefully waiting a weekend for Part 2 won’t be too bad.

Kingston test assembly Part 1 of 3

After checking each case for scratches and other physical defects we do a quick check of the crystal installation to make sure it’s squarely seated on the case body:

Here is the same case after test fitting the end links and application of protective tape to safeguard the case body against scratches.

We test fit the movement ring into the case body…

The next step is to do a pre-build check of the movement in all 6 positions:

This particular movement has tight positional deltas for a 2836-2. The timing will change slightly, although enough to warrant regulation, when the hands have been installed and the movement cased.
Tomorrow I will post part 2 of 3 of the test assembly….

Kingston Update: September 29, 2010

I just finished the first test assembly. If the rest of the review goes well it will be the first custom Kingston to ship.

The Prebuilt watches that are to be assembled in Switzerland should be on their way to the assembler next week.

I took some pics of the test assembly process and will be posting them here and on the forum over the next few days.