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The Essentials Of Precision Timekeeping, by Jack Forster

  • HSNY at the General Society Library 20 West 44th Street New York, NY, 10036 United States (map)

Jack Forster, Editor-in-Chief, HODINKEE

Video recordings of meetings are available to HSNY members.

Everyone wants their watch to be accurate, and moreover, nowadays everyone expects it. But just how hard is it to make an accurate watch, and what makes a watch accurate in the first place? In this lecture, we’ll look at how and why precision timekeeping evolved, from the earliest water clocks, through the evolution of pendulum clocks, the first watches, marine chronometers, and on down to today’s precision wristwatch. On the way, we’ll keep in mind – as we explore how the modern watch has been shaped by nearly a thousand years of technological and scientific exploration – certain fundamentals in mechanics and physics, and how the ancient enemies of accuracy are still fought on a daily basis by watchmakers today. And we’ll also look at how and why it is that accuracy isn’t just interesting intellectually – we’ll explore how it has a romance all its own.

Jack Forster

About Jack Forster
Jack Forster is Editor-in-Chief of HODINKEE. He first became interested in watches as a student in graduate school, and spent many years collecting and repairing vintage pocket watches as a hobby. His first exposure to online watch discussion was on Usenet newsgroups, in the mid-1990s; and he has also been a moderator on the well-known collector's forum, PuristSPro.com. From 2006 to 2015 he was a part of Revolution Press Ltd, first as Group Technical Editor, and then as Editor in Chief for the US edition of Revolution Magazine. He has also worked on a number of freelance special projects over the years and in a marketing/PR consulting capacity, for clients both within and outside the watch industry. He is the author of Cartier: Time Art, a catalogue for the exhibition of the same name, which chronicles the history of watch and clockmaking at Cartier from its inception to the present day. His other interests include pretty much anything interesting.