We are coming up on our second anniversary for our blog, and, as we did last year, I thought it would be good to take stock and look back over the previous twelve months. I find it particularly useful to see which articles are popular, as I want to deliver more of what you, our esteemed reader, enjoy reading.
One Big Change
We have made one change and reduced the number of blogs we produce. In our first year, we were writing one blog a week. I thoroughly enjoy writing these blog posts. It helps me understand the watch business better, and it also takes me back to some of the engineering I learned as a student. The sad fact is that I have limited time, and there is a lot of other work that needs to be done to keep the ship afloat, so we reduced it to one every two weeks.
That did not mean a reduction in the quality, or indeed, that was not my intention. I covered a wide variety of subjects, including looking at the early years of a couple of well-established brands that I hold in particular esteem. One brand that has been a consistent source of inspiration is Heuer. We need to differentiate between Heuer, the historic business led by Jack Heuer, and the current incarnation, TAG Heuer. I find much more inspiration in the organic business Jack Heuer nurtured rather than the behemoth that bears his family name today.
Names From History Provide Guidance And Inspiration
Of particular interest to me was the big break that helped cement the Heuer name in the history of sports watches. Like all good stories, the twists and turns were almost unbelievable to look back on. A film propmaster, a film star, and a watch are all you need for a fantastic story of watch development. But then, as I looked around in more detail, it became clear that almost every watch brand has a tremendous story. SNGLRTY has an unlikely starting point and is still writing its history. I thought we were unusual with the strange twists and turns, but perhaps not so much.
The Challenge Of New
Over the year, I have used the blog to try and explain SNGLRTY in more detail. There is no doubt that SNGLRTY is very different from every other watch. When Daniel and I started down this path, perhaps because we had spent so much time with SNGLRTY, we thought it was evident and straightforward what SNGLRTY is all about. We have realized, rather too slowly, that we need to start at the very beginning and explain how it all happened, step by step. There have been several blog posts that have been used to flesh these ideas out, and if you read the website carefully you will see parts of the blog posts duplicated on the website.
Gearbox, Watch Movements, and Reverse Gears was a dive into my thinking that started the journey that created SNFGLRTY and brings us here today. But it was not just the idea we were looking to explore but also how our Calibre OHI was made. Here Daniel led the charge with Enhanced Dating – It is Not Just For Tinder Anymore. In this blog post, Daniel dives into the technical challenges of placing the date on SNGLRTY and how we increased the size of the date window on SNGLRTY. Finally, I took the bull by the horns and laid out the issue we face in Inventing A Watch Is Nothing – Explaining It To The World Is the Challenge. It remains a challenge for us, but I think we are moving towards getting it right. Let’s see – suggestions welcome.
I have noticed over the last year that you enjoy reading about the details of a watch, or more specifically, how specific aspects of the watch work from a fundamental point of view. I discovered this through my initial blog series on steel. The steel a watch case is always something that watch brands seek to highlight with some technical jargon – even SNGLRTY. This series of blog posts aimed to cut through the jargon and explain steel in an easily accessible manner. It starts with Watches, Steel, and What It All Means for a Watch Owner and culminates six posts later with 904L, Oystersteel, 316L, or 304L – Here is Meaning In The Codes. What amazes me is that even though these posts were written last year, they continued to accrue views at an incredible rate.
With an apparent demand for information at this level, I started to have a more detailed look at the intricate details of watches from this fundamental perspective. I nickname these posts the “first principle posts,” as I start the analysis from first principles.
More Of What You Like
The next item to go under the first principle spotlight was The Watch Mainspring Deconstructed And Analyzed. It took some of our understanding from the steels series and Hooke’s Law to calculate the amount of energy needed to keep your watch going. In this blog post, I started to introduce a little bit of mathematics and some laws of physics. I was curious how you would react to not just words but a mathematical equation.
While I waited for the results of this experiment, I took a look at the humble leather watchband. I am asked regularly how to buy a high-quality watchband, so I took that one on directly with the blog post How to Find the Best Quality Leather Watchbands. I was surprised that so many of us wear a leather watchband but do not fully understand how that piece of skin is transformed into a full watch band. The most important aspect is that many chemicals are used in the tanning process, and understanding what they are can be very important, especially for those with sensitive skin. The key is to know the tanning process so you can ask the right questions. That is what I laid out in how a watchband is made.
Mathematics – Who Would Have Thought It?
It became apparent that you are all craving the details. So with a little less trepidation, I started to deconstruct the balance wheel and balance spring. This unfolded over a series of five posts that take you through calculating the energy in a balance wheel, then looked at our holy grail and how to make the watch movement isochronous. All this information is finally brought together to show how to balance the balance wheel and balance spring and hopefully explain why they are balanced. There was a detour to understand how sensitive the balance wheel is to temperature changes, or perhaps I should have said how sensitive it was to temperature changes.
And To The Future
I enjoyed writing this series on the balance spring and the balance wheel, so if there is another part of the watch you would like to understand from a similar perspective, do please let me know. If you do not have any preference, I am thinking about doing a series on all the gears and cogs that sit in the back of your mechanical watch – there is plenty of intricacy in there and some mathematics too.
There were a few blog posts that continue to track the auctions and prices for some of the classic watches that are trading in the market. They continue to go up in price, some of them almost vertically. Many have tried to predict the end of this movement in watch prices, but I think the trend is your friend in this case. My sense is this will continue for the foreseeable future, as I hope this blog will with your support.
I love to get your feedback, so please let me know what you think and especially if there are areas you are interested in and would like to learn more about.