The Next Rotation - The Universe of Fenris Fox
01 December 2006
Second Chance for the Ticker

Some people might degrade Wal-Mart for being anti-social (or whatever the argument is - I'm too tired to debate right now) - however, I can't fault their return policy. Several times, I've returned items that other stores might question; items - like my first pocket watch - that could just as easily fail from accidents or abuse as they could from material/workmanship defects.

I returned the first watch today - they refunded the money without question (I had saved the box, instructions, warranty, and receipt - don't throw out anything!). I decided, as mentioned before, to give the manufacturer the benefit of the doubt - and I bought a similar watch, of the same make, but a different model and style.

The new one is a gold-plated (or possibly brass - I didn't really care, as long as it looked good. I'm not a wealth nut) hunter cover (the formal name for the kind where you press on the crown to open the watch), with the stem at the 12:00 position (supposedly, the traditional place for pocket watch stems [particularly open-faced, if I remember correctly] was the 6:00 position, but in modern times, this isn't as strict).

Like the first watch, it is a skeleton-style (visible clockwork) manual-wind mechanical movement pocket watch. It has a garment-clip chain, rather than the spring-loaded chain of the last watch.

It didn't come with a holster - and since I normally don't wear a suit (which has a traditional pocket), and not all my pants have a watch pocket (yes, that's what the little one - normally on your right side - is for, not for losing change in!), I bought a separate one.

I couldn't find a standalone holster made specifically for a watch, so I bought a leather (sorry PETA and animal-lover nuts - I love animals, but I also eat beef.. why let the hides go to waste?) holster made for a small folding cell phone. It turns out to be pretty good - it swivels, isn't too big, but yet is big enough to hold the entire watch - and also give the stem some support.

Something important, IMO, is that it isn't too tight. The holster that came with the first watch, seemed that way - and with a plated watch, that's bad. The plating normally will wear off a bit after a few years (I can live with that, with a $30 watch), but a tight case will rub away some of that plating each time the watch is extracted. Since I carry the watch, and use it to time buses and so on, I draw the watch several times a day.. yeah.

The other holster provided very little padding or protection to the timepiece - this one, made for electronics, is quite a bit more protective of its contents.

In any case, we'll see how it goes. I read the directions carefully this time - and there's a few "Cardinal Sins" I may have committed with the last watch, that lead to its death:

1.) I may have overwound it. To put it simply, I was reckless and wound it too fast - and I may have stretched the mainspring pretty badly.

2.) I may have damaged the movement by means of the crown and stem. Being on my belt - in a holster that had zero support for the crown and stem - this critical part of the timepiece may have taken a lot of stress. The new holster, and the shorter stem on the new watch, may help.

3.) I may have damaged the castle wheel/clutch/ratchet/whatever: I read on a Mechanical Watch FAQ that a watch can be wound by turning to and fro; however, it warned that it could wear the castle wheel - which acts like a ratchet to prevent movement damage on backturns - by doing so. Also, the watch instructions - while not explicitly forbidding counter-clockwise movement - explicitly instruct clockwise winding. Perhaps their omission was not an endorsement.

Between me trying to treat the timepiece better, and having a new timepiece, we'll see how it goes.

I'll post a picture soon.
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Assorted writings & artwork of a furry. Sometimes presented from the point-of-view of the author's "fursona" (personal furry): Fenris "Fenny" Fox, the futuristic kitsune.

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