Watchmakers' Hand Book


      M. Saunier's writings occupy an unique position in Europe, as works of reference for all who are engaged in watchmaking, and it may not be out of place to observe that the American edition of his treatise promises to take a similar place among English-speaking communities.

      A glance at the index will show that the information given is essentially practical in its character, and such as will be of use to the watchmaker in his daily work. The volume is thus in no sense an abridgment of the original edition, but on the contrary, it contains much more matter than the original work.

      In recent years the work of the ordinary watch repairer has undergone considerable change. The apprenticeship he serves, if it can be called a real apprenticeship, is shorter than formerly. The immense number of badly constructed watches that he is called upon to put in going order for a trifling remuneration, compels him to replace the older methods of procedure by others, whenever by so doing time can be saved. From this point of view, then, the value of the present Hand Book can hardly be over-estimated, since it contains, in a readily accessible form, many details as to the working of metals, and descriptions of various practical operations, new and improved forms of tools, etc.

      But the volume will be found of daily use to a wider circle of workers than those referred to. We believe that there is hardly a branch of the watchmaking trade which may not benefit by the numerous practical details that are given; indeed, although the work is specially designed for the use of watchmakers, a great portion of it will be seen to be no less applicable to other mechanical arts.

      M. Saunier's original works, the 'Guide-Manuel de l'Horologer', and 'Recueil des Prodedes Pratiques, which appeared as separate volumes, have been incorporated in this American edition, a large amount of additional information being at the same time added. As the second contained many details that more properly belonged to the first, and vice versa, it has been thought desirable to remodel the whole, and, as will be seen from an examination, the six parts that constitute the work are distinct in their character.

      With a view to further facilitate the use of this Hand Book as a work of daily reference, an unusually full index has been added, which the reader is recommended in all cases to consult, and no effort has been spared to make the cross references in the body of the work as complete as possible.

      It seems desirable here to give some explanation in regard to several of the practical methods described. Every watchmaker will at once recognize that recipes are included which are of the nature makeshifts, and that it would in many cases be better to replace a piece by a new one rather than to repair it in the manner indicated, But, on the other hand, it has been felt that the work will often be appealed to by those who, from various circumstances, may be prevented from making or procuring a new part that will suit the watch under repair, while those who are not so situated will have no difficulty in deciding for themselves as to which method to adopt.

      The original work of M. Saunier, and the English edition, both had the illustrations in the back of the work, which necessitated considerable inconvenience when consulting them. In this edition we have ventured to insert the illustrations in the text that describes them. The antiquated tools, like the bow, bow-lathe, the turns and mandril, have been omitted,and the modern foot wheel, lathe and accessories substituted.

Henry G. Abbott



      Web Horologists is attemting to republish as much of this book in its original format as possible. The pictures are original copies and the writings are as close to original as possible. Please enjoy and I hope all will study this as if it was an original print.

Submitted by: Samuel Kirk (##)