Swiss pocket watch

16 Jan, 2014

When my father passed away a while back I inherited a couple of old pocket watches. For the most part they were pretty abused, and a quick skim through Google suggested they were of no particular value or interest to anyone. One of the watches did catch my interest though, it's slightly smaller than the rest and is beautifully ornamented:

Pocket watch

Google didn't give me much to go on for this watch, I did find out that it was probably not rare or valuable (not in gold, and only six jewels). I was still curious about the watch so I reached out to the members of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors forum.

I did find out the following:

  • Swiss in origin. Probably made for export to the German market.
  • Probably made between 1890-1910.
  • The German Crown/Moon hallmark for silver is present and has been used since 1886.
  • It has a cylinder escapement and is stem wound (Remontoir).
  • The case is made of "continental coin" silver of .800 purity. This is indicated by the Swiss grouse stamp, used from 1882-1934.
  • The parts are most likely hand made, in cottage industry fashion, but the ornamentation might be stamped.
  • The "Galonne" mark is French for "striped" and refers to the gold plating/gold wash on the silver case.
  • The inside cover is not silver, probably nickel or brass.

The bad news is that the watch does not run, and it's probably not worth having it restored as it's neither rare or valuable. I'm going to keep it as a memento and conversation piece, and who knows, someday when I run out of interests I might take up pocket watch repair as a hobby.

Papercraft

08 Dec, 2013

I have long wanted to get started with scale model building. Unfortunately I'm still taking medication that's causing my hands to shake far too much, and quite frankly, I don't really have the money to spend on equipment and paint at the moment.

So I was quite happy when I stumbled upon Paper Posables and the Poplocks system. These are paper models you print on card stock, cut, fold and put together. Perhaps not a real alternative to scale models, but still a lot of fun and very rewarding to build.

The beauty of the Poplocks system is that the models require no glue or tape, can be moved, posed and (carefully) played with. It's also easy to take apart a model if mistakes have been made.

Drago, Stal, StalĀµ, Scorpod and
Snakebot.

Most (all?) of the models are licensed under Creative Commons NC SA and the PDF files can be imported into Inkscape with no problems. Very handy if you want to make any customisation or simply recolour a model.

Oh, if you intend on scaling the models (up or down) you need to keep the square-cube law in mind. I didn't and scaled the print of one of the models down by 50%, the actual completed model was of course a lot smaller in 3D...

Requirements are pretty low, a printer, a pair of scissors, an X-acto knife (with fresh blades) and preferably a 5/8" (16mm) hole punch. I started out with an old fashioned punch and hammer, this turned out to be a slow, noisy and bothersome operation. I recommend buying a cheap craft hole punch, like this one, if you intend to make more than model.

Thicker paper works better with the Poplocks, I bought 160g/m^2^ which is the maximum thickness supported by my printers. (Thicker paper might damage the printer drum).

A lot of new models are being published on the Netroid Universe blog.

sw-snowflake

If you feel like making seasonal papercraft instead, check out Star Wars snowflakes by Anthony Herrera.