"Why don't you tell me about the mystery dance,
I wanna know about the mystery dance,
Why don't you show me
'Cause I've tried and I've tried, and I'm still mystified,
I can't do it anymore and I'm not satisfied.
-Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Originally Posted by Lobby
...Trial and error, to this engineer, seems sinful.
Unfortunately, that's what it'll take. The variables you can't account for are how much your daily activity (vibrations, position, temp changes, etc.) affects the regulation. It's not that tough to get a decent mechanical watch regulated to pretty tight tolerances if it sits in the same position like a clock on the wall, or even consistently moved, like on a winder.
I struggled for years to get my MKII Quad 10
(ETA 2824 elaboree) to within 10 seconds a day (averaged over weeks), wearing it on my wrist 24/7.
Just to give you an idea of the process, here is a sample of my notes:
4/22/11 @ 10am: set 3 min ahead.
5/2/11 @ 4pm: lost 34sec in 10d = 3.4sec/d. Set 3 min ahead.
6/27/11 @ 14:30 set to exact time.
7/1/11 @ 12:30pm: lost 10sec, ~3sec/day. Reset to 2 min ahead.
8/11/11 @ 12:30pm: gained 52sec over 41d, ~1.3sec/d fast. Set to actual atomic time.
8/31/11 @ 3pm: gained 3:55 (235 sec over 20d = 11.8sec/d fast. Set to actual atomic time.
11/1/11 @ 1:30pm: set 1 min. behind atomic time.
11/13/11 @ 1:30am. Gained 1:41 in 11d12h or 8.8sec/d
Set 1min behind atomic @ 7:30pm
12/6/11 @ 8:30p. Gained 378s in 547h or 16.6sec/d. Set 1min behind atomic @ 8:30pm
12/17/11 @ 10:30a: Gained 135sec in 10d14h or 12.8sec/d. Turned fine regulator screw back 2.5 marks. Set to actual atomic time @ 11a.
12/22/11 @ 10:30a: gained 45 sec in 5d or 9sec/day. Turned fine regulator screw back 2.5 marks to center point. Set to actual atomic time.
12/30/11 @ 6p: lost 33sec in 8d,7.5h or 4sec/day. Turned fine regulator screw forward 1 mark. Set to actual atomic time.
You can see, my adjustments were within the system noise -- no consistent cause & effect. As far as I could tell, the accuracy varied with my hair length divided by the Dow Jones moving average. But I got it pretty close. At times. Then I rode 2000+ miles of rocky terrain over 2 weeks on Mobius 9, and when I checked against the atomic clock, it had gained over a minute
I was almost early for our flight home!
I HATE when that happens.
That's when I gave up, stopped worrying, and learned to love the bomb. And decided to pick up one of these:
I'm partial to simple
, black faced watches (link to my March '07 post in this thread -- has it really been 5 years?
). I'm not in the sun too much, and I hate batteries. I want a watch that runs only as long as I need it to. When I stop moving, I want it to stop also. (My lasting legacy will be 72 hours of mainspring power -- future generations will thank me.
As much as I try, I'm just not a bracelet guy, so I ditched it for a rubber strap: $11 shipped
(i had a 15% off code). The lume on the bezel is cool. It has a 72h reserve, though I'm always wearing it, so it's always full wound. The GMT complication is well implemented (no need to stop the second hand to reset the local-time hour hand). I use military time at work, and like having those numbers on there. And I can actually read the date.
It's just a Seiko
, nothing flashy, (we live in a dangerous big city, you know... wouldn't want to wear a target on my wrist), Despite not being certified by the Swiss
, it keeps very accurate, and more importantly to me, very consistent
It runs 1-2 seconds fast per week. Every week. Week after week.
No muss, no fuss.
That's what I'm talkin' about.