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Making Time With the Watchmakers 257

PreacherTom writes "In the age of watches that have more computational power than Apollo 11's computer, one would think that the watchmaker has gone the way of the cobbler, the blacksmith and the Dodo. Quite the contrary. With the rise in interest for mechanical watches (especially luxury models), Rolex has sponsored a new school to train horologists in the arcane art. From the article: 'We were facing a situation today where we needed to foster a new generation of watchmakers,' says Charles Berthiaume, the senior vice-president for technical operations at Rolex and the Technicum's president 'Thirty to 40 years ago, there was a watchmaker at every jewelry store. That's not the case today,' he notes. Included are some remarkable examples of their training, dedication, and intricate patience as they take technology in an entirely different direction."
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Making Time With the Watchmakers

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  • Yeah but.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by yamamushi ( 903955 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ihsumamay>> on Friday December 22, 2006 @09:07PM (#17344772) Homepage
    How much does the watchmaking business pay nowadays?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 22, 2006 @09:42PM (#17345022)
    Considering they still keep accepting stories from Roland Piquepaille [], another known shill, it's doubtful the editors will do anything about this guy.

  • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Friday December 22, 2006 @09:55PM (#17345110) Homepage Journal
    Slashdotters may not, but watches are one of the only forms of jewelry allowed for upper-class and upper-middle-class men. Necklaces and earrings are still considered gaudy, and rings are restricted to a wedding band and perhaps a class ring/military ring.

    The sorts of guys who wear suits as fashion statements are very likely to wear a watch as well. It's not so much about knowing what time it is as about wearing something pretty (and expensive) on your wrist. Your tie and your watch are the most expressive things you're allowed to wear.

    Hey, I don't make the rules. I just talk about 'em. Me, I stopped wearing a watch years before I acquired a cell phone, and I don't wear any jewelry at all.
  • by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Friday December 22, 2006 @10:00PM (#17345148)
    I never understand why people supplant watches with phones or pdas. My watch needs to have its battery changed once every two years, and is water proof to 100m. Meaning I put it on, and for the next two years, I don't have to worry about it. I don't lose it, I don't forget it, it doesn't run out of juice and is always accurate. It's got a stopwatch to boot, so I can use it to time cooking, running, swimming and sundry other things. Lastly, it's easy access. I flick my wrist, and know the time. There's no digging, no flipping, no unlocking, no nothing.

    As said, I have no idea why people think that a phone is a good timepiece. And that's coming from someone who is eternally late. :)
  • Balderdash (Score:2, Insightful)

    by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Friday December 22, 2006 @10:05PM (#17345198) Homepage
    > Thirty to 40 years ago, there was a watchmaker at every jewelry store.

    This is utter nonsense. Jewelry stores had watch repairmen, most capable of no more than cleaning, adjusting, and replacing movements.
  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Friday December 22, 2006 @10:21PM (#17345256)
    A terrorist who builds really small bombs, right?

          Small enough to fit in a... I know - a WATCH! Soon airlines will ban all timepieces on flights. Remember, it's not the size that counts.
  • PreacherTom is an astroturfer for BusinessWeek magazine

    No, not really.

    He's what in the "old media" world we would call a "crier." He directs traffic to a given site, by saying how interesting it is. The fact that a given article actually is interesting should not be based in any way on who submits it -- be it a bored geek or a profit-seeking crier.

  • by Banner ( 17158 ) on Friday December 22, 2006 @11:12PM (#17345538) Journal
    Maybe he just reads Business Week a lot and finds their articles interesting and so he comments on them in these forums. There are -a lot- of people who really only read one news source and then spread what they see there all over the place.

    And if he is working for Business week and being paid to do this, so what? Slashdot has editors and -they- are the filter/gate through which all articles must pass. If they don't approve it, it doesn't get posted. This isn't a site like digg where just anyone can post an article to the webpage.
  • by Gorimek ( 61128 ) on Friday December 22, 2006 @11:23PM (#17345612) Homepage
    What you wear says a lot about who you are.

    And wearing a Rolex is the only thing I can think of that trumps driving a Jaguar for saying "I'm very rich and very stupid".
  • by ball-lightning ( 594495 ) <> on Friday December 22, 2006 @11:27PM (#17345634)
    I think the real question is, do (and should) we care? It's not like PreacherTom can force /. to post his submissions, and I actually found this article interesting (hence why I clicked the comments section to discuss). As far as I can tell, there isn't a problem unless we are being lied to (which we aren't) or the quality of the submissions has gone down (Your Mileage May Vary). Now, if /. received money for the stories, then I could see a problem. Double so if they didn't mention they received money to post the story. Fark features sponsored links, but always (AFAIK) admits they are sponsored. As long as this story was legitimately accepted by /. staff, I don't care whether Joe Average or a Publicist submitted it, and am not sure why anyone would.
  • by WilliamSChips ( 793741 ) <> on Friday December 22, 2006 @11:52PM (#17345790) Journal
    No, I don't care about Roland, I'm just pissed off by the whiners in EVERY SINGLE FUCKING ARTICLE. You see, it's one link. You can barely see it. But what you can see much more clearly is a bunch of self-righteous whiners. But apparently if I don't agree with your anti-Roland cult I'm an astroturfer.
  • by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Friday December 22, 2006 @11:53PM (#17345796) Homepage Journal
    The new firehose section on Slashdot might help there. I, for one, won't e-mail an objection merely because of a business association (alleged or proven) but if others think it's a genuine problem then I would encourage them to object on that basis. However, I can say that I'm going to pay some attention to the stories listed for articles where I've good reason to believe the story is bogus, FUD, etc. What I hope is that Slashdot does NOT go down the path of entirely user-selecting, as I actually think the editors here do a far better job of picking the really meaty stuff and other sites that have tried that approach are plagued by story trolls. Slashdot isn't perfect, but there's a reason it has such an intense following AND has earned the respect and envy of even the "traditional" press at times.
  • by dino213b ( 949816 ) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @01:31AM (#17346216)
    At least clock making in the U.S. history..

    Around 1700, it was very rare for a person to own a clock or a watch - something on the order of 1 in 35 prominent white males owned one. By 1800, most cities in New England had clock makers. These clock makers could produce only around a dozen clocks per year and they never did so preemptively. They would wait for an order to be placed and then take their sweet time to produce a clock. There was an old saying about the craft.. "No two clocks tell the same time," indicating their accuracy. An interesting fact was that most of these clock makers could not live on making clocks alone: they had day jobs to support them. Clock making was merely a bonus.

    Then good old American manufacturing kicked in and production blew up to 1000 clocks a year made by one skilled worker, requiring nothing but ordinary laborers instead of master clock makers. Prices dropped around 1820s and it seems like the market was for once flooded with clocks. Some speculate that this cheaper price and wide availability created a market demand for clocks. Otherwise- why weren't they producing more of them?

    These are of course, clocks.. not just watches. Around this time (1750-1850), the clock stopped being a measuring device. Instead, it became a control device. Entire lifestyles changed - masters were replaced with factory workers. Time discipline became heavily monitored and for the first time ever the society went from an ephemeral lifestyle to one controlled by a machine.

    So here is an interesting question to ask Slashdotters:

    If a clock changed way of life in the 19th century, what is happening with our lives in the 21st century?

    Will we ever go back to a relaxed setting of working at our own pace or will we be slaves to the clock for some time to come? Why would we need a clock (or a watch) anyway? It seems like we have plenty of other semaphores to regulate our lives.

    Just something to ponder..
  • by macshit ( 157376 ) <.snogglethorpe. .at.> on Saturday December 23, 2006 @03:08AM (#17346630) Homepage
    Agreed. Roland has a tremendously weird name, and a fairly lame website, but he often submits interesting stories, and he apparently spends a lot of time doing it. I don't why we should care that a story is from him as long as it's interesting...
  • Re:Rolex is PWND (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sa1lnr ( 669048 ) on Saturday December 23, 2006 @08:56AM (#17347624)
    "would you pay $100,000 for a Jaguar with a Ford engine?"

    Who owns Jaguar these days?

The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.