Connecting the dots through photos… Authored by Michael Surtees

Learning about Horology & Mechanical Watches

Visualization of time has been something that has fascinated me for a majority of my life. While I never owned a Swatch, I think that may have been when I discovered the idea that there were many way to display time. As I started to evolve my interests in watches from interesting displays of Nooka's to Apple watches to watches that only displayed time with one arm I yearned for something a bit more long lasting. After a wide initial exploration of brands, three jumped out at me – IWC, Omega and Panerai. While researching I tried to understand the essentials of each brand and what made them unique. Ultimately I choose the OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Chronograph as my first. Its set the bar for how I classify a near perfect timepiece. Of course it didn’t stop. Over the year an IWC Pilot watch, a Rolex GMT II and even an Apple Watch 4 came in my possession. Those stories will come later on…

As I started wearing the mechanical watch I started to spend a lot of time reading about how they work. I really wanted to appreciate how the watch I was wearing was built. That lead me to the Horological Society of New York. The HSNY offered what I would classify more as a hands on workshops as opposed to classes about horology and mechanical timepieces. There's 4 workshops that progressively build upon each other 101, 102, 103 & 104. Each session I took was approximately 2 hours in length. All the watchmaking tools along with a mechanical movement was provided on a watchmaking table.

Patience, being able to concentrate and having a steady hand are all the requirements needed. When I first considered taking 101 I was quite nervous as I had never done such a thing before. There was a bit of anxiety of not knowing what it entailed–there's a lot going on inside a mechanical watch.