Mechanical Watch (yes, /that/ guy!)

If you know the domain, you know what to expect. And it delivers.

First animation, click and drag, the weight even flops over.

Well there goes my next hour…

Only an hour, huh? Impressive…

When you add spring tension, the balance wheel later on starts realistically swinging in small swings first. There’s a lot of simulation magic in here somewhere!

Yes, it’s a crazy set of animations - but what’s even crazier is how deeply you have to understand a watch to do them in the first place!

The code is long, but neither is it terribly complex:

What an amazing lesson.
Loved all the interactive stuff showing how things have to be dialed in everywhere.
My father and grandfather were both watchmakers so I’ve always had a great respect for timepieces and have a nice collection of manual wrist and pocket watches.
My first job was working for my dad replacing batteries in watches while he worked on the hard stuff like overhauling movements.

I own, and love, a mechanical, automatic, jewelled-movement watch from the 1950s (I’m told). It is by far my favourite mechanical object, for the simple joy of knowing what’s inside it and how it works. It’s not the most accurate - in some orientations it loses as much as a minute a day - but on average it only loses a couple minutes a week in normal use.

There’s a great book on the history of highly accurate mechanical clocks - Longitude.

It’s a fairly accessible read, and is basically the story of “How on earth do you keep a mechanical device doing something reasonable on a ship in all conditions?”

gasp! Alright! Must read that one next. I’ve read many shorter accounts of John Harrison’s exploits. If I had to pick an engineering role model from history, it would probably be him.

“Man saying it cannot be done should not interrupt man doing it.”