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How Watch Crystals Are Made "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Life Member
Picture of William D. White
posted
John,

I am planning to run a "winter special" of 16 size glass crystals. Please stay tuned as I'll be posting it in the next day or two. I'll post it in the "new horological items for sale" area but will put links in both "pocket watch discussion" and "European pocket watch forum"

I'm glad you like that model 22 glass...those are such amazing, beautiful watches!

William
 
Posts: 1529 | Location: San Francisco, California USA | Registered: September 01, 2008
IHC Member 163
Picture of Mark Cross
posted
Just add to my remarks, William, I want to thank you once more, as though your goal has been to put excellent glass back on watches that either were without any, or replace those that were damaged, you've also put servicable watches back into the pockets of those of us who CARRY our watches on a daily basis.
Smile
HIGH regards! Mark
 
Posts: 3654 | Location: Estill Springs, Tennessee, USA | Registered: December 02, 2002
IHC Life Member
Picture of Robert V. Jones
posted
Wow!!!!!! is all I can say. What a great job explaining every detail. Excellent post and Thanks for sharing it. I always tried thinking of a way to resize some of those hundreds of uncommon crystals everyone seems to have and did end up visiting a local optical shop to get some cut but found their equipment or the person cutting them were not as precise as I like, plus they could never get the bevel like original. You have every detail in the process mastered. Incredible!!!!
 
Posts: 3462 | Location: Cleveland, Georgia in the U.S.A. | Registered: February 03, 2006
Picture of Roland Glenn
posted
Thank you William. I have a new found respect for the effort that goes into making bevelled edge clear crystals. You're on my suppliers list for sure!
 
Posts: 438 | Location: Toronto, Ontario in Canada | Registered: January 18, 2010
IHC Life Member
Picture of Mitch Markovitz
posted
William,

That's one of the best and most informative posts I've ever read concerning watches.

I have to ask what was your point of departure many years ago that got you so interested, and devoted to glass and crystals? I read where you mentioned the railroad watches that came through your shop but was there something else?
 
Posts: 464 | Location: Northern Indiana in the USA | Registered: May 04, 2009
IHC Member 1036
Picture of Gary E. Foster
posted
Thank you William for this great presentation.
 
Posts: 1006 | Location: Western Pennsylvania in the USA | Registered: February 17, 2007
IHC Life Member
Picture of William D. White
posted
Mitch,

As I mentioned in my post, the real motivation for this project arose from the simple fact that in order to acquire the sizes of glass crystals needed for my repairs, I had to also purchase excessive stock of needless material alongside. I'm sure this is a very familiar story. Additionally, I had a drive early on in my watchmaking career to contribute something unique to our community at large.

My father was an inventor of note with multiple patents and I did inherit his traits, to a somewhat lesser degree in my opinion but just the same, this has caused me over the years to be a maker, creator, tinkerer, etc. He taught me to have no fear of any process or challenge and was very encouraging, fostering my interests when he had the time (I had 7 siblings). So basically, Dad gets full credit here! Thanks Dad, wherever you are!

I didn't start with glass. In the early 90's I purchased some sheets of 1/16" acrylic and developed a way to vacuum thermoform basic convex crystals. With a small lathe I would size and bevel with carbide tooling and it really worked great...the crystals looked fantastic and I advertised them for a while but sales failed to materialize due to the fact that my products were plastic. I guess I was trying to compete with Germinow Simon (GS) but I thought it was time wasted and gave up. I think at that point I sat on the idea of using glass for a few years before actually making any serious attempt but once I started, things came together and I just really took a great liking to glass working and the prospect of recreating watch crystals in the "correct way". I still greatly enjoy it to this day.

William

 
Posts: 1529 | Location: San Francisco, California USA | Registered: September 01, 2008
IHC Life Member

Picture of Jerry King
posted
My My....William, you have posted an amazing process for us all to enjoy and to learn from....thank you very much for your effort.

I now know from where all the crystals that I have received from you have come....

Thanks again and please take care....

Best Regards,

Jerry
 
Posts: 2860 | Location: Chino, California in the USA | Registered: June 23, 2008
Picture of Richard Romero
posted
William,

It was a pleasure to visit you and personally see you make and fit crystals. I learned a lot about the process and am amazed at your skill and talent. I am glad I brought all my Hamilton 992/992B's because after seeing the first crystal installed I realized it was time for many of the watches to get new glass. You ended up installing nine crystals with two different thicknesses of beveled glass and two different thicknesses of the Mi-Chevee style. Also, the custom thick beveled glass installed on the Burlington Bulldog make it burly as it supposed to be. The watches are so much nicer now that the dials are clearly visible and the different styles of crystal accentuate the cases.

Your collection of watches and clocks are simply fascinating. You showed me timepieces I've never seen and I appreciate horology more now than ever. Your past as a watchmaker and your inventions are inspiring. The pride you take in what you do is very apparent.

This presentation is very educational and I feel so lucky I live close by and could see it first hand. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your crystals on my watches in the future.

Thanks again,
RR
 
Posts: 1425 | Location: Fremont, California in the USA | Registered: February 06, 2010
Picture of Michael O'Brien
posted
William,

Great post. Thanks for sharing.

Mike
 
Posts: 155 | Location: Michigan in the USA | Registered: April 13, 2009
Picture of Bruce Cunha
posted
Impressive William. I love how you made your own machines.

I would have guessed that you were using similar machinery as they do for making eye glasses.
We had a facility in our medical clinic for a number of years. They have round glass blanks that is attached to a soft metal base. This goes into a chuck and a computer program then lathes the glass to the exact size needed for the frame and also puts the correct prescription into it.
 
Posts: 83 | Location: Central Wisconsin in the USA | Registered: December 26, 2008
IHC Life Member
Picture of William D. White
posted
Mr Romero,

It was a great pleasure having you here at White's Crystal MFG and you're welcome back at any time. It was my pleasure. Smile ....and that goes for any one else who cares to visit.

Thanks for your kind comments Richard.

William
 
Posts: 1529 | Location: San Francisco, California USA | Registered: September 01, 2008
IHC Life Member
Picture of William D. White
posted
Bruce,

The possibility of using eyeglass machinery to make watch crystals comes up quite often and I've explored it extensively in the past. The problem is partly the expense for a good unit and mainly for my application, limited functionality; I needed a machine that would accurately grind glass blanks to .01mm tolerance of diameter and eyeglass edging equipment is just not designed to meet those tolerances. On top of that, I do only circles. For this purpose, a new machine had to be built because nothing else on the market, whether used or new and regardless of price met my exact needs. The machine that I ended up with as the result of 2 years of thinking and a few months of building works extremely well.

Try some White's Crystals today! Smile

William
 
Posts: 1529 | Location: San Francisco, California USA | Registered: September 01, 2008
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
Today, I received another 40 piece crystal order from William White and had to re-open this for our newer members to read, see and appreciate the very high "PLUS" value of belonging to our IHC185 that includes the extraordinary mechanical genius of William White making these extra fine crystals. I must add that William's sent a couple sample new "High Dome" types. Again he has raised dthe bar to how well we can restore these fine antiques timepieces requiring domed design crystals.

 
Posts: 6532 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
posted
This article really warrants being made a permanent topic, but for Davids timely post I would not have found it for sure.

A wonderful example of dedication and invention.
 
Posts: 100 | Location: Surrey in the United Kingdom | Registered: June 01, 2011
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