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I'm thinking of buying a timegrapher as an educational tool. Since I am not a watchmaker it's only purpose will be to check the accuracy of my watches. Anyone else have one? Does owning one lead to OCD-like behavior? And are there good brands or sources where these can be bought in case I decide to do so? Preferably in the EU-zone?

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I'm thinking of buying a timegrapher as an educational tool. Since I am not a watchmaker it's only purpose will be to check the accuracy of my watches. Anyone else have one? Does owning one lead to OCD-like behavior? And are there good brands or sources where these can be bought in case I decide to do so? Preferably in the EU-zone?
I have a the cheap standard "Timegrapher No. 1000" and it was worth every cent I paid (150€ or so). You can do far more than checking the accuracy. The biggest advantage is that you can check for positional variances and the balance amplitude within minutes, so you can instantly say if a movement is healthy or acts up weirdly. For people like me who regularly buy used watches or grey market watch I could possibly return, that's a huge benefit.

Or rather, I'm surprised that so few watch enthusisast seem to have one. To me, that's like dealing with used cars, but never being able to hear the motor, check the oil level, breaks or tire condition. You can tell if it runs or not, but you couldn't say anything about even the most basic maintenance data.

As for the OCD-like behavior, people on WUS achieve that perfectly well without having a timegrapher.. ;-) Those two things are not related.
 

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I have a the cheap standard "Timegrapher No. 1000" and it was worth every cent I paid (150€ or so). You can do far more than checking the accuracy. The biggest advantage is that you can check for positional variances and the balance amplitude within minutes, so you can instantly say if a movement is healthy or acts up weirdly. For people like me who regularly buy used watches or grey market watch I could possibly return, that's a huge benefit.

Or rather, I'm surprised that so few watch enthusisast seem to have one. To me, that's like dealing with used cars, but never being able to hear the motor, check the oil level, breaks or tire condition. You can tell if it runs or not, but you couldn't say anything about even the most basic maintenance data.

As for the OCD-like behavior, people on WUS achieve that perfectly well without having a timegrapher.. ;-) Those two things are not related.
I was thinking about buying one but concerned because it looked really cheap. You seem to be happy with it though and I've yet to hear about one of them breaking when turning positions. It just has that crap plastic look that's put me off for a bit.


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The standard is the “No. 1000” which is most common amongst amateurs. They’re sold under a host of different brand names but, near as I can tell, they’re all the same.

Yes, it can cause watch-OCD. For this reason I don’t necessarily recommend buying one unless you feel comfortable tinkering with the insides of your watches. Yes, it scratches the curiosity itch, but the best method of determining how well your watch is performing is to wear it. If you start slapping watches on a timegrapher then you’ll start finding “problems” you didn’t know existed, which could ruin your enjoyment of them.


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I own one and use it for reference purposes. At least I know where my watches are and if one starts keeping bad time I can check it. I can tell you that I took it to a high end watch retailer and put some 250k watches on there and there were sub 1k watches that performed better.
 

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Not having a timegrapher can't really be compared to taking care of your car--it would be more akin to driving a car and ignoring the rattling sound you hear, or thumping (from one flat tire)--all a timegrapher does, for a non-watch maker as mentioned in the OP, is tell you, in essence, how accurate your watch is (whether it is running right, or not)--the additional information, for the non-watch maker isn't really going to be of much use. And, if all you need to do is monitor the accuracy of your watch, as many of us do, we can use the atomic clock online on a consistent basis, or any one of many online apps for a whole lot less money, and will still get the basic idea of the health of the watch--whether it's running right or not--for the non-watch maker.
 

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Unless you acquire proper tools and some sort of instruction on how to adjust your movements I don't know what having one and reading watches would accomplish. Someone did mention positional variances, this is good to know when you are going to remove a watch and rest it on a nightstand while sleeping. By reading the performance you can decide how to place the watch when not in use. They will often gain or lose enough time in an 8 hour period to keep them running on correct time. If knowing is all that you want then by all means get one. If you were to decide to get adventuresome just understand that even opening a watches case is a finesse job and only you know if you are capable of fine finesse type procedures.

Be sure this is an expense you won't miss the funds from. I say that because once you know where the watches are running and or have adjusted them you'll have no further use unless a watch acts up. I haven't used mine in over a year, no worries because they don't need to be fed or watered.
 

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the additional information, for the non-watch maker isn't really going to be of much use.
I disagree. You really don't need a watchmaker's experience to set the correct lift angle and see if the movement does 290° of amplitude, which would be good, as you can easily read up, or only 170°, which would be a movement desperately longing for a service. Bear in mind, that watch might still have a very good accuracy on the wrist, even in this condition.

Beat rate, amplitude and beat error together in the different positions give you a very good impression. Most people on this forum will have a fairly new watch with a standard Eta movement or a cheap Miyota 8215 to see what's normal in what price range and what isn't. It really doesn't take long to learn interpreting the timegrapher data. But a single grey market purchase you return because there's something fishy with the movement, and you can tell without removing any stickers, makes up for the grapher's price completely.

It also helps to sell watches for a good price when you can add a picture showing the actual beat rate on the display. So I'm really happy to have one, and it was a much more sensible investment than any watch I ever bought.. ;-)
 

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I would add that the 1900 can be had for maybe $40 more. You get a larger color screen (entrance and exit stone marks with different colors), and a digital filter (I've read). It works on co-axials and can autodetect the rate, which I hear can be helpful on a really badly adjusted watch.

Here's a shot of mine on my Breitling Galactic 44.

Timegrapher2.jpg

You can't see the entrance and exit marks because this watch is F*ing perfect!

(Oh, the amplitude is low cuz I yanked it out of the roll, gave it a few turns and put it on the TG, so not quite perfect, but close).
 

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I sell vintage watches now and then. I'm certainly no expert but you get a very good idea of the watch condition and can help predict future problems or needed maintenence. Worth every penny. About $100. Plus when you have a peachy vintage it's very satisfying to see it running +/- 10 seconds a day.
 

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Any of the Chinese Weishi timegraphers work very well, they're cheap new.
Bear in mind that the trace and results they show aren't an absolute as you need to average positions and then figure out how you wear your watch and the positions it's most likely to run in.
When I service a watch I typically test in 3 positions unless it's a certified chronometer in which case 6.
 

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I was like you about 8 months ago when I bought my first one. I love it and YES, you will become OCD. What I have found, in general, from using it and reading about the results in publications, on wrist daily rate will be about 50% SLOWER than that recorded on the machine. So what happens when your machine averages "0" over the 5 positions, since .5X0=0? We wish. On wrist, your watch will probably be in the "-".

Have fun, heb
 

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I recently bought a 1900 model and love it. My watches are normally stored with the 6 down (facing sideways) for a few days at a time, so I was able to set all my rates to around -1 +2 to 0 +3 per day when in this specific position. This made me much happier since previously my watches were on average anywhere from -1 to +16. Having to reset my watches every week because at least one of them was off by two minutes bugged the heck out of me. I just like to grab and go, and being off 2 minutes per week (4 mins every couple weeks, etc) for a timing device was atrocious (to me). Now i'll be closer to resetting once a month, if that :)

Also, because these toys are delicate and I'm not a watchmaker, I don't think I'm going to get OCD over it. These aren't cheap toys and I don't want to open/close/adjust/open/close/adjust so many times that I do major damage. There's a certain amount of care and inherent fear every time I grab any of those tools...
 

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I sell vintage watches now and then. I'm certainly no expert but you get a very good idea of the watch condition and can help predict future problems or needed maintenence. Worth every penny. About $100. Plus when you have a peachy vintage it's very satisfying to see it running +/- 10 seconds a day.
That's got to make you feel warm-n-fuzzy inside!!

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If it's a reasonable price and stays accurate this could be a very valuable tool

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I disagree. You really don't need a watchmaker's experience to set the correct lift angle and see if the movement does 290° of amplitude, which would be good, as you can easily read up, or only 170°, which would be a movement desperately longing for a service. Bear in mind, that watch might still have a very good accuracy on the wrist, even in this condition.

Beat rate, amplitude and beat error together in the different positions give you a very good impression. Most people on this forum will have a fairly new watch with a standard Eta movement or a cheap Miyota 8215 to see what's normal in what price range and what isn't. It really doesn't take long to learn interpreting the timegrapher data. But a single grey market purchase you return because there's something fishy with the movement, and you can tell without removing any stickers, makes up for the grapher's price completely.

It also helps to sell watches for a good price when you can add a picture showing the actual beat rate on the display. So I'm really happy to have one, and it was a much more sensible investment than any watch I ever bought.. ;-)
Excellent advice...thanks you made up my mind. They don't cost much either.
 
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