Monthly Archives: December 2016

How Nerds Learn

By Marc|December 8, 2016|Life|

How many times have you taken your watch in for a new battery or cleaning—maybe some major repair. You end up paying a lot for the service. I presume that it takes a certain skill and years of training to work on timepieces, so why not try my hand at it. I am pretty handy with technical things. Some would say I have a gift. Recently, I decided to take apart my automatic watch to see how it ticks, literally. The technology in these newer watches is fascinating. I will no doubt progress by trial and error. I bought the best watch repair kit in the store so I would be sure to have all the right tools. Not having done this before, I didn’t want to be caught by surprise and have to rush out and buy the correct implement. When I get into a project, I like to run with it until it is done. My goal was simply to understand the mechanisms behind a quality watch. This is how nerds learn.

My brother wanted to watch this event. He was curious to see if I would succeed. I heard through the grapevine that he even placed a bet with friends that I wouldn’t get far. I should consider that rather insulting; after all, I am known for my mechanical mind. I am a computer programming whiz and can solve most any software problem. If you want a custom program, you’ve got it. I wanted to ban my brother from the premises but finally decided to let him in. He sat quietly as all the pieces of my automatic watch were displayed on the kitchen table. I had a lot of room to work. I would let him know when his presence became annoying. Many hours passed from morning into night. I was enjoying the challenge and was not about to stop. My brother ran out for some dinner and left me to my task.

The deluxe watch repair kit lived up to its name. It was easy to dissemble the watch, but I knew it would be harder to put back together. The tiniest parts were begging to be relocated. I considered it to be a kind of puzzle, but I have a great memory and knew where everything would go. I observed what piece lay next to another and how the watch was deemed automatic as there was no winding mechanism or battery. It was a sort of mystery at first that yielded an immediate resolution. I think I had got it even before my brother returned, so we celebrated over take-out Chinese food. He had been skeptical but I had turned his thinking around. He couldn’t tell how the watch work himself, but he took my word for it. He was impressed enough to say that he wanted an automatic watch. Okay, now I know what to give him for his next birthday. It will be a welcome surprise.