Dan Read28 October 2013

Welcome to Top Gear's Guide to Watches

Where the sands of time meet the wheels of motion...

The image above shows the toolkit you'd need to assemble a mechanical wristwatch. It's not all that different to one you'd roll up under the seat of a motorcycle. Of course, the screwdriver tips are much smaller than anything you'd use to adjust a carburettor. But, generally speaking, it's the same stuff, only shrunken and sharpened to become as precise as possible. It's mechanical engineering meets open-heart surgery. And it's just one of the reasons why, if you have a thing for cars, you probably care about what's under the face of your watch.

After all, a mechanical watch movement is just a set of gears and springs. It's an engine. And like an engine, it requires oil and grease in order to run smoothly. With the tools you see on this page, it's not only possible to build a watch, but also to keep it ticking with a regular service. You could do this yourself, but after our trip to British watchmaker Bremont, we suggest you leave it to the pros. Introduce a speck of dust, for example, and it'll act like a stone in a gearbox. Then you'll be late to the pub.

In this, Top Gear's second Guide to Watches, you'll find many other reasons why the thing on your wrist - the thing that some dismiss as merely a way of telling time - is as important as the thing on your driveway. Of course, it's not all about the old-school stuff. There are shiny new watches too. And a guide to all the different ways hands are driven around a dial. Plus we'll be posting some tips and wisdom from the one and only Mr James May, including his excellent guide to measuring miles per hour using your watch. Try it yourself. And enjoy the site...

 

Now share it...

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear's code of conduct (link below) before posting.