There’s never been a better time for reform!

 

Reform catalogue, c.1950

Reform catalogue, c.1950

 

A gauntlet has been laid down. Across Europe, thoughtful people are busy working up ingenious ideas for a competition devised over an extraordinary April weekend in southern Germany. Each year, several dozen of the electro-horo-cognoscenti gather in Mannheim-Seckenheim for an event organised by Till Lottermann and Dr Thomas Schraven. The fifteenth of these gatherings—a combination of market, lectures and much eating, drinking and good conversation—saw a new visitor who brought many interesting items, not least several hundred new-old-stock Reform movements, tissue-wrapped and boxed.

Lottermann, Schraven and Nye, Mannheim workshops (April 2014)

Lottermann, Schraven and Nye, Mannheim workshops (April 2014)

 

Alert readers will recall an Antiquarian Horology cover featuring a classic example of the Reform calibre 5000 movement, and a fascinating accompanying article. As David Read comments, these Schild movements are ‘without doubt the best known and most commercially successful of all the many varieties of electrically-rewound clock movements’ from the 1920s onwards. The calibre 5000 is a lovely object, jewelled, with damascened plates, and micrometer regulation.

Antiquarian Horology, vol. 33, Dec 2011 (cover)

Antiquarian Horology, vol. 33, Dec 2011 (cover)

Movement detail, catalogue, c.1950

Movement detail, catalogue, c.1950

Nye’s theorem proposes that hi=as*bc/ebw where hi stands for horological inventiveness, as represents afternoon hours of sunshine, bc denotes beers consumed and ebw stands for evening bottles of wine. With a lively group, talk over two sunny days and late evenings turned to possible creative uses for virgin Reform movements. Given their looks, the mechanism must remain visible, but the motion work is to the (unremarkable) reverse. This led to discussions of projection clocks, or elaborate gearing to present time in the same plane as the movement, but to one side. There was even intriguing talk of a large scale tourbillon. More detail than this presently remains closely held, but a competition to determine the best use was announced, to be decided in Mannheim in April 2015. Reform is the order of the day.

Typical uses, Reform catalogue, c.1950

Typical uses, Reform catalogue, c.1950

 

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4 Responses to There’s never been a better time for reform!

  1. Thomas Schraven says:

    James,
    thanks for this nice pages I discovered just now. The preparation of the 2015 Mannheim electric clock has started and the reforms can go on. I have a plenty of reform plans but they will be a surprise.

    My best wishes to all friends of electric horology
    Thomas

  2. James Nye says:

    Thomas,

    Very glad to hear your reform plans are fast being developed. Mannheim 2015 will prove to be eventful! Looking forward to it,

    Cheers

    James

  3. Frank Dunkel says:

    I have a plan to build a surprising plan for a “new” Reform too. Now I must take the saw and file to make it.

    Frank

  4. Justin K says:

    Well done all! I have to say that there is a revisionist idea about your formula, James: Martin Foster has often testified about how his spark of horological inventiveness has INCREASED after a glass or two of “good red”. Now, what with him being in Australia, I don’t really know if “good red” is the stuff he brings back with him from Europe, or if its the local stuff he’s referring to, but the point is that your formula suggests a reduced ‘hi’ as the denominator ‘ebw’ rises, whereas there is evidence to the contrary. Perhaps there should be a Southern Hemisphere Corollary, where the scaling effect of ebw is somehow reduced? x/0.3ebw perhaps?

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