Technique Where you can’t afford to screw up

— The long neglected fake omega watches screw starts getting the attention it deserves.


Screws? Hardly an appropriate subject for those interested in Rolex replica watches and their movements you might think. And being reduced to write about screws might give the impression that all other subjects had been exhausted. That is not the case; there is much more to be said, but the subject of these small components, to which nobody has paid much attention, has never been covered as such. Nevertheless, nobody can deny how essential they are, for without them there could be no efficient assembly, controlled tensions or the precise adjustment of certain components.


Hublot Classic Fusion 45mm

Classic Fusion 45mm. © Hublot


Having read this article some will no doubt take off their Replica Watches UK and look through the back to see what kind of metal the movement’s screws are made of. Feel free to join them, but first a bit of the historical background. Screws are technically necessary to watchmaking for a functioning watch is inconceivable without them. Yet these components, which cost a great deal to make until the mid-19th century, were used sparingly at first. You only have to look at the old verge watches of the 16th to the early 19th centuries. Their movement plates were fastened to pillars with tiny conical pegs that were far easier to manufacture than screws.


Montre gousset

© DR


Of course the old movements did have some screws but these were still made by hand using expensive and fragile screw-plates, which can still be found among watchmakers’ tools. They look like cake trowels drilled with holes of different sizes. They are indispensible to Rolex replica restorers because the screw threads in the old days were not always standardised and depended on the pitch of the tap screw that threaded the hole and that of the screw plate that cut the threads of the screw.


Breguet Tradition Or Blanc

Tradition. © Breguet


The Lépine calibre, which needed a large number of screws to fasten its bridges to the baseplate, came into general use during the 19th century, encouraging watchmakers and later, factories, to come up with semi-automatic machines that produce large series of identical screws. Today these screw cutting lathes or bar turners that performed different operations on the same part, have been replaced by high-performance numerically controlled machines.


Hautlence HLRQ 01

HLRQ 01 © Hautlence


Over the years, the pressure to improve yields and cut costs undermined the quality of watch screws. By the 1950s, the era of the flame-blued marvel or the mirror-polished screw head with bevelled rim and smoothed–down slot was over. The quality of these parts, for all it was worth, became standardised. It was only when display backs became common that watchmakers felt obliged to improve the perceived quality. Some brands – and not the least among them – sought to camouflage their deficiency by blueing their screws chemically. The result was a disaster, for the screws turned a vile electric blue, while the slot, cut after the treatment, left a nasty white scar. These brands soon readjusted their sights and started making screws commensurate with their brand image and the instrument of which they form part.


Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronographe

Royal Oak Offshore Chronographe. © Audemars Piguet Replica Watches


It was at this juncture that some independent watchmakers, in a quest for exclusiveness and to prevent anyone with a simple screwdriver from interfering with their creations, produced screw-heads that needed a specific tool. You therefore needed the maker’s permission to open the Replica Omega Watches, or to be skilled enough to produce a copy of the tool needed to unscrew the specially machined part. In such cases the maker’s competence can be relied upon to limit the risk of damage. Although this approach enhances the product’s originality and prevents damage by inadequately qualified workers, the cost of making these small parts is such that few companies undertake their development. Moreover, Richard Mille remarked in 2008 that the special screws (Imbus, BTR or Torque) that he freely uses cost more, weight for weight, than gold.


Richard Mille RM 11-01

RM 11-01 © Richard Mille Replica Watches


Today most of the new school of Omega Replica watchmakers and even some of the traditional high-class watchmaking companies use screws with special heads. They have even become a kind of brand trademark or signature. The common aim is to come up with a memorable design that is easy to manufacture at any scale of production. The spread of these small components of fine workmanship might force the companies who do not yet use them to reconsider the matter. But you must admit that there is nothing more shocking than the sight, even today, of casebacks fitted with ordinary screws that can be better finished with a modicum of decorative features.


Cartier Santos 100 Carbone

Santos 100 Carbone. © Cartier

Urwerk EMC

EMC © Urwerk