WAR DEPARTMENT TECHNICAL MANUAL TM 9-1575, 6 April 1945
A while ago I managed to come across this Adobe .pdf version of the old WWII-era United States War Department technical manual for watch service and repair. I decided to post it up to my website to share.
Aside from the novelty of reading an actual period manual and the excellent historical reference information for military watch and timepiece collectors, TM 9-1575 also serves as an outstanding overall guide to the operation and repair of mechanical timepieces. There are many images and diagrams meant to elucidate the intricacies of watches to the would-be watchmaker. Even more helpful to us laypersons is that in the expected military fashion the text is written in simple language for clarity’s sake (even most modern Army manuals are written at an 8th grade level for just this reason!).
It won’t make you a watchmaker in one sitting, but I really haven’t seen anything else that covers the basics of watch movement theory and elementary repair quite so concisely. My understanding is that the manual itself was even used as an introductory text in many vocational watchmaking courses in the postwar era for just this reason.
For those interested, vintage hard copies can often be found on eBay and other online outlets fairly inexpensively; I bought one a few years back for only about $30.