Today, we welcome Nick Manousos to Fratellowatches.com. Scratch is a watchmaker, author, and the current head of the Horological Society of New York.
Rob Nudds: Hi Nick, much obliged for plunking down with us at Fratellowatches.com. As head of the HSNY you should get asked this a great deal, however would you mind revealing to me where your watchmaking venture began?
Nick Manousos: Hi Rob, much obliged for thinking about the Horological Society of New York ! My watchmaking venture started in 2010. I was living in San Francisco and working in the tech business as a software engineer. I had an extraordinary work yet was starting to understand that I would not like to go through my time on earth composing code and building websites.
My spouse urged me to consider different prospects outside of the tech business. Before long, I was on a trip to Miami to interview at the Swatch Group’s Nicolas G. Hayek Watchmaking School. Subsequent to meeting my future educator, Paul Madden, I knew that watchmaking was what I needed to do. I got back to San Francisco, began pressing, and we moved to Miami. The rest is history!
RN: How have you discovered working for Hodinkee? That more likely than not presented you to a ton of truly fascinating individuals and topics?
NM: I actually compose for Hodinkee, yet on low maintenance premise. I recall the first occasion when I met Ben Clymer and Stephen Pulvirent back in 2014. I had recently completed work on my 3D printed “Tourbillon 1000%”, a scale model of the instrument with a co-hub escapement, and carried it to their office for photography and an interview.
After the article distributed I stayed in contact with Ben, and before long joined the Hodinkee group on a full-time premise as Technical Editor. I’m unbelievably glad for the Hodinkee group and what they have accomplished. I recollect when I joined the group, there were four workers. Presently, Hodinkee utilizes in excess of 50 individuals and is proceeding to develop and innovate.
RN: What parts of horology appeal to you the most? Are you more inspired by the specialized side of things, the tasteful, the philosophical, or something else?
NM: Definitely the specialized side of things, explicitly escapements. During New York’s isolate, I constructed a Fasoldt co-hub escapement for a wristwatch development. The way that you can pose this inquiry demonstrates how expansive a field horology is. Regardless of what someone’s individual interest is, there is something in horology for them. George Daniels often depicted the different characteristics of watches — they are recorded, scholarly, specialized, tasteful, helpful, and entertaining. I don’t think there are numerous different articles on the planet that can flaunt every one of these characteristics in a single compact package.
RN: Working at the HSNY should carry you into contact with the best watchmakers of this age. Whose work intrigues you most and why?
NM: The watchmakers that appeal to me are those that are pushing things forward from a specialized viewpoint. I appreciate fine completing, uncommon dials, and superstar diplomats, however seeing a brand put genuine exertion towards new specialized arrangements arouses my curiosity most. I’m sure you will see that I am not naming a particular watchmakers…
A enormous piece of the motivation behind why the Horological Society of New York has been so fruitful over its 154-year history is that it has consistently existed as an unbiased association. Today, is an enlisted 501(c)(3) non-profit, with a mission to teach the general population on horology. So as you can figure, I need to move toward questions like this from an impartial viewpoint and we genuinely feel there is space for everybody in the business.
RN: Of the relative multitude of extraordinary instructors you’ve had go through your entryways, which three truly stick out and why?
NM: In March 2020, François-Paul Journe addressed. This was an essential evening, as it was just seven days before New York’s isolate began. The news was beginning to become concerning, and I was anxious to check whether anybody would appear. We had perhaps the biggest talk in current history, with in excess of 200 individuals in participation. It will be some time until we can do a huge in-person address like that again.
In December 2017, Roger W. Smith addressed. That evening stands-apart to me because of the huge number of watchmaking understudies that were in participation. Practically the entirety of the understudies from the Patek Philippe School in New York were there, just as the Rolex Lititz Watch Technicum. I welcomed the understudies in my introductory statements and urging them to apply for our grant program. After the talk, a participant chose to namelessly give $100,000, quickly quadrupling our grant offerings.
In November 2016, Dr. Demetrios Matsakis, the Chief Scientist for Time Services at the U.S. Maritime Observatory addressed. I delighted in this talk without a doubt, as Dr. Matsakis talked about the idea of time from a physical science point of view. Most of HSNY’s addresses today center around mechanical watches, yet it is ideal to take a redirection from this now and again. All things considered, the name is the Horological Society of New York, and not the Wristwatch Society of New York.
RN: When was the last time you gained some new useful knowledge about horology?
NM: Recently, I found out about Benjamin Banneker’s commitment to early American horology. I knew of Banneker previously however didn’t know about his clockmaking work. Banneker assembled one of the main wooden mechanical checks in North America in 1753. This clock was designed according to an imported pocket watch that he dismantled and considered. Today, Banneker is regarded with numerous schools, roads, sporting and social offices named after him. Additionally, in 1980, the US Postal Service respected Banneker with a postage stamp. I trust that the Horological Society of New York can plan something for honor Banneker’s fantastic life in the future.
RN: what number of the books in HSNY’s broad library have you read?
NM: Plenty, however insufficient! When managing a particularly old association, we’re joyfully entrusted with ensuring our Society stays consistent with its main goal to propel the workmanship and study of horology through schooling. We’ve as of late embraced a significant undertaking to build up our library to help our central goal, and we anticipate sharing significant declarations in 2021.
RN: What sort of watch gets you excited?
NM: Vintage American pocket watches are especially interesting to me. The completing on these watches is inconceivable; they display an exceptionally particular style that isn’t seen often somewhere else. I truly appreciate discovering American pocket watches on eBay, maybe not in running condition, and resurrecting them. Seeing a huge bi-metallic split equilibrium start to sway at a relaxed 18,000 vibrations each hour is fulfilling. Also, maybe the best piece: they are amazingly underpriced!
RN: What are you wearing right now?
NM: Apple Watch Series 6.
RN: If you could go back as expected and work with any watchmaker from history, who might it be? What’s more, you must arrangement with the legislative issues of the day as well, so spending time with Czapek probably won’t be the most secure option…
NM: George Daniels. Daniels’ life and work have been a colossal effect on me. I was at watchmaking school in Miami on October 21, 2011, when our teacher revealed to us the news of his passing. I trust that he would be content with the work that HSNY is doing today to advance watchmaking education.
RN: Does HSNY have any designs to deliver its own watch?
NM: We are chipping away at approaches to offer our individuals an additional involved involvement in HSNY — stay tuned!
RN: If you were beginning your own image (a la MB&F) and you needed to collect a super-group of watchmakers/architects/engineers, who might you draft in to help you? You can pick whoever you need for whatever task. For instance, you may have Roger Smith making the dials, Sarpeneva making the hands, Forsey making the tourbillon, Journe presenting the defense, thus on…
NM: I will utilize an American viewpoint to respond to this incredible inquiry! For the dials, Joshua Shapiro. For the plan, Aldis Hodge. I’d take David Walter and Roland Murphy for the development. For the case, Ian Schon. Furthermore, for the completing, Keaton Myrick.
RN: Has your advantage in watchmaking transformed you personally? Does it make you take a gander at things in an alternate way?
NM: Absolutely, it has made me be more circumspect of time. Time is the common denominator for us every one of us, matter what your identity is or where you reside. In my past vocation in the tech business, the emphasis was on the present moment. What new component will we dispatch tomorrow? What bug would we be able to fix today? In watchmaking, the emphasis on the drawn out feels significantly more loose and furthermore economical. A model: at a new HSNY executive gathering, we were examining objectives for the HSNY’s 200th commemoration, in 2066. The greater part of us at that gathering will probably not be around for this commemoration, however that doesn’t prevent us from making arrangements for it now.
RN: Why do you think watchmaking is important?
NM: Watchmaking is significant in light of the fact that time is our most valuable commodity. Past the philosophical parts of watchmaking, it is just an extraordinary profession! I would positively energize anybody considering a vocation change to watchmaking to let it all out — you won’t lament it.