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Vernier Moiré Wristwatch

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I collect watches (don't ask).

A few companies have produced one-handed watches from time to time. These are normal watches, but they lack the minute and second hands. They're a little strange at first, but in fact you can read the time quite accurately, simply by using the hour hand.

I think it would be cool (OK, "cool" is not the word. "Mildly interesting" or "possible" is probably closer) to make a single-handed watch with a Vernier Moiré dial and a single (hour) hand.

The minute-markers around the periphery of the dial would be closely spaced (in fact, one line for every 10 seconds). The single hand would have, at its end, a small transparent paddle marked with lines (running radially) at a spacing corresponding to one every 9 seconds.

As the hour hand moves, you would read the time to the nearest 5 minute interval in the usual way (from the position of the hand). But, as the hand moved, a Vernier or Moiré pattern would sweep slowly across the little paddle. From the position of this pattern on the paddle, you'd be able to read the time down to the last minute or better.

This would need the hour hand to be well fitted, to leave only a small gap between the paddle and the dial, otherwise parallax would affect your reading of the time.

There are other possibilities, of course. For example, if the hour hand were replaced with a transparent plastic disc, and if suitably spaced radial lines were engraved on the dial and the disc, you could create three concentric Moiré patterns which behaved like the hour, minute and second hands of a normal watch.

MaxwellBuchanan, May 04 2012

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       // I collect watches (don't ask). //   

       Strictly speaking, not letting people leave your property until they have "donated" their watch (and all other personal jewelry, money and possessions) is not in the strict sense of the word "collecting", unless you're a sovereign government; it's more usually referred to as "theft", "extortion", "demanding goods with menaces" or "daylight robbery" (the latter being transmutable to "twilight robbery" or "night-time robbery" depending on the hour when it is committed).   

       Ah, we see now where your confusion has arisen ...   

       Do you remember your old Tutor ever mentioning to you (before Sturton strangled him with one of the straps of his own straitjacket) anything called "morals" or "ethics" ? Ring any bells ?   

       (No, not the one you ring when you're bored and want three young virgins from the local village to come and "amuse" you).
8th of 7, May 04 2012
  

       The Jules Vernier Moire Watch, pressure-tested to 20,000 leagues.
UnaBubba, May 04 2012
  

       //"morals" or "ethics" ? Ring any bells ?//   

       Morality? Ethics? How remarkably vulgar.   

       But, I am indebtinated to [bigsleep] for the links, and I see that this idea is baked in all of its permutations.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 04 2012
  
      
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