The Internet Craftsmanship Museum Presents:

Roger L. Ronnie

Joe Martin Foundation "Metalworking Craftsman of the Year" award winner for 2004

Watch and Clock Making Tools

Roger's Verge Twister demonstrates both his skill as a watch tool maker and as an engraver. (Click on photo for larger image.)

Roger Ronnie first became know to us as an engraver and maker of reproductions of fine watch and clock making tools. Below are a number of samples of his work in this area.

Photos of Roger Ronnie's Watch and Clock Tool Projects:

(Click photos for larger images.)

Fusee engine—The main purpose of this tool is to make a fusee, which is a spiral cone in an early pocket watch. The fusee was used in conjunction with a very small chain that was wrapped around the mainspring barrel. The purpose of the fusee was to even out the power of the mainspring. There is also an attachment that cuts a small groove in the fusee to make a place for the chain to attach. This type of tool was originally made until 1800. The fusee engine was entered in the  NAWCC international crafts show in 1998. It took first place in the tools category and it also took first place in the engraving category. It is also the first watch tool to be featured on the cover of the NWACC (National Watch and Clock Collectors) Journal.
Wheel cutting engine—This tool cuts the teeth for gears in a pocket watch. It was made with two different cutting heads. One cuts straight down and the other cuts in an arch. The head that cuts in an arch, can also be adjusted so it cuts at an angle. This was for special teeth in an escapement wheel for a verge style balance staff. This machine was made completely from photos of original engines from the mid-1800’s.
Dial machine—This was also made from a photo of an original, Circa 1790.  This is a French style tool. These were used to mark the seconds and minutes on the face and to lay out the roman numerals for the hours that were used at the time. When all the marks were done, the upper arm was lifted up. The dial was not touched, for fear that a smudge would be made. The spoked wheel under the dial was lifted up and the entire piece was placed in an oven to bake the enamel. After baking, the dial could be safely handled.


Verge twister machine—In pocket watches made before1800, a common type of escapement was called a “verge.” When making a verge, which looks like a pole with a flag at each end, the flags, or more correctly, the pallets, are on the same side. This piece has to be twisted so the pallets are about 100 degrees apart. This tool was used to twist the part to the exact degree you wish to use. It can also be used to check the number of degrees in an original if a new one needs to be built. This was also built from just a photo of an original. The first photo shows the completed machine before engraving and the next one shows the completed, engraved machine. The dial indicates the number of degrees of twist. The final two photos show details of the engraving on the dial (the penny is for size reference) and the jaws that grip the verge.

The final black and white photo shows one of the original photos Roger worked from in order to make his version of the Verge Twister. Few originals would have been highly engraved like his version.

Oiler—After a watch is built or cleaned, it must be oiled. All this tool does is to hold a little oil cup with a drop of oil in the cup. A gold rod was dipped into the oil so a very small amount of oil could be picked up and placed on a pivot in a watch. Gold rod was used because only a very small amount of oil would stick to the gold. This was built from a photo of original but the quality was poor on the original. This one is much more ornate.
Roger's Verge Twister and Oiler are now on display at the Craftsmanship Museum in Vista, CA. Come by and examine the quality of his work in person.
All engraved designs shown are copyrighted by Roger Ronnie and may not be copied or reproduced in any form without written permission.


horizontal rule

New Submissions Welcomed

If you have additional information on a project or builder shown on this site that your would like to contribute, please e-mail We also welcome new contributions. Please see our page at for a submission form and guidelines for submitting descriptive copy and photos for a new project.

horizontal rule

This section is sponsored by

Makers of precision miniature machine tools and accessories. Sherline tools are made in the USA.

Sherline is proud to confirm that Roger Ronnie uses Sherline tools in the production of some of his small projects.

To learn how your company or organization can sponsor a section in the Craftsmanship Museum, please contact


Copyright 2009, The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship. All rights reserved.
 No part of this web site, including the text, photos or illustrations, may be reproduced or transmitted in any other form or by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording or otherwise) for commercial use without the prior written permission of The Joe Martin Foundation. Reproduction or reuse for educational and non-commercial use is permitted.