The balance wheel, the critical regulatory organ of a mechanical watch, is expected to deliver a consistent frequency with a tolerance of as little as 0.001 percent. With so much at stake, why complicate things by altering a pure and simple geometric shape? Why reinvent the wheel? Well, here are five balances that definitely did reinvent the wheel.
Today’s high-end automata beautifully illustrate that extraordinary engineering can be combined with impressive artistic crafts to wonderful ends. But even in the highest quality examples, the principles of what drives automata are largely the same as they have been for centuries because most are based on very straightforward mechanical principles to create motion. Everything you ever wanted to know about automata is right here.
Marketing material for the modern mechanical watch almost always includes a description of the the movement’s frequency. You may have even sensed that the higher the frequency, the more accurate a movement gets. But is this entirely true? Find out here.
Hairsprings are miniscule. Generally no more than one centimeter in overall diameter when coiled, they are roughly 50 microns thick and 150 microns wide. Tiny they may be, but insignificant they are not. In fact, they are so significant that Rolex refers to them as “the guardians of time.” But what do silicon hairsprings bring to the table? Watchmaker Ashton Tracy explains why he went from skeptic to fan.
Humans have long had a fascination with the depths of the ocean, striving to go ever deeper, ever further, and ever faster by pushing the limits of the human body, technology, and advancing modern science. But like all things, we are often faced with limits. And the helium escape valve was invented to push one of those limits as watchmaker Ashton Tracy explains.
Does anyone really care how many jewels their watch has? Watchmaker Ashton Tracy thinks that you’d be surprised how many people do as they’ve been duped by a vintage practice of announcing the amount of movement jewels on watch dials. What is the real story here?
Chris Malburg highlights some of the finest examples of perpetual calendar watches today and dives into their history.
Waxing poetically about moon phases got Joshua excited enough to take a trip through certain “phases” of engineering excellence. So here he brings you the ten most accurate moon phase displays fitted into a wristwatch as of 2020. Join us on this odyssey through space and time.
Our friends at The Watches TV visited Laurent Jolliet, the last “chain maker” in business in Switzerland according to Marc André Deschoux. As Jolliet crafts his bracelets and chains fully by hand, Deschoux and crew were able to find out in detail how Milanese bracelets are made, an art form no longer formally taught, and they share the secrets with us here.
The Watches TV goes deep into explaining a resonance movement in an easy way. The quick answer to the question of what resonance is in horological terms is that it encompasses two independent escapements in one watch that influence each other to average out timing errors. This video brings horological resonance to life and makes it easy to understand.