Vacheron Constantin Heritage Series Retrograde Watch Let Time Go Back

Does everyone have a dream in mind: to make time go back? With Vacheron Constantin retrograde watches, we can enjoy this visual thrill. One of the special features of a watch is the retrograde movement, which creates an interesting way of running time. When the pointer went to the end of the fan-shaped display panel, it jumped back to the original point in no time. The moment of the leap just proved the mystery of the retrograde, making the time reverse and starting again.
   The retrograde watch breaks through the regular time display mode and runs back and forth in a fan-shaped trajectory. When the indicated scale is full, the hands will instantly return to the starting point of the scale and repeat the new process. It is not difficult to recognize a watch with a retrograde function. If you see the scale of the fan surface, the radian is less than 180 degrees, typically between 120 and 150 degrees, and the axis of the pointer is generally made on the edge of the dial. , Then it is most likely the display of the reverse function on the dial.
Unruly retrograde
   Turning round and round is our most basic impression of a watch. Retrograde has now developed to the point where it can do everything. No matter the second hand, minute hand, hour, date, or even moon phase profit and loss may be displayed in retrograde. The easiest to show the beauty of retrograde is the 30-second double retrograde function, which means that two 30-second retrograde hands complete the 1-minute operation. And watch design masters are very keen to combine different retrograde functions on the same dial to create a more interesting way of running time.
   In the face of this unconventional retrograde device, people who follow the rules think it is the left-hand side; while watchers appreciate its design philosophy beyond traditional norms, the flyback of the pointer adds a lot of fun.
Rebound makes space free
   In fact, the reason for the retrograde table is not simply to satisfy people’s spiritual desire to ‘back to the past’. If this device is not used, all hands will have to be on a rotating shaft, and the size of many watches will increase significantly. Since the retrograde design, the design space of the watch has been greatly released.
   However, retrograde devices also cause some problems. First, a watch with a retrograde function has a very large number of internal impacts. In terms of 30-second retrograde, within a day, the mechanical structure in the watch must withstand 2880 bounce-back actions. The components of the retrograde mechanism in the movement are subjected to frequent and huge forces. Secondly, the return of the retrograde table also takes time. This insignificant amount of time is accumulated for a long time and it will also cause errors.
   Of course, these two issues are simply clouds in the eyes of watchmakers. By using a more excellent metal material and reducing the kinetic energy of the impact, the problem of metal fatigue can be solved well. And the error is simpler-the time of instant reply is definite, then you only need to calculate the time of each instant reply, and then modify it in the design. Therefore, what the master really cares about is how to achieve more gorgeousness in a limited space through retrograde.

The Tour Of Girard Perregaux Begins From A Lively Watchmaking Class

I don’t know if you remember, just before the 2015 Basel Watch Fair, we first visited Girard Perregaux (Girard Perregaux), which is located in LaChaux-de-Fonds, the home of Swiss clocks. ) Watch factory, and after asking a lot of questions to everyone, let us reveal these puzzles one by one.

  Girard Perregaux dates back to 1791. In these more than 200 years, Girard Perregaux has enjoyed the glory of the Paris International Fair and also experienced the crisis of the quartz revolution, but it is gratifying that this weather-beating Swiss top The watchmaking brand still relies on its profound watchmaking heritage and its unremitting efforts to continuously create brilliant. Before visiting this century-old factory, let’s start with a vivid watchmaking course.

   The old building we came to first seemed a bit mysterious, like the Swiss branch of the Hogwarts School of Magic. But in fact this is the museum of watchmaking tools of Jeanrichard (Shang Weisha), of course, now it is not only a museum, but also a watchmaking training experience center and VIP reception center.

  Regarding the origin of Shang Weisha and Girard Perregaux, I would like to say a few words here. In 1992, Girard Perregaux was acquired by the Italian Sowind Group, and together with Shang Weisha became the two leading brands of the group. In 2008, Gucci’s parent company PPR Group (now Kering Group) bought a 23% stake in Suofeng Group. Three years later, PPR Group officially controlled Suofeng with a 50.1% stake. Since then Girard Perregaux and Shang Weisha The two major brands have been included under the control of Kering, the world’s third largest luxury goods group.

   This spacious watchmaking experience teacher is bright and transparent, spotlessly clean, for which I deliberately slid my hand across the floor without any trace of contamination on my fingertips. The point is that this is just an experience class, and the real watchmaking workshop will only be cleaner than here. As the place that manufactures the most precise machinery in the human world, cleanliness or cleanliness is the most basic element. ,

  As a watch-loving person, sitting in front of the watch table is like a driver sitting in the cockpit, which will also make your adrenaline secretion strong. In addition to the various mounting tools placed on the watchmaking table, the longest S-shaped metal that scares me is the source of power for any mechanical clock in the world-clockwork.

  The material of the mainspring and the quantity and volume of the mainspring box determine the length of the timepiece. The reason why I saw it was a bit daunting, because I had personally learned its powerful power in my early years! You must know that a slender clockwork is doomed to aggravate doubled in a space of only 0.157 cubic centimeters or less since the day it was installed in the barrel. Take it out (it’s usually not taken out for normal maintenance), it has been in it for a few years or more, for decades or even hundreds of years.
   At that time, I was curious and wanted to take out the parts of each movement and take a look. The clockwork cannot be missed. The watch I dismantled was probably produced in the 1970s. When I pried open the cover of the bar, I picked When the end of the mainspring with mottled rust appeared, the force that had accumulated for more than 30 years finally erupted. The mainspring rushed straight to the ceiling like a runaway wild horse, almost leaving a trail on my immature face. The eternal mark! So here I also want to advise friends who like to disassemble the watch and have inexperience. You can disassemble everything in the watch, but do n’t touch the barrel easily.

   The so-called workman must first sharpen his tools. Among the many tools placed on the table, the most important and most commonly used is the watch cone. Different colors represent different screw mouth sizes. Our common watch cones Most of them are 9 versions, and today we are obviously using the more professional 12 versions. Although such a professional tabulation tool makes us look a bit wasteful, it also gives us the privilege to experience the use of top-level tabulation tools.

   The watch cone seems to be used by anyone. The most basic usage is to hold the top of the watch cone with your index finger and rotate it with your thumb and middle finger. However, it is not easy to use the cone of the watch. According to Swiss watchmaking standards, each drawing is marked with a model of the cone corresponding to a different screw, because it must be ensured that the tip of the cone is inserted into the groove of the screw. It must be tightly connected, there can be no overwhelmingness, and it cannot give you any chance to correct because of the wrong size.
   In addition, when the watch cone is inserted, the watchmaker must be required to ensure that the hand is not shaken, to ensure that it does not touch any part of the screw and insert it straight into the groove. After the insertion, the screw must be kept tight or loose. Turn the screws evenly and delicately. Only in this way can we ensure that each screw will not have any scratches and damage during assembly and removal. This is especially important for top watch brands like Girard Perregaux that use both highly polished screws and blue steel screws. If we tighten the screws as tightly as we usually twist the screws, we will quickly tighten when loose, we do not know how many top quality screws Girard-Paper would waste. As the so-called twisting force is even, your heart will be quiet. After the screwing, I do find that my heart is still a little impatient. If you want to calm down, it is also a good way to screw the screws according to Swiss watchmaking standards.

  In addition to the watch cone, another important tool we use is the clip of this green handle. The purpose of this tool is to unplug the needle retaining ring on the back of the movement. Because it has only one function, and this process can be completed in a more rude manner, due to cost considerations, ordinary domestic watch repair counters do not use this tool, and at a brand authorized repair point, this tool must It is standard, so please don’t send your love watch to a random place to repair it. An accidental wrong process will bring eternal and irreparable damage to the movement.

   After understanding the tools, we started the formal lesson. The main content of today’s course is to understand the basic principles of clocks and disassemble a basic manual winding movement. Today we are teaching Mr. Girard-Perregaux watchmaker Marc Wilhelm, from his focused eyes we conclude that his watchmaking skills must be quite profound! For the convenience of explanation, each of us has a computer screen on the table. The teacher can show us the action essentials in real time through the projection. At the same time, the principle explanation diagram and the movement operation video will appear on the screen from time to time. Now when I want to be in high school, I can do this. In physics class, maybe I can really fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a scientist!

   The movement we are disassembling today is a ETA 6497 movement that has been perfectly modified by Shang Weisha and can no longer be classic. The 6497 movement was a classic product of the Unitas movement factory. After being acquired by ETA, the factory naturally changed its name to ETA 6497. After undergoing a devastating quartz revolution in the Swiss watch industry in the last century, 6497 became In the end, the large-sized pocket watch movement remained unpopular at the time because of its large size, but with the advent of the big watch trend, its size just catered to the needs of almost all large watch cases. We once ushered in our own spring.
  This movement is not only large, the key is the classic and reasonable structure, and it can even be called the standard model of all manual basic movements in the world. Although it only has a low-frequency pendulum of 18,000 times per hour, it can easily pass the observatory certification, which makes many small high-frequency movements shame! Shang Weisha chose this movement as a teaching movement, too!

  Disassembly officially began. The classic structural layout of the movement clearly divided the entire movement into three major systems, namely the source train, the drive train, and the escapement train. I found that the boys seemed to have a special habit of disassembling things. In a moment, a complete movement became a pile of parts. Although we do n’t know if such a quick disassembly caused damage to the movement, at least it was determined to remove it. All the parts are still there. I really admire my own golden eyes, and even this little steel wheel washer that was hard to see was found on the ground by me.

  After the disassembly, the real test has just begun. At this time, the teacher is constantly telling us that I don’t want you to see that I have extra parts after the assembly. The assembly process starts with the source drive system, which can be said to be the easiest to assemble among the three major systems, mainly because each part is relatively large, and there is only one ruby ​​axle on the bar wheel plywood, just simple It can be easily installed by aligning the axle of the center wheel.

   Next, start to assemble the drive train. I need to explain about the drive train of the 6497 movement. At present, the 6497 movement we have seen on the market has two types of transmission wheel plywood. The first is the second wheel axle and the barrel. Wheel splint together, the axles of three, four and escapement wheels are on the same splint; the other is that the axles of two, three, and four wheels are on the same splint, and the escapement wheel has only one splint I personally feel that the second type of splint is more reasonable, because after all, the escapement wheel is more fragile. A single splint will be more accurate during installation, and the second wheel axle is separated from the barrel wheel plywood, and the system of the movement is divided. It is also clearer, of course, this second type is mostly used in an extremely well-known Italian watch brand.

  Today, the transmission wheel plywood of this movement is the first type of decorative upgrade and landscaping. Shang Weisha cut this plywood two times and made the edges of the plywood rounded according to the shape of the axe. It feels that each axle is an independent plywood, but in fact it is still a plywood, and even the blue steel screw in the middle is only used for decoration. Although this modification did not reduce any assembly difficulty, it did allow The overall aesthetic of the movement has risen a lot, showing the retro charm of the pocket watch to the fullest. It is well known that the more splints with the shaft eyelet, the more difficult it is to install, which means that you have to align more gear shafts at the same time. Finally Aimed for a long time and finally installed.

   After the source and drive train are installed, the most important escapement of the watch is finally installed. Before installing the balance wheel, first install the pallet fork and pallet fork splint. At this time I found out that Shangwei Sha actually polished the pallet splint that is not usually seen so beautifully, which also subverted my view on the universal movement. Universal does not only mean low-end and cheap. The key is to see what standard you want to use. And attitude to perfect it, as for today’s movement, its polishing has surpassed many other brands’ self-produced movements.

   The last and most critical step is to install the balance wheel. According to the standard process, it takes about 3 hours for a watchmaker to install and adjust a balance wheel, and the hand cannot be shaken during the installation, because the greater the shake, the more damage to the balance spring. The bigger it is, the bigger the error will be after the installation, and finally the later adjustment will be more laborious. In the end, it took only 3 minutes for my trembling hand to install the balance wheel, and the movement was moving, so I don’t know if I could …

  After assembling the movement, we visited the watchmaking tools of various periods in this museum. Although I do n’t know what these tools are for, seeing these used traces seems to take me through the past. .

   In this article, I answered a total of five questions from the previous article. The bold part is the answer to the question. Are you all right? If you want to know the answer to the next question, please pay attention to our later article ‘Girard-Perregaux Story’ (text / picture watch home Mao Zhuang)