Modification of design drawings over and over, patient polishing, and careful assembly over and over … Operation under the microscope is not only a test of professional technology, but also a challenge to a good mentality. In the process, the clocks and watches turned from the creative ideas on the map into assembled masterpieces. The world of mechanical clocks always brought us too many surprises and surprises. As more friends pay attention to timepieces, they become more interested in the precision movements of timepieces. They are often asked how mechanical watches work? Compared to everyone’s fanfan’s answer, ‘Wind up or force up’, how exactly is power transmitted inside the watch? Below, the watch house takes you into the internal structure of the movement, solving your temptation between manual and automatic movements.
A little knowledge of theoretical knowledge:
The basic movement of a watch is from the crown to the mainspring drum. After winding the mainspring, the mainspring will be rotated when the mainspring is loosened. This kind of rotation will be continued by one gear after another go with. Turn the gear set first, which includes the minute wheel (plus the hour wheel) and the second wheel, then drive to the emergency wheel, to the escapement arm, and finally to the balance spring and balance wheel. This is the transmission of the entire power, as is the basic structure of a watch. Each mechanical watch must be composed of these three basic systems.
These three systems are the power system, transmission system, and regulation system. For a very simple example, the movement is like a faucet. The faucet is an escapement adjustment system that controls the speed of the water flow.
The power of the mechanical watch comes from the spring of the mainspring, and the winding of the mainspring is just like filling the water bottle. There are two types of mechanical watches: automatic winding and manual winding. The first is naturally manual winding, and then there is automatic winding. Speaking of which, let’s talk about the down chain. Many friends are not very clear about this concept. A spring made of a long metal material is wound inside the barrel. The mainspring spring is based on its own telescopic spring force. When it is intentionally encircled, it will generate a force that wants to loosen and wants to return to its original state. The spring is continuously deflated, and the spring of the spring will continue to increase its power reserve until the spring cannot be looped. This is when the spring is fully chained. The main reason why the spring is able to store power is because the spring itself has the ability to return to its original shape. The tighter the spring, the more energy can be stored.
To release this energy, an escapement system is needed. The entire escapement system is mainly composed of the cooperation between the balance wheel, the balance spring, the escapement arm and the emergency wheel. After the power is released from the mainspring drum, it reaches the final second wheel through the transmission gear set (that is, the minute wheel, etc.). The second wheel then connects with the emergency wheel. The emergency wheel fluctuates at a time, which will cause the escapement arm. swing left and right. The left and right swing of the escapement arm will wind, release and rotate the balance spring at the same time. When the winding and release of the balance of the balance spring is tightened and released, it will also control the left and right swing of the balance.
The process is as follows:
Clockwork drum → minute wheel → third gear → second wheel → emergency wheel → escapement arm → balance spring → balance wheel
How to choose:
So whether to buy automatic winding or manual winding? In theory, automatic winding is definitely an improvement of manual winding. The automatic movement can not only wind the watch continuously, so that the mainspring is often in a semi-loose and semi-tight state, and the torque output is not much, this is The real role of automatic winding. But if a watch has been left for too long and has not been wound for too long, it is not enough to rely on the swing of the arm to make the rotor automatically rotate and then wind the winder drum. So even a self-winding watch, if it has not been worn or wound for too long, the crown should be used to manually ‘activate’ the watch’s power.
Vacheron Constantin 1120 automatic engraved with the Geneva Seal
Although there are many benefits to automatic winding, most watch lovers also like automatic movements. But for me, manually winding seems to be more interesting. Just like driving a car with manual gear, although it is more tedious, it feels cooler than automatic gear. Therefore, after the advantages and disadvantages are presented to everyone, it still depends on everyone’s own preferences.
Manual winding movement: Patek Philippe automatic winding movement
As the name suggests, these movements are wound by turning the crown. The energy is gradually released by the tightened spring, which drives the gears in the watch to rotate. Regardless of the ultra-thin type, the open-ended ‘hollow-out’ type, or the simple or complicated, the manual winding movement is loved by the majority of traditional watchmaking enthusiasts.
The well-known Patek Philippe Seal is one of the most sought after and trusted marks of the brand for many years. Patek Philippe’s movement naturally has unparalleled quality, and the perfection of details is reflected in the grinding and assembly of each part. Every part of the Cal.CH29-535PSQ movement has undergone the most stringent grinding and testing processes. The sides of the parts must be satin-finished, and the bevels and notches are polished. Exposed surfaces must be smooth and polished, except for regulator components, which must be polished. The bolt head must be polished or decorated with round grains, and its edges and notches have been chamfered. If it is under a loupe, you can find its beauty.
Manually wound movement: Vacheron Constantin Maltese 82130 / 000R-9755 watch
The Maltese cross is the mark of Vacheron Constantin. It was originally a precision gear used to adjust the tension of the mainspring in the era of manual watchmaking. Now it symbolizes superior craftsmanship and the tradition of manual watchmaking. The Vacheron Constantin Maltese 82130 / 000R-9755 watch catches the eye with its classic shape. The small second at 6 o’clock is simple and clear. The strap is a hand-stitched brown square Mississippi crocodile leather strap with 18K5N pink gold buckle, highlighting the noble quality.
In terms of power, the watch uses a self-made Cal. 4400AS manual winding mechanical movement with a power reserve of about 65 hours. The new 4400 movement is equipped with two recognized certifications: rigorous attitude and reliability to ensure reliable performance. At the same time, the movement is also cast with the Geneva mark that symbolizes high-quality outstanding watchmaking skills and outstanding quality, which is a guarantee of origin, high-quality craftsmanship, durability and watch expertise. The grinding and chamfering of the surfaces and edges of bridge plates, plywood and screws is very delicate, and the wheel train is no longer divided, and becomes a whole plywood.
Self-winding movement: Rolex cal.3135
The ROLEX-Submariner series 116610-LV-97200 is very vividly called ‘Green Water Ghost’ because it has a deep green dial and is equipped with the classic 3135 automatic movement. The 3135 movement was officially launched in 1988. After its introduction, it was praised by everyone because of its excellent stability and accuracy, and was hailed as the king of Rolex movements. After decades of development, it is still the king of the movement and the most basic movement of Rolex today.
In terms of power, the Submariner and Submarine Calendar watches use the 3130 and 3135 self-winding movements developed by Rolex. Like all Rolex movements, the 3130 and 3135 movements have also received the Swiss Official Accreditation for Timepieces, which is specifically awarded to precision watches that have successfully passed the Swiss Precision Timepiece Testing Center (COSC) test. Cal.3135 is the most basic movement of Rolex. Its stability is unquestionable. The diameter of the movement is 28.5mm, the thickness is 6mm, the frequency is 28800 times per hour, 31 rubies, power reserve is 50 hours, instant jump calendar, Arm Glucydur alloy balance wheel, 4 weights, 2 of which are adjustable weights, Breguet balance spring, kif suspension device. Helps resist impact and impact from temperature changes. Their construction is the same as all oyster movements, with unparalleled reliability.
Automatic movement: Omega 8500 coaxial movement
Those who are familiar with watches are no stranger to Omega’s coaxial movement. After the quartz revolution, Omega’s rise along the way has made people admire. In 2007, Omega’s first self-produced coaxial movement, the 8500 coaxial movement, came out. In 2013, Omega released the world’s first truly anti-magnetic mechanical movement-the Omega 8508 coaxial movement. In the past few years, the 8500 caliber showed so much strength that it was regarded by many as a powerful competitor to the Rolex 3135.
Caliber 8500 with coaxial escapement, dual-winding automatic oscillating weight, dual barrel, 60-hour power reserve, 39 rubies, independently adjustable hour hand, certified by the Swiss Official Astronomy (COSC), barrel is DLC (DIAMOND-LIKE-CARBON diamond type) Vacuum coating treatment. Diamond-like carbon coating is an amorphous carbon film containing a diamond structure. It has similar properties to diamond, has a low specific gravity and high elasticity. It is an ideal high-frequency diaphragm material and is widely used in high-end audio. The balance wheel is still made of beryllium bronze, coating and curved arms. The purpose is to increase the specific gravity of the unit area, thereby enhancing the moment of inertia. With the release of the new Omega 8500 ‘Zhenzhen coaxial movement’, Omega successfully achieved the mass production of anti-magnetic technology, and applied this innovative technology to men’s and women’s watches.
9300 and 9301 are upgraded versions of 8500:
The Omega 9300 coaxial movement is equipped with an innovative vertical wheel device and a Si14 silicon spring. It is also the first brand-made movement with a timing function. The self-winding chronograph movement with longitudinal wheel chronograph and coaxial escapement system ensures stable and accurate timekeeping. The cardless balance with hairspring is equipped with a silicon hairspring, and the two barrels are connected to each other. The two-way automatic winding can help save winding time. Rhodium-plated surface with Arabic-style Geneva waves. The 12-hour and 60-minute chronograph hands are set in the same small dial at 3 o’clock, which makes the chronograph reading more clear. The power reserve is 60 hours. The movement is stable and reliable, and it can enjoy four years of global warranty.
This new chronograph “Dark Side of the Moon” ceramic watch features a black zirconia ceramic dial with a striking 18K white gold hour marker and matte chrome nitride tachymeter scale. The design features of the two blackened dials make it particularly unique compared to other ‘lunar watches’.
Summary: The balance wheel keeps the balance of the balance spring winding, and the balance of the balance spring also causes the balance to swing back and forth. The two complement each other and control the stability of the power transmission of the mechanical watch. From a rational point of view, an automatic winding movement is more convenient and better than a manual winding movement, which is suitable for ordinary people to buy. However, from a perceptual point of view, many watchmakers prefer the fun of winding a watch. Every day Powering the watch with their own hands, the more troublesome but the more interesting, so winding by hand makes them more willing to collect. The above simple analysis hopes that it can help you understand the movement of the movement and make it less troublesome and troublesome for buying a watch. (Picture / text watch home Li Shuai)