View Full Version : Balence wheel watches and effects of winding tension.

Loose rivets
24th Feb 2015, 01:48
Had a barney with someone in the pub yesterday. He got all worked up because I said his Rolex should not go faster when he waved his arms about a lot, or indeed, go slow when it was left unused for a while.

I tried to explain that the balance wheel is akin to a pendulum and its 'tuning' sets the rate. I did however concede that as it neared wind-down it could grind to a halt, but worst scenario should keep time until a few hours before the end. What would Rolex aim for? - given that a flat graph and sudden stop is a bit much to hope for.

I am aware of the Fusee mechanism on old pocket watches.

25 years old self-winding. Nicely made piece of kit.

Just click through the pictures on this link. The world's most complicated watch. Breathtaking.

Watches by SJX: Hands-On With The Zenith Christophe Colomb Hurricane, Equipped With A Gyroscopic Escapement, Chain And Fusée (With Photos And Price) (http://www.watchesbysjx.com/2013/08/hands-on-with-zenith-christophe-colomb.html)

24th Feb 2015, 02:56
Get him to read "Longitude" by Dava Sobel. It covers John Harrison and the creation his clocks to solve the greatest scientific problem of the eighteenth century. Pendulum clocks would not work on sailing ships.

24th Feb 2015, 03:09
It would want to be breathtaking for a quarter of a million dollars.

I do appreciate the mechanical and aesthetic sophistication though

Ascend Charlie
24th Feb 2015, 06:16
The self-winding watches of teenage boys tend to overspeed a lot!!!:8

24th Feb 2015, 07:03
Apparently then it is not the age of the watch but the age of the wrist. My S/Winder is losing about ten minutes a week. I keep promising myself to get it regulated buy keep forgetting.

joy ride
24th Feb 2015, 08:51
Great post, Henry, and I agree with fujii that Dava Sobell's "Longitude" is a "Must Read". It was made into a 3 part mini series by BBC TV a few years back, and they did a pretty good job of condensing the time scale and events into 3 hours.

Some of Harrison's Chronometers are at the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich and they are totally stunning to behold, highly recommended!

Metro man
24th Feb 2015, 09:04
Now you can buy a watch which synchronises with the atomic clock via radio signals which is about as accurate as you can get.

I've gone for simplicity with my wrist watch, hand wound with no date or second hand. If it stops I don't need to reset the date or worry about am/pm. Accuracy within a minute is quite enough. Alarms, stop watch, dual time etc are all available on my iPhone

24th Feb 2015, 09:31
Seventeen jewels enough to do the trick?

So what do the other four in my self winding watch do?

It's a Russian one I bought in about 1973 when I began flying training. It keeps rubbish time and probably just needs regulating, which I've been intending to have done since about 1974!

Btw, this must be one of the most bizarre things ever argued about in the pub!

joy ride
24th Feb 2015, 09:31
I have resumed wearing a watch as I was given one by parents-in-law for Christmas. I have not had one for at least 20 years and don't really need one as I normally know what time it is to within 15 minutes. As I always leave early for meetings or journeys, I normally only ever check the time to confirm that my mental clock is still "in the ball park".

24th Feb 2015, 09:39
as I normally know what time it is to within 15 minutes.

Like most men of my age I usually wake up during the night to go to the loo. I have a little challenge where I guess the time before looking across at the digital alarm clock, and it surprises me that I am rarely more than about 15 minutes out in my guess. Internal clock must still be working even if a lot of other things are starting to wind down!

24th Feb 2015, 09:57
My job is all about promptness and I suppose after all these years of random waking up times, often in the very early hours, I must have developed a constant internal time awareness. I have an analogue type alarm clock by my bed. It makes a single click as the minute hand reaches the alarm hand, which is what triggers the chime. I often manage to press the cancel button as it "clicks", so the chime doesn't sound.

But I'm sure if I didn't set the alarm I'd be late for work.

24th Feb 2015, 10:15
I must have owned approaching two dozen watches in my time and none have ever kept running for more than two months, these both mechanical and digital. I've given up trying and rely on the clock on my mobile phone.

joy ride
24th Feb 2015, 10:29
For really important journeys at Sparrowfart I set up two alarm clocks at a distance from my bed so that I have to get out of it to turn them off, but like others here I almost always wake up just before they start sounding.

Interesting that some on the "Gallileo's pendulum" thread cast doubt on his ability to keep time, yet some of us here seem to be able to keep pretty good time even while we are asleep!

24th Feb 2015, 11:04
I'm astonished that the watchmaker found the space to fit in a double axis gimbal..
Wonder how the timekeeping of a gimbal-fitted watch compares to one without? For most users I'd've thought that a fusée watch would have compensated for the variance in the torque of the mainspring as the watch wound down.

24th Feb 2015, 11:04
Bought me a nice mechanical watch (Sinn 6015) kinda cheap on ebay, it uses a standard movement (valjoux 7751) and i was surprised by how well it keeps time. I have to set it around every six months, and it is never off by more than 2 or 3 minutes, which is plenty for me. Just guess i have to buy a new strap soon as the original one is pretty worn after more than two years of constant daytime wearing.

My phone serves as my alarm clock though. One only has to be very careful about automatic time adjustment as that can really lead to big issues in different timezones.

24th Feb 2015, 11:13
I must have owned approaching two dozen watches in my time and none have ever kept running for more than two months... Maybe you get what you pay for; I invested a week's pay in a stainless steel Rolex Oyster in 1966, so as to have a watch I never needed to take off my wrist (showers, swimming, diving, COIN operations in Middle East etc etc) and then forget, and it's still working perfectly, with an expensive service by an approved workshop every 15 years or so to change the oil and replace the seal and crystal. No batteries, no winding, it's just a part of me.

PS It's now worth about 1000% of what I paid for it.

24th Feb 2015, 11:23
I've tried all price ranges, I can't remember what it was but it wouldn't have been cheap, a watch given to me on my 21st by my parents. I think it lasted a week before stopping, then a huge rigmarole getting it back via my parents to the jewellers it was bought from in Guernsey as it came with some guarantee. I was working in London at the time. That watch must have been returned I don't know how many times, in the end my parents got the money back and bought me something else.

24th Feb 2015, 11:44
People wear Rolexes in your pub ? Blimey. Pubs (as opposed to 'wine bars') in Islington, you take your Casios off and leave 'em at home before you go in.

Loose rivets
24th Feb 2015, 15:20
For the first time in years I've just lost a huge post. Buggah! :ugh:

Pub=WFYC (yacht club at Walton on the Naze.) Nice mix of Frinton accents and good old Walton boys. Which includes me.

henry, did you input to my Se co seven alpha thirty-eight thread last year. I restored about 20 of them and they're still in Texas. Really, really enjoyed doing it. Couldn't have done it without the forum pictures.

Topic: Inside the 7A38 - Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers (http://www.seiko7a38.com/apps/forums/topics/show/7517616-inside-the-7a38)

Anyway, the OP question is almost confirmed, but not really quantified. Roughly how long before stopping would a good Rolex full auto start to slow?

24th Feb 2015, 20:17
Just another vote for the 'genuine article'.

I've had me rolex since 1993. Serviced it once. Wear it always, in the bath, swimming or whatever.
It now costs about £4500 for this model, my wife paid £1100 for it.

Still looks good, and runs a bit fast, as it always has done.

Never ever, has it caught a hair of my arm in the bracelet.

No complaints....:ok:

25th Feb 2015, 13:15
I bought a Citizen Eco-drive chronograph (http://www.citywatches.co.uk/citizen/citizen-eco-drive-chronograph-super-titanium-ca0021-02e-ca0021-mens-watch.html) a couple of years ago. The most I've ever seen it out of whack in 2 years is ~5 seconds.. And being made from titanium, it's light on the wrist.