What is a watch?
Watch, is a timepiece that is developed and designed to be worn on the wrist or carried in the pocket in which its mechanics is that of a movement that is driven by spring or electricity.
History of the Watch
The watch made its debut post 1500’s in which some the early watches was invented by Peter Henlein, who was a locksmith in Nürnberg, Germany. Back then notably in Germany and at Blois in France watches were carried around by people around the neck or hand in which there was only one hand for hours. The escapement which is a device that gives the permission for motion control in steps, which was utilized in prior watches was the same that was utilized in the earlier versions of clocks.
Verge Escapement from the 18th century
Vintage Omega Mainspring
What drives the watch?
The element that drives the watch is called the mainspring and this consists of a flat-spring steel band stressed in bending or coiling. When the mechanics of the spring driven is wound, there is an increase in the curvature causing a storage in energy. Moreover there is a transmission of this energy to the vacillating section of the watch and this is called the balance. Through the escapement and wheel train, the balance of motion, controls the release of the escapement and ultimately the watch’s timing. Thus the friction gives permission for the setting of the hand.
Modern Watch Mechanics
What were some of the defects in early watches?
Some of the defects in early watches was in the difference in the torque of the applying of force by the mainspring. When it was run down, the mainspring was greater when fully wound. The verge escapement was influenced greatly by the driving force since the keeping of time of the watch was fitted and this caused a problem. When the mainspring was invented in 1450 the application of the fusee, a cone-shaped, grooved pulley utilized together with a barrel had the mainspring. With this kind of set up, the mainspring was developed for barrel rotation where it was contained.
The Wrist Watch
The finest engineering arguably is the wrist watch, with some of the highest level of mechanics ever created and developed by man. The field of concentration and study when it comes to the wrist watch is called micro mechanics. This fascination of shafts and gear wheels and buttons to be pressed makes those who have spent hours creating these wrist watches develop a love for what they do. In regards to the wrist watch, if you are looking to just tell time in today’s age you simply could just use your phone, making it having no need for a mechanical watch. However if in your pursuit you desire to purchase a beautiful wrist watch that is handmade and has specific intricately complex mechanics that entails a piece of history and dreams then you would buy a wrist watch. Moreover a wrist watch can be like a piece of jewelry like a painting.
Why does luxury watches cost so much?
According to the Swiss watch makers, the watch is the most produced objects in the world. Every in Switzerland they produced 25 million watches in their country alone. Watch making in general doesn’t offer many new inventions, even though this is not the idea when craftsmen and tradition forms the basic elements in a watch. In spite of this, modern watch making has gone through a revolution over the years and this is the introduction of CNC cutters. The components of watch is so small that you can’t see the details with the naked eye like a small detail gear wheel that can only be seen through a microscope. All watch makers now use computer controlled CNC cutters for the hard labor to cut out watch parts. Some of these CNC cutters has a coil with a voltage of about 200. The short circuit occurs between the coil and the part in which the short circuit cuts the watch part. Today’s watch making is a mix between high tech methods and also prior knowledge of the old watchmaker. Moreover when you combine these two, efficiency becomes manageable and these are some of the reasons why watchmakers reach to the top in the watch making industry.
Nevertheless after the CNC cutters have done their jobs, whats left is the classic watchmaking the traditional way in which this takes patience, precision and handwork. Its the handiwork done by the watchmakers give these timepieces its existence and shape in beauty is being rubbed and polished into each little wheel screw and spring in which all the finer timepieces are made this way. Edges and machine tracers are removed and the individual components are provided with the precise finish that only human hands can give.
When you are dealing with finer watch making it is all about finish in which watches consist of several hundred components, the most complicated of more than one thousand components. The beauty of the watch is determined by the amount of time that is spent on the finish in which sometimes it can take a whole week just to polish just one part of watch.
The watch industry has recovered significantly from a phenomenon called the quartz crisis by the watch world. This was back in the 1970’s when cheap Japanese quartz watches nearly killed off the mechanical watches. After this time period the value of mechanical watches went up with an enormous symbolic strength in regards to customers wanted to return to the vital artisan dimension which vanished the advent of the quartz watch. In the year of 1972 with the quartz watches, most threw away mechanical tools. Some kept their tools in the pursuit that people could appreciate something being done by the human hand. Watches can be compared to great car makers and their sophisticated cars based upon the watches complexity made with precision and excellence. Nevertheless watches can do much more than simply show the time in terms of questions like: “What’s a chronograph or whats a eternity calendar?”.
In the beginning of watch making a regular watch had an hour hand, minute hand, a second hand and a manual winder. Complications came further on when dealing with the chronograph in which a chronograph is a watch with one hand showing the time that has passed. You could start it, stop it and position it at zero.
One of the beautiful ways of decorating a clock work which is one of the oldest classic disciplines in finer watch making is skeletonizing. The idea is remove all superfluous material from the works so that only a skeleton’s left as evidence of the capability of the watchmaker. One of the greatest challenge for watch makers is to not skeletonizing too much which would make the watch fragile.