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November 23 2006 at 7:50 PM

MTF  (Login MelvynTeillolFoo)

Response to need info regarding movements


In the old days, pocket watches lived in waistcoat pockets in vertical position, usually crown-up, when crowns were at 12 o'clock. In this position the forces of gravity had the maximum effect "dragging" the balance spring out-of-round shape during its contracting and expansion. Thus, watchmakers took care to adjust the components to give best timing consistency in vertical position.

The main 6 positions that a watch (and its timing organ) can be are:
Horizontal; Face Up
Horizontal; Face Down
Vertical; Crown Up
Vertical; Crown Down
Vertical; Crown Right (3 o'clock)
Vertical; Crown Left (9 o'clock)

Depending on the time, effort and money that a watchmaker wants to spend adjusting the timing mechanisms, convention is to choose 4 or 5 most common positions to adjust. This is because each adjustment optimised for one position may affect timing for another position. The "best" adjustment is a compromise between all 6 positions (and at 2 standardised temperatures).

Most people do not put their watches face down; that may scratch the older mineral watchglasses. If 90% of people wear their watches on the left wrist, the common positions of rest are Crown Down (when standing/walking) and Crown at 9 o'clock (hands on desk or steering wheel). Many people place watches face up at night.

Thus, for 4 positions, the watchmaker could skip the face down and crown up positions. Strictly speaking, since gravity on Earth works in a vertical plane, and we live in a 4 dimensional world, the Crown Left and Right are the same i.e. mirror-image as far as effect of gravity is concerned.


This message has been edited by MelvynTeillolFoo on Nov 23, 2006 7:55 PM

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