And the quartz? Buyer: show me those hours .
How many stones in them? Seller: Automatic mechanism on 25 stones, balance frequency .
Buyer (interrupting): Yes, this is okay, this frequency .
still won’t go! Here is a friend of my watch – there are 31 stones, and here is only 25 .
The dialogue, of course, is imaginary, and we will not further fantasize.
It is clear that the buyer here is a person, in the watch, to put it mildly, not very knowledgeable, but the seller .
we can’t say anything about the seller.
But let’s try to help you figure it out instead: what kind of stones are these, why are they needed, is it true that their number reflects the quality of the clock? Stones – why are they? The clock mechanism is a very complex device with many details, a significant part of which is mobile.
The springs are compressed, they are difficult, the wheels rotate, all sorts of levers go back and forth .
These details mechanically interact with each other and with fixed parts of the structure.
So, the most important part of the mechanism that sets the rhythm of its work and, therefore, the accuracy of the course, is the balance: a massive (by the standards of a miniature mechanism) rim that makes vibrations with a strictly defined (and quite high) frequency.
These fluctuations, then clockwise, then against it, and so continuously, occur, naturally, on the axis, which rests on a fixed part (in the hourly case it is called platinum).
Frost occurs in the support.
For its stabilization and minimization, as well as to prevent premature wear of the rubbing parts, bearings are used, as everyone knows.
So the stones are in the watch mechanism such bearings! Not only by them, stones are installed in a number of places responsible in the sense of friction, but we will not go into the specifics of the clock micromechanics-the main thing was installed.
Why stones? Due to the miniature of the wristwatch, it is impossible to use ball or roller bearings familiar to all.
Not only in the wrist: the masters encountered this problem back in the era of pocket hours.
The mechanisms have become small, the techniques of general engineering, suitable, for example, for tower hours, stopped working.
And at the turn of the XVII and XVIII centuries there was an idea – to use precious stones, namely rubies in this capacity.
The pioneer in this matter was the great English watchmaker George Graham.
The friction of the metal about the ruby was more than acceptable, in addition, the ruby is very hard (and therefore durable), but not too complicated in processing, allowing it to give the desired shape – prisms, hemispheres, with deepening and holes, etc.
Moreover, the maintenance of Rubin is excellent – this is also important, because the lubricant is still necessary, and with good wettability, the oil is evenly distributed over the surface.
Finally, the stone is not subject to corrosion, which is essential both for himself and for lubricants.
All these qualities inherited synthetic stones, the time of which came in the twentieth century and which radically reduced the production of clockwork.
In its physicochemical characteristics, artificial ruby is no different from natural.
This is the same corundum, it is also crystalline aluminum oxide (AL2O3), with the addition of microscopic shares of chromium, which gives the stone red.
Note: in English, these stones are quite reasonably called precious-Jewels.
Does the quantity go into quality? In science, dialectics – yes, passes.
In nature, as a rule, too.
But in technology and art – far from always! And in a clockwork, it is clockwork, this law is by no means indisputable.
In the final scheme of the clock, which has established for about three centuries, only 17 stones are needed.
We refrain from the details – what kind of stones and in what places – we simply note: only 17.
Sometimes manufacturers save, replacing one or two stones with brass support, but in high -quality modern watches the number of stones more often exceeds the classic 17.
It is also increased , and various additional functions – calendar, stopwatch, acoustic, astronomical, etc.
The leading world manufacturer of watch mechanisms is the Swiss company ETA, a part of the Swatch group.
The very famous ETA Unitas 6497/6498 caliber with a manual factory, three central arrows (hourly, minute, second) and a date window, works on 17 stones.
And ETA 2824-2, with the same functions, but with an autocracy, has 25 stones.
Many time brands, including elite ones, purchase these mechanisms, perform additional finish, mark the product with their own logos, but in fact the “heart” of the watch remains the same.
Other companies, especially from among the Swatch Group, acquire an absolutely similar mechanism of Sellita, for example, SW 200-1.
So that this clone is at least somehow different from this 2824-2, Sellita complements it with another (optional) stone, bringing their number to 26.
But in the no less popular automatic mechanism of ETA 2892-A2, which is the next generation of calibers, less stones – 21, with the same functions.
The same (25) of them in another basic for the entire watch industry by the Valjoux 7750 mechanism, although it is more complex functionally, because it also represents the possibilities of a chronograph for measuring individual periods of time.
So there is no direct connection between the number of stones and the technical perfection of the mechanism.
However, as we have already said, there is a general pattern: the more functions the clock, the more constructively their mechanism and the more equal, more stones in it.
For example, in the mechanism of the watch Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime, with an eternal calendar, a second time zone, moon phases, an alarm clock, a minute rehearsal indicator and other functions – there are 20 of them, including 5 acoustic ones – 1366 parts, including 108 stones ! And the PATEK Philippe Caliber 89 pocket watch is recorded in complexity, which have 33 functions, work as much on 126 stones, from the total number of parts of the mechanism – 1728.
In general, the application of certain non -standard technical or conceptual solutions is also subordinate.
So, the mechanism of the clock A.
Lange & Sohne ZeitWerk Minute Repeater (Germany) is assembled on 93 stones, which is not surprising: the indication of the hours and minutes here is digital (in the windows, “jumping”), there is a minute rehearsal, and even an invisible device of constant effort , ensuring stability of the course, regardless of the tension of the groove spring.
Nevertheless, our fictional buyer, who at the beginning of the review at a small number of stones (only 25, a friend more-31) was wrong in the very basis of his judgment.
Moreover, an intentional increase in the number of stones for purely marketing purposes should be called even malicious! Curders of this kind are known: trying to lure an inexperienced client, the company drills unnecessary holes – no less than 83 – in the rotor of the auto -back and sets a stone, also completely unnecessary.
Rather, only to this manufacturer, who, bringing the number of stones to 100 (of which they actually operate 17), increases the price of the product disproportionately.
By the way, in this anecdotal case, the company mistakenly drilled 83, but 84 holes – they were counted, but only 83 were put there: they considered that 101 would be overgrown .
Armin Strom watch: Armin Strom ST19-GEF.
35 1 400 000 r Armin Strom ST20-Lab-Black 1 400 000 r Armin Strom ST20-Lab-WHITE 1 400 000 r And the quartz? Of course, we only talked above the mechanics.
And what about the stones at the quartz watches? We’ll say right away: there are much smaller there, but at least one is still.
This is the support of the shaft of the rotor of the step electric motor, which transfers high -frequency fluctuations of the quartz crystal for wheeled.
So, if you see the marking “1 Jewel” or even “No Jewels” (often by composites), this does not mean that the clock is bad.
They are just different.
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