The gear train is one of the basic parts of a mechanical watch. Actually, more than a piece, it is a set of components that, correctly calibrated, put the watch mechanism into operation.
On this occasion we analyze the work of the gear train and its general characteristics.
What is gear train
The gear train includes all the gears of a watch, from the solid one to the barrel, the largest one, to the escape wheel. This complex mechanism allows a whole set of parts to start up with a single movement, transmitting the force to the rest of the clock mechanism.
In general terms, the winding moves the barrel, which in turn drives the gear train, this set of gears allow the minute and second gears to move faster, since the barrel does not make enough movement for it to move. these needles are in sync. The ultimate goal is for all hands to make one complete movement past each hour.
What are the basic components of the gear train
The gear train is made up of five basic pieces in most automatic models, the mutual action of these five gears are what drive the movement from the string to the needles.
The five gears involved in the movement are as follows:
Barrel wheel: It is the largest gear. The barrel incorporates a first gear, which moves by the direct action of the string. From the movement of the barrel wheel, the rest of the gears are put into operation.
Center: The second wheel of the gear train is called the center. This is the minute wheel, so it makes one complete revolution around its own axis every hour. Its name comes from the fact that the minute hand is located in the center of the gear.
Third wheel: The third wheel has a very specific function, to change the direction of rotation. Thanks to this wheel, the second and minute hands rotate in the same direction.
Fourth wheel: The fourth wheel is smaller than the previous ones and is responsible for counting the seconds, therefore, it completes a 360o movement every minute.
Escapement: The escapement is a fundamental gear to refine the precision of a watch, it is a mechanism that comes into contact with the oscillator. The oscillator doses the energy of the engine, thanks to the action of the escapement and the oscillator, the charged energy would be discharged immediately.
These five wheels are the ones that, together, transport the energy generated by the mechanism to the different parts of the movement.
The calculation of the gear train
Gear train calculation is extremely complex. This calculation is carried out based on ratios, the main ones are the following:
Ratio between wheels: Each pair of wheels has a ratio, this calculation is made so that the direct movement action is exact.
Global ratio: The complete movement of the gear train is calculated.
Width of teeth: The gears generate a movement based on the fit between teeth, the width of these parts is key to calibrate the movement.
Wheel shape and size: It is also necessary to accurately calculate the size of the wheels and calibrate their exact shape.
Once the calculations have been solved, the escapement must make 3,600 revolutions for each complete revolution of the barrel, that is, the seconds hand completes 3,600 revolutions for each revolution that completes the hour.
The use of jewels in the gear train
The main cause of the movement mismatch is the wear of the parts. The gear system causes the parts to rub continuously, this causes long-term wear, which causes watches to be increasingly inaccurate.
The jewels are added to the mechanisms to prevent wear. Stones such as ruby ??or sapphire are much more resistant than any other material, which is why, despite rubbing, they remain practically intact.
The 11-jewel watches are the ones that are already beginning to incorporate precious stones in their gears, these, specifically, already add a stone in the escapement wheel, the 15-jewel watches include two in the fourth wheel and two in the third, the ones with The 17-jewels incorporate two jewels on the center wheel and the 21-jewels add two to the escapement crown. Most automatic watches usually have between 25 and 27 jewels, to prevent wear on the movement.
What is the escapement in a mechanical watch
The escapement is the final part of the gear train of a mechanical watch. Briefly, the escapement mechanism is a device that converts continuous rotational motion into oscillatory motion.
What happens with the movement of the escapement?, which is capable of regulating the time scale, by means of a regulating balance in wrist watches, or a pendulum in wall clocks.
The energy that puts the escapement into operation comes from the gear train, as we said before, without the escapement, all the energy that the watch stores would be lost in an uncontrolled manner, hence its name, it allows the energy to escape in a homogeneous way in each oscillation.
The importance of the gear train in a luxury Custom Made Watch
The gear is the transmission mechanism of the movement to the entire watch. The hands that we can see on the dial and that mark the time are driven from the gear train, but it also drives the escapement and picks up the movement of the barrel.
The condition of the gear train and the jewelery that luxury Custom Handmade Watches incorporate is going to be crucial to calibrate the general condition of the piece, at Watches5 Custom Watch Manufacturer they offer you the best watchmaking service, if you want more information, contact them.