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Hunt for (a bit) more amplitude - Rolex 2135


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27 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

So to sum up, strive towards restoring a movement so that it has low friction from barrel to balance that enables adequate consistent amplitude to maintain accurate timekeeping over a reasonable practical length of time.

With an automatic which is fully wound most of the time, I guess it's the drop in amplitude overnight (say 12h) that counts.

Would a watch with fully wound amplitude of say 230°, which dropped to 210° after 12 hours, be better than one with 300° which dropped to 230° ?

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1 hour ago, mikepilk said:

With an automatic which is fully wound most of the time, I guess it's the drop in amplitude overnight (say 12h) that counts.

Would a watch with fully wound amplitude of say 230°, which dropped to 210° after 12 hours, be better than one with 300° which dropped to 230° ?

Sounds like a reasonable assumption to me 👍. The large amp drop watch would suggest it has more friction creating more wear. Or the mainspring is so set that it's power delivery is very inconsistent. Staying within the 220° amp sweetspot in the verticals would also negate any poise error while being worn, obviously removing error adds to the overall timekeeping .

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54 minutes ago, mikepilk said:

Would a watch with fully wound amplitude of say 230°, which dropped to 210° after 12 hours, be better than one with 300° which dropped to 230° ?

I would say yes, as l long as that's what the designer intended. It is conceivable that both watches have too much friction in the train (dirt, old oil), but the first has a weaker mainspring which isn't losing much power over 12h, and the second has an over-powerful spring fitted to bump up the amplitude. Both bad.

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4 hours ago, Klassiker said:

I would say yes, as l long as that's what the designer intended. It is conceivable that both watches have too much friction in the train (dirt, old oil), but the first has a weaker mainspring which isn't losing much power over 12h, and the second has an over-powerful spring fitted to bump up the amplitude. Both bad.

A graph showing amp drop over time would provide more of an insight. 20° loss over 12 hours seems to indicate a good consistency of energy release in the mainspring. You'd expect quite a big drop initially in the first few hours then some levelling out for the remainder of the power reserve then another big drop in the last few hours. 

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10 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

A graph showing amp drop over time would provide more of an insight. 20° loss over 12 hours seems to indicate a good consistency of energy release in the mainspring. You'd expect quite a big drop initially in the first few hours then some levelling out for the remainder of the power reserve then another big drop in the last few hours. 

If you want to look at a graph of running of the watch over many many hours purchase some software

http://www.delphelectronics.co.uk/products.html

It's complicated the other watchmakers situation at work as sometimes he's in our location and sometimes you somewhere else. While I was here I asked for a 21 series Rolex and he gave me one. Wow didn't give it to be I got put on the timing machine and this is what we got by the way it has a problem I wonder if anyone notices what it is? So now we know what the discussion should strive for

image.png

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3 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

If you want to look at a graph of running of the watch over many many hours purchase some software

http://www.delphelectronics.co.uk/products.html

It's complicated the other watchmakers situation at work as sometimes he's in our location and sometimes you somewhere else. While I was here I asked for a 21 series Rolex and he gave me one. Wow didn't give it to be I got put on the timing machine and this is what we got by the way it has a problem I wonder if anyone notices what it is? So now we know what the discussion should strive for

image.png

Only that there is a small poise error, a heavy spot on the bottom of the balance wheel when the movement is somewhere between cl and cu.

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2 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Only that there is a small poise error, a heavy spot on the bottom of the balance wheel when the movement is somewhere between cl and cu.

Sad you weren't paying attention at all were you.

2 hours ago, mikepilk said:

DD/DU amplitude too high.

Somebody who is paying attention. Isn't it interesting that Rolex has two separate mainsprings for the watch if it always runs super high amplitude then why do they have a standard mainspring why not just offer the weaker mainspring?

Then this morning I had a meeting of our watch group a group of hobbyists and professionals that meet on Saturday every other month. We had a really nice lecture on the history of the lever escapement. Then I was talking to Jeff retired head watchmaker of a service center that service a heck of a lot of Rolex watches. Not just the service center he was  responsible for training all the watchmakers in all the stores and probably some other lectures to the salespeople on Rolexes etc. So if anyone should know what this magical high amplitude that we should all strive for it would be Jeff and what was the answer I got? They don't care there is no target magic high amplitude it's exactly what the tech sheet says what is the minimum amplitude at one half winding. Remember the Rolex will run 48 hours so basically it 24 hours one half of its power it should do a minimum amplitude in a certain position that's all they cared about and of course timekeeping.

Oh and yes the watch on the printout is a problem watch. It still have to come apart and get a new mainspring you have to go to the weaker spring although apparently it's only a problem when it's on the auto blinders so how much problem will be on somebody's wrist what's the likelihood that they will wind it up all the way and have timing issues?

The unfortunate problem with a mechanical watch is its mechanical. That means he will be variations as why Rolex has two different mainsprings because there's obviously variations. It's why we don't have that magical the watch should do 273.99° amplitude when fully wound up while standing on your head because there is no magical target amplitude. Your efficiency test is whether you have the minimum amplitude at 24 hours.

Then of course there's the silly other problem of the idiot customers who want their watches to keep time. After all that's one of the reasons I bought a Rolex watch they expected to keep time. Very few customers have timing machines to measure their amplitude and get excited about it. Oh and as far as worrying about wear and tear because your watch is not running at its peak efficiency with your phantom specifications what about the proper lubrication of the keyless works? You can't see if you're having issues there or if the Crown gasket goes bad moisture gets in the rust gets in you could grind the heck out of your watch winding it up and that won't show up on the timing machine at all. So if you want to have something to worry about that something to add your list to worry about. Another reason why watches should be serviced occasionally to replace the gaskets before the watch fills up with water and then you have a new problem.

 

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Because somebody else asked the mainspring related question and I was stealing images out of a lecture I once gave here's something now these are pocket watch springs have to go and see if you find an image of a wristwatch spring out there somewhere in the universe. Notice how the top spring has a little bit of a back curve versus the other one that looks well kind of set but not super set and conceivably but I don't remember Might've been actually a brand-new spring this is where the aftermarket springs become an issue of what sort of back spring curve Richard do they have and how well was informed I've had brand-new springs out of the package that basically we had the center part for the arbor and the spring went practically straight out obviously that's not going to have a nice power curve like a mainspring with a proper shaped back curve.

image.png.58cb9e67e6f290883e7b97167c79082a.png

Now the picture quality sucks as I magnified a Omega PDF on reusing mainsprings so they consider this good now you notice the back curve how it's much much nicer than on my pocket watch spring. So always various curvatures or lack of curvatures or basically the mainspring can have a huge impact on the watch in addition to everything else in the watch having an impact.

image.png.8175e6ec3304042665b28fcc0ee2b3dc.png

 

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I thought since we were discussing the effect of mainsprings I thought I'd show you another example of mainsprings. Then tomorrow the watch would probably be running and we will see the effect of a brand-new mainspring that's on the one on the right versus the vintage Elgin blue Spring currently set on the left. On vintage American Springs the watch companies usually stamped their initials on the attachment at the very end.

Then the brand-new spring and there is the ring it came out of in the top corner sealed in its package and noticed the beautiful back curve? Well in case you're not noticing it I'm not noticing it either be quite honest of this was my mainspring I would be very disappointed. Well action was very disappointed and showed it to my boss and asked what he thought and it went in. On the grounds it looks better than the set spring but. I was talking to somebody else and he was noticing the same thing the quality of some of the mainsprings is not what it should be anymore. Plus it's hard to see in the photograph it's not very good but the Springs have kind of a yellowish tint to them as opposed to the classic white spring and that is shiny and silver with no discoloration of whatever that is.

So the reason I bring up all of this is one of the unfortunate problems of wristwatch Springs is typically you just shove them in. Then yes I really am expecting that I'm going to be unhappy with the new spring. I have another watch on the bench and while I don't get obsessed about amplitude not like some people I do that unhappy when it gets too low at the end of 24 hours when it should be much much higher all because the other mainspring I didn't get a picture but it looked similar to this they're looking partially set.

 

image.png.463a32e7910f1185ec977df686036bb1.png

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello hello,

well, maybe to close this topic with my final update.

Of course, my obsessive side got the better of me 😕 People who know me personally wouldn't be surprised.

I just kept wondering if I had made a mistake or if there was any dirt somewhere.

So I ended up disassembling/cleaning/reassembling/reoiling the watch two more times (except the mainspring barrel, because I don't have a mainspring winder)..

Well, what did it do? NOTHING. Exact some outcome (amplitude at full wind and after 24h). A bit frustrating (especially, since I lost one cap jewel in the process which cost me 35 EUR to replace) to do all this work for nothing, BUT now I have certainty that there definitely is nothing wrong. The last assembly/oiling and inspection was also with my brand-new stereo microscope (see post linked below). So I am sure that everything is spotless and oiled really well.

But one additional thing, and @Jon mentioned this in his post earlier in the thread: when I install the automatic works and rotor-wind the watch a little bit (swerving the watch around for 2min) after a full manual wind, amplitude will shoot up to 295 degrees for about one minute. Then it settles back to 270, then 260 where it stays for a while.

In the end, I'm happy with the final result. As @JohnR725 always says: what matters (for most watch company specifications) is amplitude AFTER 24h -- and timekeeping, of course. Both are perfectly within spec.

So, done and done.

 

)

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