People have lots of questions about watches; what does a particular part do or why is this thing important? Here are some answers to some common and uncommon questions about watches.
Why do watches degrade over time? Shouldn’t they stay the way they are?
Simply put, watches are machines. And much like cars, they need to be maintained to keep good time. The oils in your watch movement deteriorate over time and need to be replaced to keep the watch running smoothly. If you don’t wear your watch regularly, you’ll find that when you pick it back up you’ll be paying a big repair bill.
Why are the jewels important?
The jewels in your watch are made of rubies and their job is to be a frictionless bearing on the moving steel parts, like pivots and gears. Jewels were introduced in the 1700’s and most watches did not have them, so finding a watch that had them, and lots of them, meant that it was a better watch than most. Nowadays, almost every watch has jewels, be it a cheap $20 watch or a million dollar timepiece, but they are very important – even if you can’t see them.
What is a Tourbillon?
A Tourbillon is a rotating cage that holds the balance, balance spring, and escapement to help regulate the time. Watchmakers figured out that when gravity pulls on these elements and can make the watch run a little too fast or too slow depending on the position it is in. They determined that putting these mechanisms in a mechanical cage that rotates it would average out that pull and they can better regulate the time for prefect accuracy. Since modern technology, the Tourbillon is pretty much obsolete but watchmakers just love to use and make them well because they just look so nice.