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Watch movement parts, what are they made of?

Jun 13,2024/Watch Education

Watches are not just accessories; they are intricate pieces of engineering that blend craftsmanship with precision. At the heart of every timepiece lies its movement, the mechanism responsible for keeping time ticking seamlessly. Let’s take a closer look at the various parts that make up a watch movement and the materials that bring them to life.

1. Mainplate:

The mainplate serves as the foundation of the movement, holding all other components in place. Typically made of brass or stainless steel, the mainplate provides stability and support to the entire mechanism.

2. Bridges:

Bridges are small metal pieces that cover specific parts of the movement, providing protection and stability. They are often made of brass, stainless steel, or even titanium for high-end watches, ensuring durability and resistance to wear.

3. Gears:

Gears are the workhorses of the movement, transferring energy from the mainspring to other parts of the watch. They are commonly crafted from brass, steel, or in some cases, synthetic materials like Delrin for smoother operation and reduced friction.

4. Mainspring:

The mainspring is the source of power in mechanical watches, storing energy when wound and releasing it gradually to drive the movement. Mainsprings are typically made of hardened steel for resilience and longevity.

5. Balance Wheel:

The balance wheel oscillates back and forth, regulating the timekeeping of the watch. Usually made of a copper-beryllium alloy, stainless steel, or titanium, balance wheels are crafted to be lightweight yet sturdy to maintain accurate timekeeping.

6. Escapement:

The escapement is the mechanism that controls the release of energy from the mainspring. Components like the escape wheel and pallet fork are often made of hardened steel or synthetic materials to withstand constant interaction and minimize friction.

7. Jewels:

Jewels, usually synthetic rubies or sapphires, are used as bearings in high-friction areas to reduce wear and tear. They are precision-cut to minimize friction and maintain accuracy over time.

8. Springs:

Various types of springs, such as the hairspring and click spring, are crucial for functions like regulating the balance wheel or securing the winding mechanism. These are typically made of specialized steel alloys chosen for their elasticity and resilience.

9. Screws:

Tiny screws hold the movement together and adjust various components. Made of stainless steel, blued steel, or even gold in luxury watches, these screws are meticulously crafted to ensure stability and precision.

10. Dials and Hands:

While not part of the movement itself, dials and hands play a crucial role in displaying time. They are often made of materials like brass, steel, or precious metals, with intricate designs to enhance the watch’s aesthetics.

From the robust mainplate to the delicate balance wheel, each part of a watch movement plays a vital role in its functionality and accuracy. Crafted with precision and attention to detail, these components come together to create the mesmerizing heartbeat of every timepiece, reminding us of the artistry and engineering behind the watches we wear every day.

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7th Floor, A3 building, Zhongtai Technology Industrial Park, Dezheng Road, Shiyan street, Baoan district, Shenzhen city, China.