Mechanical watch

The quality of a watch stems first and foremost from the quality of the watchmaker's work.

The value of the raw material used represents only a relatively modest part of the price of a finished movement compared with the value of the operations performed by the watchmaker. The watch, which represents the culmination of patient craftsmanship and refined techniques, is nothing without the watchmaker's touch which alone is capable of bringing it to life.

The regulating organ: the balance and spring assembly

The different functions of the movement

The balance spring

The balance and spring assembly represents the heart of the watch; it regulates the flow of time by means of the oscillations of the balance and is responsible for the accuracy of the watch.

It is composed of a statically poised two or three-arm fly wheel (the balance - 1) as well as a spring (a steel spring thinner than a hair's breadth - 2).

The balance performs a circular to-and-fro motion and divided up time into equal units.

  1. The pallet-lever gives an impulse to the balance to make it perform one rotation: the TICK sound
  2. During this rotation, the balance-spring is compressed, thereby balancing the energy distributed

  3. Then the balance-spring uncoils and forces the balance to swing back : the TOCK sound

  4. The to-and-fro principle is achieved, corresponding to an oscillation

  5. A new impulse is then given by the pallet-lever

An oscillation is composed of 2 vibrations.

Frequency is the number of oscillations in one second. This term is often used to describe a watch calibre and is expressed in vibrations per hour:

  • A frequency of 2.5 Hertz is equivalent to 18,000 vibrations per hour (meaning 5 vibrations per second)
  • A frequency of 3 Hertz is equivalent to 21,600 vibrations per hour
  • A frequency of 4 Hertz is equivalent to 28,800 vibrations per hour


    A frequency of 5 Hertz is equivalent to 36,000 vibrations per hour (meaning 10 vibrations per second)

The energy thus regulated is transmitted to the hands by a set of wheels.