In watchmaking, the frequency of movement is a real asset and many brands have also embarked on a race to increase the oscillation speed and performance of their watches. But what about this famous frequency? In this article, Team Charlie enlightens you on the frequency of a watch.
What does frequency mean on an automatic watch?
What is the link between the Balance and the Frequency of a watch?
What is the relationship between frequency and precision?
The frequency of a watch corresponds to the number of alternations performed by the balance during an hour. There are two types of measurement to assess the frequency of an automatic movement: Hertz and the number of vibrations per hour (A / h).The higher the frequency of a watch, the more precise the oscillations of the balance. It is the oscillations made by the balance that produce the ticking of the watches.
The balance is the regulating organ of the watch. It allows the energy received by the anchor to be channeled and therefore allows the needles to rotate at regular and precise intervals. It is the oscillations made by the balance that allow the hands to move.
The balance receives mechanical energy through the anchor, which allows the anchor to rotate. This is ICT that we mean. At the center of the balance is a spiral which compresses under the effect of the balance rotating. As it relaxes, the spiral forces the balance to move backward: this step is indicated by the TAC we hear. The oscillation is therefore the back and forth movement of the balance, it is therefore composed of 2 vibrations.
The frequency is the number of oscillations that the balance will perform in 1 second. However, we express the frequency of a automatic watch in number of vibrations per hour or in Hertz. Thus a watch at 28,800 vibrations per hour performs 14,400 oscillations in one hour, 240 oscillations per minute and 4 oscillations per second. To express the alternation in Hz we must divide the number of oscillations per hour, by 7200. Thus a mechanical watch with a frequency of 28,800 A / h will have a frequency of 4Hz.
The higher the frequency, in other words the more the balance will oscillate in one second, the more precise the watch will be and the smoother the movement of the hands (especially the seconds) will be. However, it should be noted that in some movements, too high a frequency may tend to wear out the movement prematurely and also reduce the autonomy of the power reserve.
Most mechanical watches have frequencies of 21,600 A / H or 28,800 A / H although there are watches with frequencies up to 36,000 vibrations per hour or 10 vibrations per second. On this type of movement, the rhythm of the second hand is smooth, we no longer see the increments.