You surely know the rubies, this precious stone of a beautiful red often cut in jewel. But do you know the rubies in a watch? You may not know it, but there are many rubies in the workings of a watch. But what are the rubies used for inside a watch? In this article, we will explain the role of rubies in a watch.
The more rubies, the more valuable my watch?
How many rubies are there on Charlie Paris watch movements?
You may not know it but the movements of mechanical watcheshave many rubies.They are there to ensure that the watches function properly and are reliable over time.
The rubies present in the movement of a mechanical watch (and therefore an automatic watch) serve to limit friction within the latter. If there were no rubies, there would be metal-to-metal friction which, with force, would damage the operation of the watch. The rubies are attached to the pivots of the balance and gear axles, in other words where the friction areas are greatest. They are arranged in the form of a pad at the ends of the pivots and keep the entire structure of the movement in place.
Ruby is the second hardest stone after diamond with a very low coefficient of friction, which is why it is the stone chosen to be at the heart of the mechanism. Friction is therefore greatly minimized, therefore there is less loss of energy in the movement. In short, the presence of rubies therefore improves the precision of the watch, its durability and its reliability over time.
It should however be mentioned that the rubies used in mechanical watch movements are synthetic rubies. Indeed Auguste Verneuil in 1902 established a process for producing rubies in the laboratory. This process even took the name of its inventor, it is called the Verneuil process. Before the invention of this process, mechanical watches were provided with real rubies, so the more the number increased the higher the value of the watch. The synthetic ruby being much cheaper to produce than the classic ruby, it has spread widely within the watchmaking industry especially since the soaring price of ruby in 1920. Synthetic rubies used in a mechanical watch present exactly the same chemical properties as traditional ruby. Synthetic ruby is the result of the fusion between powder ofaluminum oxide and red dye.
To sum up, a movement that has many rubies will not necessarily be more expensive because the synthetic ruby has a low market value. On the other hand, the more rubies a movement has, the more it is a "complex" movement and can therefore be a guarantee of a certain quality.
Almost allautomatic watches are equipped with the 9015 movement from Miyota which includes 24 Rubies. The exception is our diving watch Condordia, which is equipped with ETA's 2824-2 automatic movement which features 25 Rubies.