What is the technical makeup of a wristwatch?


Quick Answer

The technical makeup of a wristwatch includes the case and the works, or movement, inside the case. The parts of the movement include the frame, which supports the movement; the power unit, which keeps the watch running; the train; the wheels that carry the power from one wheel to the other; and the escapement. The escapement controls the speed at which the watch operates.

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Full Answer

The frame is usually made of at least two metal plates that are held apart by pillars. The power unit in a mechanical unit is the main spring, which is a thin ribbon of tempered steel located inside a barrel-shaped gear wheel. There are two kinds of barrels: the going barrel and the winding barrel.

The power unit in a quartz watch is a battery that provides an electric current to a piece of quartz shaped like a tuning fork. This tuning fork oscillates at 32,768 vibrations per second. In a quartz watch, these vibrations are converted to one per second.

The train of a wristwatch is made up of wheels and pinions that mesh with each other. A center wheel connects to the wheels that drive the second, minute and hour hands. The balance wheel is part of the escapement and controls the running of the watch.

A watch also has a dial with numbers on its face and at least two hands to designate the hour and the minute.

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