77 Jewels - Where do they put them?

Thread: 77 Jewels - Where do they put them?

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  1. #1
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    77 Jewels - Where do they put them?

    I recently received a pile of watches from the estate of a man who recently died in our community. The man was 85 and had not touched these timepieces in over 40+ yrs
    I already listed a couple, and the Omega sold within 30 seconds, with two bids (obviously I was far too low)

    This is the third one to go up - why I am sharing it here is that its got a remarkable 77 Jewels!!

    Its a TITONI AIRMASTER ROTOMATIC (automatic) - 77 Jewel!! Circa 1960s. Movement by FELSA S.A. _ I think caliber 4006
    Since Felsa ceased trading in 1969, I estimated its a 60s watch

    Where do they fit all those Jewels??







    Next up is his military (G.S.T.P) MOERIS pocket watch
    Adam
    Last edited by HOROLOGIST007; June 30th, 2013 at 19:26.
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  2. #2
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    Re: 77 Jewels - Where do they put them?

    On, anywhere they can (get away with), really. Normally, the click wheels are a favourite place for about a dozen but the Felsa movements have a swivel system for changing the bidirectional rotor movement to unidirectional. I can see quite a few cap jewels so that must be part of the trick.....

    Hartmut Richter

  3. #3
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: 77 Jewels - Where do they put them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    On, anywhere they can (get away with), really. Normally, the click wheels are a favourite place for about a dozen but the Felsa movements have a swivel system for changing the bidirectional rotor movement to unidirectional. I can see quite a few cap jewels so that must be part of the trick.....

    Hartmut Richter
    Thanks Hartmut
    If you want further better pictures, I am happy to do it.

    Thanks
    a
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

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    Re: 77 Jewels - Where do they put them?

    Interesting clippet on the subject from wikipedia to add to what's already been said:

    It is doubtful whether adding jewels in addition to the ones listed above is really useful in a watch.[16] It does not increase accuracy, since the only wheels which have an effect on the balance wheel, those in the going train, are already jeweled. Marine chronometers, the most accurate portable timepieces, often have only 7 jewels. Nor does jeweling additional wheel bearings increase the useful life of the movement; as mentioned above most of the other wheels do not get enough wear to need them.

    However, by the early 20th century watch movements had been standardized to the point that there was little difference between their mechanisms, besides quality of workmanship. So watch manufacturers made the number of jewels, one of the few metrics differentiating quality watches, a major advertising point, listing it prominently on the watch's face. Consumers, with little else to go on, learned to equate more jewels with more quality in a watch. Although initially this was a good measure of quality, it gave manufacturers an incentive to increase the jewel count.

    Around the 1960s this 'jewel craze' reached ridiculous heights, and manufacturers made watches with 41, 53, 75, or even 100 jewels.[15][16] Most of these additional jewels were totally nonfunctional; they never contacted moving parts, and were included just to increase the jewel count. For example the Waltham 100 jewel watch consisted of an ordinary 17 jewel movement, with 83 tiny pieces of ruby mounted around the automatic winding rotor.[17]


    In 1974, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in collaboration with the Swiss watch industry standards organization NIHS: Normes de l'Industrie Horlogère Suisse published a standard, ISO 1112, which prohibited manufacturers from including such nonfunctional jewels in the jewel counts in advertising and sales literature.

    This put a stop to the use of totally nonfunctional jewels. However, some experts say manufacturers have continued to inflate the jewel count of their watches by 'upjeweling'; adding functional jeweled bearings to wheels that do not really need them, exploiting loopholes in ISO 1112.[16] Examples given include adding capstones to third and fourth wheel bearings, jeweling minute wheel bearings, and automatic winding ratchet pawls. Arguably none of these additions adds to the accuracy or longevity of the watch.


  6. #5
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    Re: 77 Jewels - Where do they put them?

    Hi there,

    glad to notice that some didn't join the jewel party. In the 60s, Longines used ball bearings with 5 ruby balls even in 17 jewel versions of the 340 line, but still signed them to have 17 jewels:



    Likely they didn't want these rubies to be regarded as advertising junk. And even more: They appeared to be ashamed to mention more than 17 jewels. I've scarcely (actually twice) seen samples signed to have more than 17 jewels, but many which were signed with "17 jewels", but actually had up to 30 jewels (including the balls).

    But this all might also have been an experimental phase: These movements had never simple drilled bearings; all were either equipped with a jewel or a metal bushing. So every count between 0 and 30 was possible, to find out, where jewels are actually important.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft
    Last edited by Roland Ranfft; July 1st, 2013 at 02:04. Reason: reducing typos to a reasonable number

  7. #6
    Member TheJohnP's Avatar
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    Re: 77 Jewels - Where do they put them?

    Name:  Waltham1.JPG
Views: 964
Size:  505.1 KBName:  Waltham6.JPG
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Size:  458.6 KBName:  Waltham9.JPG
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    Before I sold it off, I had a Waltham 100 Jewels watch. You can see how they placed the bulk of them around the rotor. Best shots I could get of the movement showcasing the ring of jewels.

    I don't think they got any higher than 100.
    I've got more Converse sneakers than watches, but it is a close race.

  8. #7
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: 77 Jewels - Where do they put them?

    I had at least one high-jewel claiming watch that used a large number of jewels between the date wheel and the movement. Definately fit the criteria of reducing wear and friction, albiet on a part that really didnt' see a lot of wear or friction in the first place: https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/39j...ar-531481.html

    It's only 39 jewels, but you get the idea.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  9. #8
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: 77 Jewels - Where do they put them?

    Thanks to all. I knew that the 77j movements was irrelevant, but thought it may be (and it was) a useful discussion thread.
    thanks especially to watchma and Roland's inputs
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

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    Re: 77 Jewels - Where do they put them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Ranfft View Post

    Likely they didn't want these rubies to be regarded as advertising junk. And even more: They appeared to be ashamed to mention more than 17 jewels. I've scarcely (actually twice) seen samples signed to have more than 17 jewels, but many which were signed with "17 jewels", but actually had up to 30 jewels (including the balls).

    But this all might also have been an experimental phase: These movements had never simple drilled bearings; all were either equipped with a jewel or a metal bushing. So every count between 0 and 30 was possible, to find out, where jewels are actually important.
    Roland -

    Is it possible that these movements were exported to the US, where there was additional customs duties on watches with more than 17 jewels? It was common practice at that time to mark "Unadjusted" on movements that were adjusted, to not have to pay this extra tax.

    I would not be surprised if the Longines Wittnauer Co. shaved a little competitive edge this way. The watch market in the USA was very competitive during the 1960's.

    BTW, that extra customs duty applied on a per jewel basis on all the jewels (even the first 17). It might have only been a couple of dollars, but multiply that time the tens of thousands of movements LW imported and it was a whole lot of money.

    Take care,
    gatorcpa

  11. #10
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: 77 Jewels - Where do they put them?

    I'm pretty sure the additional tax on jewels ended in the late 50's; that was one of the reasons for some of the crazy jewel counts. The tarriff on additional jewels was started in 1930, and the 1955 tarriff was 0.14 per jewel in excess of 7 on top of the $10.75 for watches with 17 or more jewels. (What the Tariff Means to American Industries - Google Books)
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

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