Annular rotors ?
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  1. #1
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    Annular rotors ?

    An often unfortunate aspect of automatic movements, at least when coupled with a display back, is that the rotor tends to hide much of the movement at any given time. Some rotors are hollowed out quite a bit, and that helps, but I keep wondering why all the movements use a central axis for the rotor.

    I've drawn a picture below to illustrate what I mean. I apologize for the crudeness of it, I'm not terribly good at image editing. Next to it is a picture of an annular gear.

    There could be a large outer ring, with gearing on the inside, probably mounted a ball gearing attached to the outer circumference of the case. That could freely rotate around, which would wind up the movement (used a 6497 here for illustration, as the back is nice and simple). Of course if the red ring is perfectly balanced, it won't move about much, so it would need to be weighted on one side (green blobs on the image), with a heavier material. Much like the current outer parts of typical rotors.

    The net result would be a whole lot of free space in the middle, to showcase the movement. Indeed the caseback could even "crop it out" and only display the inside of the movement.

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    Does this exist already ? If not, is it because there is an obvious reason that makes it impossible ?
    kclee likes this.

  2. #2
    Member bullshark's Avatar
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    Re: Annular rotors ?

    A rotor turn because it's a weight at the end of a lever. There is no lever in your design, therefore it wouldn't turn, at least not enough to store energy in a spring just with regular wrist motion.
    Last edited by bullshark; April 4th, 2015 at 23:03.
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  3. #3
    Member J.D.B.'s Avatar
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    Re: Annular rotors ?

    The Heuers of the 1970's used "micro-rotors" like this caliber 12 auto. Too bad they didn't come with display-backs. I'm considering buying a modern one for my Autavia. Where's the rotor?
    Josh
    Last edited by J.D.B.; April 4th, 2015 at 23:11.
    Thank you, I'm flattered, but, please don't click any "Likes" for me (unless there's a prize for "most likes")?

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  5. #4
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    Re: Annular rotors ?

    The rotor turns because it's unbalanced, half of it is heavy and the other isn't. So when you tilt your wrist, the heavy half tends to fall to its lowest possible position. If the rotor was a full ring (or indeed a full disk, in case it's attached to a central axis), it would continue working for as long as it's unbalanced and one side is much heavier than the other.

    If the rotor was a ring, then you'd need half that ring to be comparatively heavy, for example because it would contain bits of tungsten, or something that's also comparatively much more dense than the main material of the ring.

  6. #5
    Member little big feather's Avatar
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    Re: Annular rotors ?

    My Chopard has a Micro-Rotor, but weight is important has to be heavy,gold here and even then
    winding is not as smooth, I have noticed, as a full size rotor....
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  7. #6
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    Re: Annular rotors ?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.B. View Post
    The Heuers of the 1970's used "micro-rotors" like this caliber 12 auto. Too bad they didn't come with display-backs. I'm considering buying a modern one for my Autavia. Where's the rotor?
    Josh
    Is it the tiny rotor-like object at about 9 o'clock ?

  8. #7
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    Re: Annular rotors ?

    There are a few movements out there that use such a winding mechanism. I believe they are typically found on automatic tourbillon movements. For example, here is an AP with an automatic movement. The "rotor" can be seen on the dial side underneath the chapter ring. It is not a complete ring. There are a few other similar movements out there, but my quick search didn't turn them up. I believe they are all from the big names. Here's the article where I pulled the picture.

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  9. #8
    Member fuzzyb's Avatar
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    Re: Annular rotors ?

    Here's another one I was thinking of. This is on the new Vacheron Harmony Ultra-Thin Grand Complication. One write-up can be found here.

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  10. #9
    Moderator at Large stuffler,mike's Avatar
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    Re: Annular rotors ?

    Why not simply use a micro rotor? The Buren 12 proved that it is possible that a micro rotor can be invisible.

    Or a ball bearing system like Damasko tested ?



    On the other hands: what is wrong with a handwinding movement?
    Last edited by stuffler,mike; April 4th, 2015 at 23:27.
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    Cool Re: Annular rotors ?

    Then the Vianney Halter - Classic is the watch for you, the rotor has been moved out of sight.
    Deledda likes this.

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