Can different movement of same beat rate be smoother than others?
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  1. #1
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    Can different movement of same beat rate be smoother than others?

    I sometimes read comments here and there that watch A with beat rate X has the second hand run smoother than watch B with same beat rate but with a different movement.

    Ok if the second hand are the same length, is that only possible? Are they fooling themselves?
    I have not been able to see such difference, but some are positive that some movements with for example 28800 beat are smoother than others with same 28.800 beat.
    Teach me.

  2. #2
    Member tigerpac's Avatar
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    Re: Can different movement of same beat rate be smoother than others?

    I'm no expert, but would think it would be the same if beat rate and hand length were the same. Maybe dial layout causes an optical illusion?

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    Member hpark21's Avatar
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    Re: Can different movement of same beat rate be smoother than others?

    It is interesting that you mention this.

    I noticed that in an Ebel shop one day, one of their 3 hander watch had ALMOST perfect sweep!! Even in close examination. I was quite impressed. I don't think it was one of their in-house movement model either. It was around $1k jobbie. (Can not remember the model but I am sure it would have run of the mill ETA movement)
    Chronic flipper...


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  5. #4
    WnS
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    Re: Can different movement of same beat rate be smoother than others?

    I'm no expert either, but I think smoothness varies depending on the duration of the "stop" between the fast ticks. The shorter the stop, the smoother the second hand moves.
    I'm content with my watch collection

  6. #5
    Member Likestheshiny's Avatar
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    Re: Can different movement of same beat rate be smoother than others?

    Overhead lighting can make a noticeable difference. The very fast flickering of some bulbs can make a watch seem more or less smooth. Nothing about the watch itself should meaningfully change the perceived smoothness, though (except the length of the sweep second hand, as noted).

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    Member jbg7474's Avatar
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    Re: Can different movement of same beat rate be smoother than others?

    In theory, there could be different rates of damping in the gear train. I'm certain no watch does this, but if there were a viscous coupling (like a micro torque converter) in there somewhere, it would be possible to make the second hand completely smooth. But this would also have an effect on accuracy (since it would allow the movement to coast a bit). I think it would be possible for different materials, slack, and lubrication to accomplish a similar thing. This might smooth out the movement of the second hand a little bit.

    In practice, I have no idea. There are certainly different rates of damping in different movements, but I have no idea whether it would be enough of a difference for a person to notice.
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    Re: Can different movement of same beat rate be smoother than others?

    The only way I can think to prove/disprove this is by using a High speed camera with both watch side by side.

  9. #8
    Member CitizenM's Avatar
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    Re: Can different movement of same beat rate be smoother than others?

    You have to take into account the gears that go into driving the seconds hand. If there is play between the gears, etc., then yes, it could appear less smooth than others. This happens a lot with seconds subdials.

    But assuming everything was manufactured right, 28k = 28k holding all other variables constant (which, if you think about it, is just a truism).

  10. #9
    Member lysanderxiii's Avatar
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    Re: Can different movement of same beat rate be smoother than others?

    Yes, there can be a difference, a rather large difference. As Citizen noted, the backlash in the gear train can allow more bounce and thus appear less smooth.

    There is also the possibility of indirect second hands, with without the proper drag tension, can appear less smooth.
    familiaritas parit contemptum; raritate admiratione wins.- Lucius Apuleius
    est necessry, accurate ad secundo? - Lysander magna
    iustum est horologium - Obscurus Genius

  11. #10
    Member TK-421's Avatar
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    Re: Can different movement of same beat rate be smoother than others?

    Depends how smooth the
    Movement is.

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