Question about regulation
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  1. #1
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    Question about regulation

    I've got a question about regulating in different positions. Lets say I've got a watch running +15 sec. fast face up and I regulate it to+ 2 sec. per day face up, but now it's running -15 sec. a day face down. If I adjust it to run -2 sec a day face down aren't I right back where I started? How do you regulate a watch to different positions without affecting the regulations you've already done?

  2. #2
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    Re: Question about regulation

    Regulation does indeed just increase or decrease the rate of the watch across all positions by effectively changing the length of the balance spring, or by changing the inertia of the balance if it is a free spring balance.

    Reducing positional variation requires what is usually called adjustment. This includes many things like re-shaping jewels, checking and correctly oiling, perfecting pivots, refinishing gear teeth, and correcting any small manufacturing imperfections. Basically making the movement itself better in some way to fundamentally improve performance. It is only possible for a skilled watchmaker to do this.

    The best an amateur can do is measure actual average rate either across all positions or across several days of actual use and then increase or decrease the rate of the watch across all positions via regulation, so that positional errors average out in daily use and the watch appears accurate to the user.

  3. #3
    Ard
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    Re: Question about regulation

    Hello,

    I've been a bit of an accuracy fanatic since before I joined this forum. One reason I joined was to post a question about proper regulation techniques and I received some replies. With that in mind I intend to offer something I have learned since I began tinkering with regulating for accuracy.

    While it is important to measure the movements performance in various positions here's something I was never told but have found to be quite true.

    If you have a time graph set the device to measure 60 second runs. Of course your device will continue running and graphing past the 60 seconds so allow it to continue running / measuring rate etc. while you change the position of the watch head. Look for the variance after each move as from face up to crown down.

    My guess is that you will see a definite change in beat rate for at least a period of 30 or more seconds. Pay attention to whether the change is negative (probable) or positive and make note of this lag time beat rate until the movement balances out in the new position. Check the variance during this period between your positions and if it is (for instance) negative 6 on average after each change of position then regulate the watch to run at least 6 seconds fast in all positions.

    Did you follow that?

    If I were regulating a watch that would only be subjected to dial up positioning at all times I could get many movements to function at +/- zero but that isn't the nature of these things during use, they are constantly changing position as we move. With that in mind regulate to compensate for the varied performance between positions.

    I have a watch that was serviced and regulated by Tag Heuer, when I got it back it came with a positional regulation record. When I read the chart I figured it would run way fast because it recorded fast in all positions. I was sure I'd have to crack open the pressure tested case to correct it but found that it was running dead on time day to day. When I checked the watch it was indeed fast in all positions but when I changed positions with the time graph running I saw readings from -3 to -11 depending on the change being made.

    I've been wearing the watch every day since March and it remains dead on with 24/7 wear. Something to consider if you are looking to get one just right.

    Ard
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    Re: Question about regulation

    Thanks for that info. So I guess as far as simple user regulation, you just balance the + and - readings until you get close to your wearing habits. If you want to get close to chronometer numbers, with a watch that wont do it by simple regulation, you need to take it to a pro.....

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    Re: Question about regulation

    And thanks Ard with that lag time info as I hadn't figured that into the equation...…. As much as your arm changes position in a day, I would guess the lag would completely change the results.

  7. #6
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    Re: Question about regulation

    I read a great article by a watchmaker on how to regulate, but I can't find the link again.

    If I remember correctly, the idea from that article is that when regulating, one tries to bring the average rate close to plus or minus zero seconds per day.

    e.g. Let's pretend one measures this with timegrapher:

    Dial up: +10s/day
    Dial down: +5s/day
    Crown up: -6s/day
    Crown down: -8s/day
    Crown left: -4s/day
    Crown right: -3s/day

    One takes the average of that: (10+5-6-8-4-3s/day)/6 positions = -1s/day

    Then one tries to regulate by turning to the "plus" side to bring that -1s/day average to 0s/day average. Let's say it reads +5s/day in dial down position. Regulate in dial down position to "plus" side until one gets +6s/day.

    Afterwards, in theory the readings should become:

    Dial up: +11s/day
    Dial down: +6s/day
    Crown up: -5s/day
    Crown down: -7s/day
    Crown left: -3s/day
    Crown right: -2s/day

    The average of that should come out to be closer to +0s/day: (11+6-5-7-3-2s/day)/6 positions= 0s/day.


    But as ACoulson mentioned above, personal usage pattern could be taken into consideration. In which case, I think the idea is to set the time, use the watch for a week or 10 days, note the delta after a week or 10 days, and then calculate rate of gain or loss per day. e.g. Set the time, use the watch for 7 days. If after 7 days, the time is +14s, then+14s/7 days = +2s/day, so try to regulate to "minus" side to bring that average to +0s/day. i.e. If dial down position is reading +5s/day, regulate to "minus" to bring to +3s/day in dial down position. (Haha, but if it's +2s/day, that's pretty good, I'd leave it. :) )
    Last edited by rdoder; September 12th, 2018 at 13:19.

  8. #7
    Ard
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    Re: Question about regulation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ardyar View Post
    And thanks Ard with that lag time info as I hadn't figured that into the equation...…. As much as your arm changes position in a day, I would guess the lag would completely change the results.
    With all three of my automatic watches it weighs into the equation a great deal. Prior to this experience with the factory serviced movement I was aware of how erratic they ran between positions but had never factored it into my attempts at a perfect regulation. After seeing how this (what I now call lag time) affects performance I check for it always when I get a new piece to work with.

    Here's where I'll push the envelope a bit, I believe that most (I did say most) decent quality automatic movements are capable of very accurate performance. I base that statement on my limited experience with some Seiko movements, many eta models and just one Sellita movement.

    If you have a watch that does not respond to regulation attempts then there are issues at large going beyond simple rate adjusting. Some are mechanical while others such as the amplitude settings require much more careful adjusting. Basically if the movement has a strong mainspring, the balance and amplitude are within allowed specs for the movement they should run very close if adjusted.

    I am no watchmaker but am one of those people who can figure out many things given proper resources to study from and test items to work with :)

  9. #8
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    Re: Question about regulation

    This is a good article on regulating watches from Prurist Pro.

    Bob

    https://www.watchprosite.com/watchte...86/1522720358/
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  10. #9
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    Re: Question about regulation

    Regulating a watch yourself is one thing, but requiring a cleaning is another thing. Perhaps you need the latter.
    "Genius is nothing but a greater aptitude for patience." -Ben Franklin
    Damasko | Hamilton | Longines | Mido | Orient | Oris | Rolex | Timex



  11. #10
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    Re: Question about regulation

    hello, i really love this question.

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