Relationship between Regulating and Adjusting
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Thread: Relationship between Regulating and Adjusting

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  1. #1
    Member Tonhao's Avatar
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    Relationship between Regulating and Adjusting

    As far as I understand, regulating tries to center the watch’s rate closer to 0s/day and adjusting tries to bring the spread closer so that the watch runs consistently. Regulating is relatively straightforward; adjusting is best left to experts.

    My question is, if you regulate(turn the pin towards fast or slow) an “adjusted to x positions” watch such as Rolex, Omega, Grand Seiko, etc., does it interfere with the adjustment as well? If your adjusted watch ran consistently fast, for example, would turning the knob perfect the timekeeping or throw off the adjusted state?
    Last edited by Tonhao; August 22nd, 2018 at 15:59.

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    Member adg31's Avatar
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    Relationship between Regulating and Adjusting

    My limited understanding is that Rolex and Omega now both use a free sprung balance for most of their current automatic watches which removes the fast/slow adjustment pin you refer to. This is now taken up by adjusting weights on the balance wheel to alter the rate.



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  3. #3
    Member Tonhao's Avatar
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    Re: Relationship between Regulating and Adjusting

    Quote Originally Posted by adg31 View Post
    My limited understanding is that Rolex and Omega now both use a free sprung balance for most of their current automatic watches which removes the fast/slow adjustment pin you refer to. This is now taken up by adjusting weights on the balance wheel to alter the rate.
    You are right, modern watches are shifting towards the free sprung model. For the purposes of this discussion those watches are excluded.

    Better examples would be watches that use ETA chronometer grade movements, IWC, Breitling, some Panerais, older Rolex and Omegas, etc.

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  5. #4
    Moderator at Large stuffler,mike's Avatar
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    Re: Relationship between Regulating and Adjusting

    Kind regards
    Mike


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    Re: Relationship between Regulating and Adjusting

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonhao View Post
    As far as I understand, regulating tries to center the watch’s rate closer to 0s/day and adjusting tries to bring the spread closer so that the watch runs consistently. Regulating js relatively straightforward; adjusting is best left to experts.

    My question is, if you regulate(turn the pin towards fast or slow) an “adjusted to x positions” watch such as Rolex, Omega, Grand Seiko, etc., does it interfere with the adjustment as well? If your adjusted watch ran consistently fast, for example, would turning the knob perfect the timekeeping or throw off the adjusted state?
    If everything is proper with the way the watch was adjusted, then regulating it (moving the average) should not change the spread of the rates across positions (the Delta).

    With a free sprung balance where screws or other weights on the balance are adjusted to change the average rate, then improper regulation (not moving pairs of weights equally) can introduce a poise error on the balance, changing the positional variation in the vertical positions.

    Cheers, Al
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    Member Tonhao's Avatar
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    Re: Relationship between Regulating and Adjusting

    Quote Originally Posted by Archer View Post
    If everything is proper with the way the watch was adjusted, then regulating it (moving the average) should not change the spread of the rates across positions (the Delta).
    I had to ask the question because I came across a thread where someone was trying to regulate his Grand Seiko and nearly everyone discouraged the idea. Of course, it is probably a sound idea to leave watchmaking to watchmakers, but regulating isn’t rocket science.

    If there is no adverse effect on adjustment, I might try it on a ETA first and see how it works!

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    Re: Relationship between Regulating and Adjusting

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonhao View Post
    I had to ask the question because I came across a thread where someone was trying to regulate his Grand Seiko and nearly everyone discouraged the idea. Of course, it is probably a sound idea to leave watchmaking to watchmakers, but regulating isn’t rocket science.

    If there is no adverse effect on adjustment, I might try it on a ETA first and see how it works!
    Nothing we watchmakers do is rocket science, but be aware that doesn't necessarily make is easy. In theory it is an easy task and one I do every day (along with many other tasks that are much more difficult), but for someone who has not worked on a movement before, it can be more complicated than it sounds.

    I would suggest making sure you fully understand the layout of the parts in question before trying to regulate the movement. Most watches that are not free sprung will have an adjustable stud carrier and a regulator - both move but only one should be moved when regulating. Also you should be aware that how you put pressure on things, or if you slip, could result in significant damage. In some movements in order to access the regulator arm directly, the automatic winding system has to be removed. If equipped, using a the fine adjustment screw would be the least intrusive (and least risky) method to make small adjustments in rate.

    On an even more basic level, care needs to be taken with removing the case back, not letting dirt or debris into the movement, etc. These are things that many amateur tinkerers don't think of - they just crack open the case and get to it, leaving debris to fall into the movement because they didn't properly clean the case before opening it. Do you have a timing machine in order to see the effects of your regulation attempts? Do you have silicone grease for the case back gasket? Are you able to pressure test the watch after to make sure it won't leak is exposed to water? Some things not directly related to regulation that you should consider.

    Let us know how you make out.

    Cheers, Al
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  9. #8
    Member TwentiethCenturyFox's Avatar
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    Re: Relationship between Regulating and Adjusting

    Plus one for Mike’s response. Too technical this early in the morning.

  10. #9
    Member Tonhao's Avatar
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    Relationship between Regulating and Adjusting

    Quote Originally Posted by Archer View Post
    On an even more basic level, care needs to be taken with removing the case back, not letting dirt or debris into the movement, etc. These are things that many amateur tinkerers don't think of - they just crack open the case and get to it, leaving debris to fall into the movement because they didn't properly clean the case before opening it. Do you have a timing machine in order to see the effects of your regulation attempts? Do you have silicone grease for the case back gasket? Are you able to pressure test the watch after to make sure it won't leak is exposed to water? Some things not directly related to regulation that you should consider.

    Let us know how you make out.

    Cheers, Al
    Thanks for your detailed response. I have tinkered with some snap-back cases before, but not a waterproof case. If there are gaskets and oils that need to be serviced, I probably won’t go to the trouble of servicing it myself. I don’t have an opener for such casebacks anyway.

    The better option would be to visit a local watchmaker and ask him to turn down the regulator a notch.

    At the end of the day, we are only talking <+10spd. However I have one watch(ETA) that’s running on the slow side and might prefer to have it switch over to fast, which is a benefit worth having.
    Last edited by Tonhao; August 22nd, 2018 at 19:51.

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