Watch technology types

Thread: Watch technology types

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  1. #1
    Member Lucidor's Avatar
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    Watch technology types

    I'm very new to the watch hobby, and just recently bought my first automatic; a Fortis B-42 Pilot Professional GMT based on the ETA-7754 movement.

    When reading the forums here, I see that there are many themes of collections. Some favor specific brands, some specific movements, or some are into divers. Being an engineer, I'm facinated by the differtent technologies behind the watches. And just maybe that would be the "theme" of a modest collection of mine in the future. But what fundamental technologies are there? Here is my first attempt on a short list:

    1. A manual wind mechanical.
    2. An automatic mechanical.
    3. A quartz-based digital (LED or LCD display).
    4. A quartz-based analog.
    5. A tuning fork-based analog (Accutron or similar).
    6. Seiko spring drive.
    7. A generator based digital (Ventura Sparc and predecessors)
    8. ...?

    Can you think of any additional significant technology? I know that some of the items in the list above do overlap and are not completely unique, but I like to think of them as quite distingctive anyhow.

  2. #2
    Member BlackLight's Avatar
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    Thumbs Up Re: Watch technology types

    Depending on how fine you want to make your divisions;
    Quartz analog-digital
    Quartz solar
    Quartz radio
    Quartz kinetic

    And you could go crazy with:
    Automatic mechanical - bumper
    Automatic mechanical - fullsize rotor
    Automatic mechanical - microrotor

  3. #3
    Inactive Isthmus's Avatar
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    Re: Watch technology types

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucidor View Post
    1. A manual wind mechanical.
    2. An automatic mechanical.
    3. A quartz-based digital (LED or LCD display).
    4. A quartz-based analog.
    5. A tuning fork-based analog (Accutron or similar).
    6. Seiko spring drive.
    7. A generator based digital (Ventura Sparc and predecessors)
    8. ...?
    That list is good but it can be segmented further considerably. For example, you can add to that:

    - Highly complicated (as in added complications) mechanicals (hand wind or auctomatic)
    - Automatic Chronograph's *
    - Manual Chronograph's *
    - Jump Hour movements (quartz and mechanical)
    - Digital Mechanicals (not jumphour designs)
    - Bumpers
    - High Torque Quartz
    - High end quartz (non-thermocompensated)
    - High end quartz (thermocompensated)
    - Radio Controlled Quartz
    - Multi Sensor quartz digitals
    - quartz by charging mechanism (mechanical charging (kinetics and the like), solar, or temperature actuated), both analog or digital (or both)
    - Quartz by display type (LCD, LED or e-paper)
    - Pocket watches
    - etc.

    (* - Each can be subdivided further by application or type of chronograph movement.)


    Of course you can subdivide further when you segregate watches into specific applications or characteristics, such as divers, pilot's watches, field watches, country of origin, Historical, Military service, decade of production, representative of specific points in a company's history, etc.

    I'm sure I'm missing some and that others can expand on the list further.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Watch technology types

    Being a simple guy, I divide watches in 2 categories.
    1: Watches I like
    2: Watches I dislike

    Do not get confused in your collecting by trying to categorise!

  6. #5
    Member Lucidor's Avatar
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    Re: Watch technology types

    Quote Originally Posted by Janne View Post
    Being a simple guy, I divide watches in 2 categories.
    1: Watches I like
    2: Watches I dislike

    Do not get confused in your collecting by trying to categorise!
    You are right in the sense that I would never buy something I don't like, so my list would be a subset of your rule number one. And I might even extend the rule to "Watches I like and can afford".

    As I mentioned, I enjoy the engineering aspect of watchmaking and therefore thought the list would be a good starting point for learning and searching. Each to his own.
    Last edited by Lucidor; August 29th, 2009 at 01:25.

  7. #6
    Member Lucidor's Avatar
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    Re: Watch technology types

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackLight View Post
    ...
    And you could go crazy with:
    Automatic mechanical - bumper
    Automatic mechanical - fullsize rotor
    Automatic mechanical - microrotor
    You are exposing my ignorence here; I need to study further to understand the last three technologies you mentioned here.

    When it comes to the heartbeats of the watches, are there any other technology than balance wheel, quartz, tuning fork (and mabybe spring drive but it is actually using a quartz as time reference for the breaking system if I understand it correctly). There has never been any atomic watches as far as I know, only clocks.

  8. #7
    Member Lucidor's Avatar
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    Re: Watch technology types

    Quote Originally Posted by Isthmus View Post
    That list is good but it can be segmented further considerably. For example, you can add to that:

    - Highly complicated (as in added complications) mechanicals (hand wind or auctomatic)
    - Automatic Chronograph's *
    - Manual Chronograph's *
    - Jump Hour movements (quartz and mechanical)
    - Digital Mechanicals (not jumphour designs)
    - Bumpers
    - High Torque Quartz
    - High end quartz (non-thermocompensated)
    - High end quartz (thermocompensated)
    - Radio Controlled Quartz
    - Multi Sensor quartz digitals
    - quartz by charging mechanism (mechanical charging (kinetics and the like), solar, or temperature actuated), both analog or digital (or both)
    - Quartz by display type (LCD, LED or e-paper)
    - Pocket watches
    - etc.

    (* - Each can be subdivided further by application or type of chronograph movement.)


    Of course you can subdivide further when you segregate watches into specific applications or characteristics, such as divers, pilot's watches, field watches, country of origin, Historical, Military service, decade of production, representative of specific points in a company's history, etc.

    I'm sure I'm missing some and that others can expand on the list further.
    Thank you Isthmus for the detailed list! I need to study some of the items you mentioned further, but I think we are slowly drifting into variations and complications of the same fundamental base-technology. I'm more looking for watchmakers that thought out of the box, invented and came up with a new way of making watches.

    I think the spring drive is the first really new technology in the art of watchmaking we have seen in many years, but historically there must have been more. Some may have been failures business-wise but still interesting from an engineering standpoint.

  9. #8
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    Re: Watch technology types

    Brequet invented the Tourbillon.

    What do you mean, each to it's own?
    I WAS NOT BEING SARCASTIC OR ANYTHING!

    It is just that I have during the last 25 years of collecting watches realised that there is so many variations, that you impossibly can have a collection from that aspect.

    In my case, I have:
    One Omega Constellation F300 (tuningfork)
    One simple vintage Quartz (Omega DeVille)
    One multifunction modern quartz (Tissot T-touch)

    And about 35 other mechanical watches and 3 PW. Oh yes, and 4 wall and mantel clocs. mechanical, of course.

  10. #9
    Member link2derek's Avatar
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    Re: Watch technology types

    I try to keep it simple as well. I categorize as follows: Autos, mechanicals (hand-wounds), and everything else.

    D

  11. #10
    Member Lucidor's Avatar
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    Re: Watch technology types

    Quote Originally Posted by Janne View Post
    Brequet invented the Tourbillon.

    What do you mean, each to it's own?
    I WAS NOT BEING SARCASTIC OR ANYTHING!

    It is just that I have during the last 25 years of collecting watches realised that there is so many variations, that you impossibly can have a collection from that aspect.

    In my case, I have:
    One Omega Constellation F300 (tuningfork)
    One simple vintage Quartz (Omega DeVille)
    One multifunction modern quartz (Tissot T-touch)

    And about 35 other mechanical watches and 3 PW. Oh yes, and 4 wall and mantel clocs. mechanical, of course.
    I am sorry if I upseted you Janne, that was not my intention. I just wanted to say that we all have different ways of approaching "problems": you promote a simplistic way and I respect that. I tend to be a tad bit too theoretical, but please allow me to elaborate a bit on my rationale for the list:

    Assume there are 1,000,000 brands and models of watches out there (I just grabbed this number to represent "many"). By applying the rules of liking and disliking, I would narrow it down to maybe 200,000 models, and then again down to 50,000 models by removing those out of my budget. That is still a highly unrealistic number for any private collection (I'm thinking of 10-ish), so the selection has to be further refined. One way would be to leave it to chance - you just happen to stumble over something and say hey, I like this one and I can afford it! And I guess that is how most of us buy new watches. My approach was to apply a bit of systems engineering by throwing in my preferences for specific engineering breakthroughs.

    Again, please accept my apologies if my previous wordings offended you. English is not my mothertounge and I sometimes pick the wrong phrases.

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