What is an "unbreakable mainspring" and "lifetime mainspring"?

Thread: What is an "unbreakable mainspring" and "lifetime mainspring"?

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  1. #1
    Member halfapie's Avatar
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    What is an "unbreakable mainspring" and "lifetime mainspring"?

    Another noob question, a forum search (surprisingly) turned up nothing. I think I'm searching wrong... :(

    What is an "unbreakable mainspring"?
    What is a "lifetime mainspring"?

    I have seen this printed on the dial of some old watches. I am pretty sure I saw them on regular manual wind watches, so the wikipedia entry which says that this is an "automatic watch" feature doesn't make sense to me.

    Thanks!
    My Rotation:
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  2. #2
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    Re: What is an "unbreakable mainspring" and "lifetime mainspring"?

    It's vintage marketing.

    It has nothing to do with automatics

  3. #3
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    Re: What is an "unbreakable mainspring" and "lifetime mainspring"?

    Quote Originally Posted by halfapie View Post
    Another noob question, a forum search (surprisingly) turned up nothing. I think I'm searching wrong... :(

    What is an "unbreakable mainspring"?
    What is a "lifetime mainspring"?

    I have seen this printed on the dial of some old watches. I am pretty sure I saw them on regular manual wind watches, so the wikipedia entry which says that this is an "automatic watch" feature doesn't make sense to me.

    Thanks!
    These are basically the same thing and describe a new type of white alloy mainspring (new at the time) that was much more resistant to breaking or "setting" (assuming the shape of the barrel) than the blue steel mainsprings that were previously in use. Watches with this sort of descriptive language usually date to the late 40s & 50s. The white-alloy mainsprings are used in both automatic watches and manual-wind watches. This is not a feature restricted to only automatic watches.

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  5. #4
    Member halfapie's Avatar
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    Re: What is an "unbreakable mainspring" and "lifetime mainspring"?

    Thanks to you both! that makes perfect sense.

    Once again wikipedia has betrayed me! :(
    My Rotation:
    Hamilton Khaki (2804), Khaki (2824) x3, Linwood (2824), Khaki (7750), Vintage (7750), Vintage Khaki King (2824)
    Fortis Flieger (2824)
    Seiko SCVS015 (6R15), SARB031 (6R15), SKX013 (7S26), SSB003 (6T63), 5M22-6C20, 5M22-6C30
    Tissot Carson (2824), T-Touch Titanium
    Many Self-assembled pieces
    about 100 Casio watches from the 70~90's.

  6. #5
    Member lysanderxiii's Avatar
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    Re: What is an "unbreakable mainspring" and "lifetime mainspring"?

    It also depends on the manufacturer, some makers refered to the "white" metal a nickel, chromium alloy with varying amounts of cobalt, molybdenum, or beryllium, as "unbreakable."

    Some manufacturers refered to the slipping clutch system used in automatics as "unbreakable" as, at the time (and still, judging from the number of times it comes up here and other watch fora) many people believe too much winding leads to a broken spring. It should be noted that many of these also used the white metal spring material.

    Now, most people think of the nickel, chromium, cobalt alloy spring as "unbreakable."
    Last edited by lysanderxiii; April 14th, 2009 at 16:25.

  7. #6
    Member ZIPPER79's Avatar
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    Re: What is an "unbreakable mainspring" and "lifetime mainspring"?

    I think a simple answer is; An unbreakable mainspring is a Lifetime mainspring.


    Quote Originally Posted by halfapie View Post
    Another noob question, a forum search (surprisingly) turned up nothing. I think I'm searching wrong... :(

    What is an "unbreakable mainspring"?
    What is a "lifetime mainspring"?

    I have seen this printed on the dial of some old watches. I am pretty sure I saw them on regular manual wind watches, so the wikipedia entry which says that this is an "automatic watch" feature doesn't make sense to me.

    Thanks!
    Lee Rappeport



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  8. #7
    Member pithy's Avatar
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    Re: What is an "unbreakable mainspring" and "lifetime mainspring"?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZIPPER79 View Post
    I think a simple answer is; An unbreakable mainspring is a Lifetime mainspring.

    Zombie thread.

    Love'em.

  9. #8
    Member MechaMind's Avatar
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    Re: What is an "unbreakable mainspring" and "lifetime mainspring"?

    What happens with a regular mainspring when it is overwound... possibly the hook break soff
    What happens to a automatic mainspring when you try to overwind the end slides to the next rest position in the spring barrel

    I guess its ment about the outher end finalization.... but that is just a guess


    ouuups - same opinion as lysander
    Last edited by MechaMind; December 7th, 2015 at 20:30.

  10. #9
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    Re: What is an "unbreakable mainspring" and "lifetime mainspring"?

    Hi all,

    if we can agree that breakage is the death of a spring, all springs are lifetime springs. And an unbreakable spring doesn't exist, neither in a watch, nor anywhere else in the known universe.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

  11. #10
    Member MechaMind's Avatar
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    Re: What is an "unbreakable mainspring" and "lifetime mainspring"?

    Of course ... I thought this could be a advertizing slogan instead of explaining the full mechanism of preventing an overwind... like the washing agent ..."the whitest white" ... it is not possible to create a true white color nor a true black ( a quasar comes rather close to that but not on earth) - its just to make the customer emotionally "understanding" what the feature means to him...

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