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  1. #11
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianBinFL View Post
    Sorry, wasn't intending to lecture you, I was lecturing the hypothetical critic.



    Even if you consider the quartz oscillator in the Spring Drive to be a "moving part", I don't really care about any moving parts that don't move the hands, since the end result of the perfectly continuous, truly smooth sweeping seconds hand is the part I am enamored with.

    In the original Bulova Accutron the actual legs of the quartz crystal were attached to pawls that actually advanced the stepper gear to move the seconds hand (and everything else attached to the gear train) forward. In that movement the quartz oscillator matters. It's part of the geartrain.

    In a traditional "dumb quartz" watch, the quartz oscillator isn't part of the geartrain. Instead a frequency divider circuit counts the cycles and every 32,768 cycles the divider produces one pulse to the solenoid to advance the movement by one second. While nothing in a "dumb quartz" movement "oscillates" per se (there is no "to and fro"), it is a punctuated, interrupted movement. The watch is stopped more than it is moving. Assuming it is in perfect sync with actual time, the time it displays is still wrong the vast majority of the time (while it is at rest but time is still moving).

    Eh, I'm rambling. We're both on the same page. I'm just saying the things I'd say to someone who actually disagreed with me.
    No, it's fine. I did not intend for my post to come across in a stark tone at all and I understood that yours was not either. Although I hesitate in driving this thread off-topic into the minefield of Spring Drive vs. Mechanical (even just saying that could get another WIS to write a few paragraphs about my choice of terminology).

    That is interesting re. the Accutron, I did not know the crystal was involved in power transmission - rather confused by that so will have to read up on it. Even if one adopts the strange definition that the quartz crystal, when activated by electricity, is a moving part, the crystal is not involved in the transmission of power / wheel train in Spring Drive (or in "dumb quartz") - only in regulating the timekeeping as you say. Whereas in a normal mechanical watch, the balance is part of both the power transmission and timekeeping regulation. If a WIS was so inclined, they could make the additional distinction that moving parts should belong to the wheel train, and by that definition they could exclude the crystal as a moving part in Spring Drive :).

  2. #12
    Member BrianBinFL's Avatar
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by jwron View Post
    That is interesting re. the Accutron, I did not know the crystal was involved in power transmission - rather confused by that so will have to read up on it.
    My post was in error. The tuning fork of the original Accutron did not use a quartz oscillator, it used a transistorized oscillator. I had a whole bunch of things wrong in my head when I wrote that. My apologies for the confusion.
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    Grand Seiko SBGA373 & SBGA375, Rolex 116610LN, and lots of comparatively economical watches that "spoke to me" - mostly Seiko.

  3. #13
    Member bigclive2011's Avatar
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    Bought my Snowflake purely for the look of the dial, just loved it, completely unique.

    When I got it I was also blown away by spring drive accuracy, just phenomenal!! And the quality of the finishing is top notch.

    It’s not instead of other makes though, it was as well as, and if I had to have just one watch then the Snowflake wouldn’t be that watch.
    " I am easily impressed by the best" - Winston Churchill.

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  5. #14
    Member Matei Radulescu's Avatar
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by jwron View Post
    No, it's fine. I did not intend for my post to come across in a stark tone at all and I understood that yours was not either. Although I hesitate in driving this thread off-topic into the minefield of Spring Drive vs. Mechanical (even just saying that could get another WIS to write a few paragraphs about my choice of terminology).

    That is interesting re. the Accutron, I did not know the crystal was involved in power transmission - rather confused by that so will have to read up on it. Even if one adopts the strange definition that the quartz crystal, when activated by electricity, is a moving part, the crystal is not involved in the transmission of power / wheel train in Spring Drive (or in "dumb quartz") - only in regulating the timekeeping as you say. Whereas in a normal mechanical watch, the balance is part of both the power transmission and timekeeping regulation. If a WIS was so inclined, they could make the additional distinction that moving parts should belong to the wheel train, and by that definition they could exclude the crystal as a moving part in Spring Drive :).
    Interesting read guys!
    Can you recommend any books to learn watchmaking from scratch? Not necessarily even MAKING but i am interested to learn how the watch works. I know parts and bits but i need the whole puzzle.

    I dont own a GS but am fascinated about the smooth second sweep of spring drive as well...



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  6. #15
    Member berni29's Avatar
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    Hi

    For me they are just all round nicer than comparable watches from other brands at similar prices.

    When the Japanese do something really well it has a quality and rightness that is hard to define. It’s a purity of design and execution that is unbeatable at the price.

    Berni


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  7. #16
    Member whineboy's Avatar
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    GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    I bought my GS auto (SBGJ001) because it looks nothing like any Swiss watch, has superior finishing, and (at the time) was rare. I also liked the 'stealth' aspect of the Seiko branding. Old photo, previously used, below.

    Actually, my gateway to that watch was my GS handwinding SBGW035.

    As for Spring Drive, which I agree is amazing, mine is one of the other Seiko brands.

    BrianBinFL may dispute this, but I would argue the Spring Drive glide wheel, at micro level, does not move smoothly. Yes, it does not start and stop as does a second hand controlled by a lever escapement, but if one were to look closely and in a slowed manner they would see the SD second hand speed up once the magnetic braking force ceases and then slow down when the braking force is again applied, this happening 8 times a second. Speed up, slow down, speed up, slow down.... I think none of that is visible to us because the ratio of the gearing between the glide wheel and second hand attenuates those fluctuations so much that they are impossible to see in real time. So, for all intents and purposes, I do agree the SD second hand moves continuously.
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    Last edited by whineboy; 1 Day Ago at 12:15.
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    All mechanical, all the time

  8. #17
    Member Heljestrand's Avatar
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    I bought mine just in case I’m ever invited to RedBar Glasgow.... it’s the equivalent of knowing the “secret knock”.Name:  B2BD22FE-6202-4C74-A1B5-43845820EB13.jpeg
Views: 25
Size:  4.18 MB
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    MIKE



  9. #18
    Member Sparrowhawk's Avatar
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by whineboy View Post
    I bought my GS auto (SBGJ001) because it looks nothing like any Swiss watch, has superior finishing, and (at the time) was rare. I also liked the 'stealth' aspect of the Seiko branding. Old photo, previously used, below.

    Actually, my gateway to that watch was my GS handwinding SBGW035.

    As for Spring Drive, which I agree is amazing, mine is one of the other Seiko brands.

    BrianBinFL may dispute this, but I would argue the Spring Drive glide wheel, at micro level, does not move smoothly. Yes, it does not start and stop as does a second hand controlled by a lever escapement, but if one were to look closely and in a slowed manner they would see the SD second hand speed up once the magnetic braking force ceases and then slow down when the braking force is again applied, this happening 8 times a second. Speed up, slow down, speed up, slow down.... I think none of that is visible to us because the ratio of the gearing between the glide wheel and second hand makes those fluctuations so miniscule they are impossible to see. So, for all intents and purposes, I do agree the SD second hand moves continuously.

    Is this just the difference between continuous movement, potentially at differing speeds, and constant speed movement.

    Like the old adage that one cannot step in a moving river twice. From that definition of a moving river, one would not be able to step in it once. Kind of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Theorem definition of a river, and of a Spring Drive watch movement.
    Last edited by Sparrowhawk; 1 Day Ago at 05:28.
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  10. #19
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    I bought mine SBGR287 especially for the small size (37mm) the design, the fit and finish. I wanted a white textured dial with a blued second hand at a smaller size, and it was the only one.

    Name:  GS batterie.jpg
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    Movement wise, I have to say that I'am a little bit disapointed by the performance of my watch. It's been a year and half, and the accuracy was great at the beginning at less than +2sec/day, but it felt progressively down at -10sec/day now. I'm considering to send it to GS after service. The movement is also very sensitive to electromagnetism.
    Having also a 9F quartz, I'm definitely prefering this movement over the 9S, and will prioritize 9F quartz for an eventually next GS purchase.
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  11. #20
    Member BrianBinFL's Avatar
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    Re: GS auto owners, why did you buy yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by whineboy View Post
    BrianBinFL may dispute this, but I would argue the Spring Drive glide wheel, at micro level, does not move smoothly. Yes, it does not start and stop as does a second hand controlled by a lever escapement, but if one were to look closely and in a slowed manner they would see the SD second hand speed up once the magnetic braking force ceases and then slow down when the braking force is again applied, this happening 8 times a second. Speed up, slow down, speed up, slow down.... I think none of that is visible to us because the ratio of the gearing between the glide wheel and second hand makes those fluctuations so miniscule they are impossible to see. So, for all intents and purposes, I do agree the SD second hand moves continuously.
    I don't know enough to agree or dispute on that one, but I do have a theory to assert. First a recap for those not familiar, starting with a dead watch that has wound down:

    1. Mainspring fully unwound. Hands at rest (not moving). TSR non-operational.
    2. Human winds the watch, tensioning the mainspring, mainspring drives the geartrain which spins the hands and the glidewheel, and begins to generate electricity to operate the TSR.
    3. Movement briefly advances at unrestrained speed as the TSR is not yet fired up to restrain it.
    4. Sufficient electricity has been generated to fire up the TSR.
    5. TSR compares the frequency of the AC current generated by the glidewheel to the frequency of the reference oscillator and notices the glidewheel is spinning too fast.
    6. TSR applies a load to the current generated by the glidewheel which has a frictionless electromagnetic braking effect.
    7. TSR applies more and more of a load to the circuit until the frequency of the glide wheel exactly matches the frequency of the reference oscillator.

    It seems to me that once you have arrived at the level of braking that allows the glide wheel to spin at exactly the right speed, you would stay there until something happened that caused that amount of braking to no longer be correct. It seems it would be a silly negative impact to accuracy to brake and then release and then brake again and release. I do not believe that is what happens.

    I believe that what happens is the TSR finds the magic braking amount, and holds that braking amount until some inertial or positional event occurs that causes a new frequency mismatch between the glide current and oscillator. Such a mismatch probably doesn't occur really often unless you're playing tennis or something, but the TSR checks 8 times a second to ensure the frequency match is still good. On the rare occasion that a mismatch has crept in the TSR fine tunes the current-load, thereby fine tuning the braking effect.

    I think the glide wheel is probably more immune to inertial disturbances than a balance wheel is because it is spinning in a single direction and never at rest (making it harder to disturb). I expect that once the TSR has found its happy speed the number of changes it has to make is small, and the size of those changes is likely minuscule.

    I believe that a good part of the 0.2 seconds per day of "error" observed by almost all SD owners with the proper technique to measure it properly is likely due to the fact that the reference oscillator is not thermocompensated - given that the monthly error for Spring Drive is similar to the monthly error for non-thermocompensated "dumb quartz" watches. Since the Spring Drive has the same non-thermocompensated handicap as those "dumb quartz" watches, the fact that it is as accurate, or better, would seem to indicate that the accumulated error from glide wheel deviation is likely infinitesimally small. [Yes I acknowledge that the oscillator in a 9R movement is probably better than the one in your average non-thermocompensated "dumb quartz" watch as well.]

    But it is absolutely correct to say it's not perfectly smooth because no machine is "perfectly" anything. No matter what the sampling rate was there would always be some discrete amount of time when the speed was ever so slightly wrong, even if it was only for a billionth of a second. Even the rate that the Earth spins at is not perfectly smooth, varying in speed by around 3% at different parts of the year. When looked at that way the Spring Drive is actually more consistent than the Earth is.

    So I guess I would say that at the moment the Spring Drive is as flawlessly smooth as mankind is capable of making - at least in something the size of a wristwatch.

    Now the Zenith Defy is more accurate than the Spring Drive is, but I don't think we can say it is smooth at all because the whole movement absolutely oscillates and the seconds hand is moving in steps no matter how small those steps are.

    But I digress. Again. Lol.
    al358 and Londonboy like this.
    Grand Seiko SBGA373 & SBGA375, Rolex 116610LN, and lots of comparatively economical watches that "spoke to me" - mostly Seiko.

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