Positional correction cards for watch box
Like Tree9Likes
  • 3 Post By BrianBinFL
  • 2 Post By Nokie
  • 2 Post By kamonjj
  • 1 Post By Dogbert_is_fat
  • 1 Post By BrianBinFL

Thread: Positional correction cards for watch box

Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Member BrianBinFL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    329

    Positional correction cards for watch box

    The below would apply to any 100% mechanical watch, and as such could be placed several places other than the Grand Seiko forum. That said, it's as applicable to Grand Seiko as any other brand and this is where I usually post, so I'm placing it here.

    Positional correction (also called auto-regulation and probably a bunch of other things) seems fairly well known in Rolex circles (possibly because they officially recommended it at one point), but maybe less so in other circles.

    The idea is that a mechanical watch will tend to gain or lose at different rates depending upon the position it's in. Assuming you have an accurate time source for comparison you can use this information to correct the accuracy of your watch when you take it off at the end of the day.

    For example, when I took my SARW027 off and glanced at the seconds hand and compared to the GPS clock I noticed the watch was +2 seconds. If I know what the watch gains or loses in various positions, and I know the watch is going to be off-wrist for about 16 hours, I can choose to lay the watch in a position where it is about back to +/- zero when I put it back on.

    If you only have one watch, then it might be easy to just remember what positions do what. But if you have a whole box of watches on your dresser, unless you have an eidetic memory you probably won't remember all of the numbers for each.

    So I made up little cards for the watches I wear most, and then used the Timegrapher to test the watches in 6 positions. I tested the watches while wound to about the percentage they'd probably be wound when taken off, and tested the watches after they had been sitting at room temperature quite a while so they would be "cold" since that's the temperature they'll be when they aren't on my wrist. My SARW027 for example runs a good bit different when warm than it does when "cold" (as most mechanical watches will). I stopped the Timegrapher during position changes, and in each new position I let the watch settle until I got 4 identical readings in a row.

    The resulting card (which I will stick in the bay where this watch lives in my watch box) looks like this:

    Name:  Positional Correction card - 600h.png
Views: 52
Size:  383.6 KB

    So back to the scenario of taking my watch off, glancing at the GPS clock, and seeing that the watch is 2 seconds fast, if I know the watch will be "resting" for 16 hours (about 2/3 of a day) then I'd want to rest this particular watch in the 12-up position so I'd lose 2/3 of its SPD of -3 sec/day (about 2 seconds) by the time I put it on again.

    Of course the problem with all this is that all sorts of things make the watch vary in terms of what it gains or loses, even just getting older the watch is going to run different. So this may all be an act of futility, but I thought it would be interesting to play with.

    I've only done it for a couple of my watches that I tend to wear consecutive days in a row and have generally found that being deliberate about what position the watch rests in does indeed allow me to keep it close to +/- zero. Of course it's possible to let the watch get so far off in one direction that a single overnight period won't be enough to correct it. For example when cold my SARW027 gains in 4 of 6 positions and only loses in two positions and not very much in those two. If it got too far ahead then positional correction wouldn't be a good option and a quick hacking would be necessary to drop it back however many seconds was needed.

    For those who are curious, the standard Rolex positional correction advice was:

    • To gain a few seconds: Lay the watch flat with the dial uppermost.
    • To lose a few seconds: Lay the watch vertically with the winding-button downwards.
    • To lose rather more seconds: Lay the watch vertically with the winding-button uppermost.

    I know Rolex owners vary in their opinions about the correctness of the above advice, but many also say "works for me". Personally I don't wear mine enough for it to matter as it is not my "daily driver".

    Anyway, this was too long, probably stupid, or useless, or whatever, but I thought I'd share it for whatever value it might have. Even if all it does is prompt discussion of how stupid it is it will be useful.
    whineboy, bobs100 and MLJinAK like this.
    Grand Seiko SBGA375, Rolex 116610LN, and lots of comparatively economical watches that "spoke to me" - mostly Seiko.

  2. #2
    Member Nokie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    22,840

    Re: Positional correction cards for watch box

    IMHO, it is always a good thing to have more than less options to document a watch and it's accuracy.

    Interesting info.
    BrianBinFL and bobs100 like this.
    "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped"
    Groucho Marx

    "The only reason for time is so that everything does not happen at once..."
    Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Member kamonjj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    3,324

    Re: Positional correction cards for watch box

    Very cool. I basically do the same thing with my mechanicals. I have a timegrapher, so I time the watches in all positions to get an idea of performance and rest them accordingly to prevent time loss. Keep in mind that timing deviations will vary based on environment, age, and other factors. I have to say, the 120 bucks I spent on a timegrapher was the best money I ever spent on this hobby. Highly recommend. Not only could one determine positional variation, they can gauge true health through the output info (beat error, and amplitude). I have received brand new watches with movement issues. Even though the watch would have run +2 or so per day, they may have had a substantial beat error that could have caused issues down the road.
    BrianBinFL and bobs100 like this.
    Current: Seiko SBBN015, Apple Watch, G-Shock, Damasko DA37 (in the air), MKII Paradive (in the air)

    Gone but not forgotten: Way too many to remember!

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member BrianBinFL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    329

    Re: Positional correction cards for watch box

    Quote Originally Posted by kamonjj View Post
    Very cool. I basically do the same thing with my mechanicals. I have a timegrapher, so I time the watches in all positions to get an idea of performance and rest them accordingly to prevent time loss. Keep in mind that timing deviations will vary based on environment, age, and other factors. I have to say, the 120 bucks I spent on a timegrapher was the best money I ever spent on this hobby. Highly recommend. Not only could one determine positional variation, they can gauge true health through the output info (beat error, and amplitude). I have received brand new watches with movement issues. Even though the watch would have run +2 or so per day, they may have had a substantial beat error that could have caused issues down the road.
    Ditto on the Timegrapher. If you own mechanical watches, and want to be even a little self-sufficient, you should own a Timegrapher, even if you'll never regulate your own watch. Being able to see the beat error, knowing how it keeps time in the various positions, and even observing a change in performance over time, are all interesting things that can be done with this relatively inexpensive tool.

    I have generally found that once I've timed the 6 positions the watches generally do what I would expect at rest in the various positions. Perhaps another value in recording the SPD for each of the 6 positions is if you find at some point that your positional correction isn't having the expected effect you would likely be prompted to put the watch back on the Timegrapher and see if anything major had changed.

    Admittedly this is all a bit of geekery, but it is also practical convenience for me. I really like my watches to be as spot on with the GPS clock as possible. Being out 5 seconds bugs me - especially if the watch is behind instead of ahead. If I wear a watch for a few days in a row and can keep it in sync simply by laying it in the right position overnight, and it saves me having to sync it with the GPS clock when I put it back on, then there is value there for me. Dropping a fast watch back is easy and takes seconds, but if the watch is behind and I had to manually sync it, I'd probably end up spending at least a couple minutes doing that just to bring it forward 5 seconds.
    Grand Seiko SBGA375, Rolex 116610LN, and lots of comparatively economical watches that "spoke to me" - mostly Seiko.

  6. #5
    Member whineboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    1,549

    Re: Positional correction cards for watch box

    Very nicely explained, BrianBinFL, and the cards are a great idea.
    I've been experimenting with positional correction on a few watches and find crown up usually results in the greatest loss of time overnight.
    I would think movement architecture has some influence on positional accuracy - the location of the balance wheel and escapement orientation seem relevant. Be interesting to see if similar movements with different balance locations positionally correct in opposite ways. I might try it with my Hamilton Jazzmaster (ETA 2895-2) and Stowa Marine Auto (Soprod A10-2), since the movements have their balances in opposite positions:

    Name:  2895.GIF
Views: 38
Size:  20.1 KB vs. Name:  A10.GIF
Views: 37
Size:  13.3 KB
    whineboy
    All mechanical, all the time

  7. #6
    Member Dogbert_is_fat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    4,948

    Re: Positional correction cards for watch box

    Thanks for sharing! That’s a very good idea. Looks like I am buying a time grapher next
    bobs100 likes this.

  8. #7
    Member BrianBinFL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    329

    Re: Positional correction cards for watch box

    Quote Originally Posted by whineboy View Post
    Very nicely explained, BrianBinFL, and the cards are a great idea.
    I've been experimenting with positional correction on a few watches and find crown up usually results in the greatest loss of time overnight.
    I would think movement architecture has some influence on positional accuracy - the location of the balance wheel and escapement orientation seem relevant. Be interesting to see if similar movements with different balance locations positionally correct in opposite ways. I might try it with my Hamilton Jazzmaster (ETA 2895-2) and Stowa Marine Auto (Soprod A10-2), since the movements have their balances in opposite positions:
    I expect you absolutely will find that the different movement geometries will react in different ways, and after observing the differences in the movements and the differences in the positional Timegrapher readings, you might even see a pattern.

    With common movements such as found in core Seiko I would expect a good deal of variation in what would be found even among multiple examples of the same movement. Getting into more finely made movements like the 9S, and very finely made movements like in Rolex, I would expect that multiple examples of the same movement would tend to share similar positional characteristics.

    Seems like a good thesis study for someone pursuing a Masters in Horology.
    whineboy likes this.
    Grand Seiko SBGA375, Rolex 116610LN, and lots of comparatively economical watches that "spoke to me" - mostly Seiko.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •