What Are The Jewels in a Watch For?
17 Jewels. In addition to the 15 jewels as characterized above, jewel watches contain: One Pair (2) Center Wheel Hole Jewels (Upper/Lower) Note: Some manufacturers produced jewel movements that can easily be mistaken for jewels. These movements have a hole jewel for the center wheel on the top plate, but do not contain a corresponding jewel on the pillar plate. What does "17 jewels" mean? Watch Technical Questions. Higher grade watches have traditionally used a jeweled movements, which means that jewels (originally natural ruby, now synthetic ruby) were actually used in the movement. These jewels are functional - they are used as the bearings for the wheel trains and in high wear parts such as the escape lever and impulse jewel.
Dano Registered User. Sep 13, 1, 63 www. Trying to learn more about collecting, one article I read said that a watch is considered s jeweled if it has 17 Jewels and that more jewels doesn't mean better. Then I read it does mean a higher quality I am confused. May 18, how to read xml in c, 10 38 S.
PA Country Region. For all practical purposes once you get to 17 jewels you have a fully jeweled watch, there is little or no benefit to go beyond The US Gov't did a study back in the s demonstrating this. US Bureau of Standards if memory serves correctly. In fact until the mids 15 jewels was considered fully jeweled and then Hampden started a jeweling war, an advertising campaign whqt convince watch buyers that higher jeweled watches were better.
Whatever jfwels technical facts are, the reality is that higher jewel counts became associated with higher quality so that typically by the early 20th century the best mass produced watches such as Railroad Standard watches were jewels.
The jeweled Standard watches were made in much smaller quantities. Just as important as jeweling IMHO is whether the mezn was adjusted to positions. Interestingly, many Swiss watches of good quality made before WW2 had only 15 jewels.
May 31, 0 Jewelling beyond 15 was largely a matter of marketing. Some Swiss watches had 16 jewels - the centre wheel being jewelled on the visible top plate but not on the bottom plate which is on visible when the dial is removed!
You can jeels a beautifully finished, high quality 15 jewel movement. Ron thank you my friend, I saw a Hamilton 23 Jeweled on ebay and then scratched my head saying boy I have a lot to learn I did a very non scientific test.
I set my 17 Jeweled Elgin and my B fully wound up next to each other and left them over night. I know it is not a good test but both were right on the money So I figured, hmmm what is all the Jewels about. Now I get it. Doew it harder to service a higher Jeweled watch by the way? In my opinion, usually easier, depending on the construction, for some reason the pivots seem to go into odes jewels much easier than into bushings, at least for me.
Dec 14, 6, New Hampshire Country Region. American watch companies generally used jewel counts to designate quality levels. They tended to spend more time and effort on adjusting watches with higher jewel counts. This was not always true. For example, the 12 size Illinois Illini and the Hamilton version, thewere 21 Jewel watches and top of the line. They did this because what made a watch run most accurately was the general fit and finish and care in final adjustment.
These were visible. The English and Swiss made these aspects visible by timing certification programs. There were a few of these in the US but they never caught on here, with the result that for most of the market more jewels meant a better watch. More jewels did not make a watch better but they often indicated a better watch. Larry Treiman Registered User. Jan 18, 3, 67 48 So. Webb C. Ball was a strong advocate of the idea that railroad watches needed no more than 17 jewels, or perhaps 19 jewels with the additional two jewels in the going part of the mainspring barrel.
He even made the point in his advertising. He argued that such watches were less delicate and mexn suited to the rigors of railroad service than 21 or jewel watches. However, even Ball couldn't fight the trend to higher jewel counts. He admitted that his firm had to offer the 21 and jewel watches to how to make a cardboard puppet theater demand but still insisted that 17 and jewel watches were better suited for railroad z.
The jewel Ball Official Whta watches disappeared from the Ball lineup around what group battery is my car early 'teens, but Ball still listed the jewel Official Standard by Waltham in their catalog, the year that Webb C. Ball died. I don't think that his son, Sidney, was opposed watcu the higher jeweled meah, and the jewel Balls disappeared from the line sometime in the early to mid's.
However, that was also when Ball dropped Waltham altogether as a supplier. Hamilton, which then became the principal supplier whqt Ball, seemed to prefer their jewel grades to jewel grades. Perhaps they found that their jeweled motor jeweps was too costly, compared with adding conical pivots and cap jewels on the pallet and escape arbors.
Larry Treiman. Last edited: Sep 21, Early Ball ads or writings did speak of 'smokestack jewels' Golden Circle. RON in PA said:. There can be no other practical reason for using jewels in watches. Ball as General Time Inspector has fought for the railroad uewels interest kewels the fake jewel proposition, setting forth the fact that when all bearings were jeweled, the reduction in wear and friction had been accomplished.
These pivots are pockeet with olive-hole jewels and end jewels at both ends of the staff. The Commercial Standard was aimed at those whom did not have to meet railroad inspection requirements. Obviously by the Ball position regarding the more highly jeweled watches had retrenched considerably from the old, hard-line "smokestack wha days. They really had little choice. Wwtch demand was for the higher-jeweled watches, and they weren't about to ignore that.
As I mentioned before, W died in Last edited: Sep 22, My friends thank you for your incredible knowledge that you always share with me. I am an old computer geek who is becoming pockwt to this hobby. Just trying how long does it take to restart your metabolism learn as much as i can. I just got a book from the library on watch repair just to try and understand how the darn things really work.
I could spend a lifetime in your online reference section for sure. Thanks again Dan. MartyR Registered User. Dec 16, 11, 83 UK Country. Fascinating reading And thanks for the question, Dan What now happens when we move to a chronograph or a repeater? How many additional jewels are jeaels required for these. I think the highest jewelling I ever saw reported was 32 jewels for a repeater.
I think a lot of the technical issue on extra jewels was on whether to cap the lever pivots and make them conical. Conical pivots capped and properly lubricated have less friction than simpler ones but there were other issues for the lever arbor. The concern was that over oiling caps was fairly common and this resulted in oil going all over the jeaels and causing loss of power.
For mass market watches like railroad watches may have had better "Fleet" performance without the caps on the lever. Too many inspectors might have over oiled. High end, limited market, prestige watches could reasonably have been expected to be more properly lubricated and caps probably gave better performance for the lever.
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Types of Watch Jewels
Feb 20, · Jewels in watch movements are a sign of quality. In this video the reason for watch jewels is vividly explained using a 17 jewel Timor movement. When I ope. Apr 17, · A watch with 17 jewels is often called a fully jeweled watch. This means that it uses jewel (usually ruby) bearings in the mechanical movement from the balance wheel all the way to the center wheel pivot. What does 21 jewels mean in a watch? Similar to a jewel watch that has a fully jeweled movement, but also has a few extra capstones added which are used to reduce positional errors. Jun 18, · Adding more than 17 jewels does not appear to impact the quality of the watch’s timekeeping. Many watchmakers and consumers associate higher jewel counts with better timekeeping. While many expensive movements have higher jewel counts, the jewels are .
Pocket watches have been around since at least the 14th century, and over the years they have evolved into the timepiece we know today. With time, watches in general have shrunk in size and in use according to some and have incorporated new types of technology to make them more accurate. A pocket watch is a type of timepiece that is designed to be worn within a pocket. Unlike regular watches, which have bands and are made to be strapped to the wrist, the pocket watch is protected from the elements by the clothing of the wearer.
Pocket watches date back to a time before wrist watches and they were even considered the most common type of timepiece until just after World War I when wrist watches became more popular. The pocket watch is traditionally secured to a waistcoat, lapel or belt loop with a chain, leather strap or other type of fixture. This prevents the watches from being dropped or easily stolen. The first pocket watches also included a protective cover that prevented the face from becoming scratched or shattered.
The chains and covers were usually decorated with either silver or coloured enamel. Coats of arms or seals of special societies were commonly used as decorations on the watches. Some of the first pocket watches also included practical gadgets in their design like winding keys, a vesta case or even a cigar cutter. These added gadgets increased the usability of the watch and gave it an added appeal to consumers.
Pocket watches with built-in gadgets are also popular amongst watch collectors as the added gadget tells a story about the time during which the pocket watch was produced and in use. One of the first historical references of the pocket watch can be found in a letter dated in November from an Italian by the name of Bartholomew Manfredi.
The watchmaker sent the letter to the Marchese di Mantova Federico Gonzaga and detailed a pocket clock that belonged to a mutual acquaintance, the Duke of Modena. It was after this letter was sent that spring-driven pocket clocks first appeared in Italy. By the practice spread and Peter Henlein, a master locksmith, began manufacturing watches in Germany. Watch production spread to the rest of the world, gaining popularity rapidly.
Early pocket watches only had an hour hand as the minute hand did not appear on the clock face until the late 17th century. In the late s, the first American pocket watches were produced using machine-made parts. There are 2 basic styles of pocket watches available: open-face and hinged. Hinged pocket watches are sometimes called Hunter pocket watches. If the watch has a hunter-case, then the watch will use a hunter-style or geneva-style crystal. Hunter-style crystals are typically thin and fragile.
They can be flat or slightly convex, but they must always be low enough to allow the watch lid to close. Replacing a broken hunter glass is difficult as it must be high enough to not interfere with the arms of the watch, but low enough not to impede the cover. Typically, the glass of a hunter style watch is only 0.
This is one reason hunter watches should never be closed by pressing on the center of the cover. The other type of watch is the open-faced watch. These watches have no cover and the dial is exposed at all times. The dial is protected by a slightly thicker glass cover than is found on hinged pocket watches. Many vintage styles that have survived to today have an open style. The crystal of these watches have a bevelled outer edge. It was not a stylistic choice — it actually gives the watch dial a defined outer edge.
Most open faced watches have a bevelled crystal ranging between 1mm and 1. While most open faced and hunter style watches are made with a metal case, briefly ceramic and even glass cases were used. Glass pocket watches are usually only displayed as the glass makes them quite fragile.
Ceramic watches made an appearance briefly as well. The ceramic cases were more fragile than metal cases, making them less practical. However, the ceramic case could be painted with various crests and scenes, for one-of-a-kind pieces that quickly gained collectibility.
Ceramic watch cases were also heavier than metal cases, making them more difficult to carry and store. They eventually declined in popularity due to practical reasons. Other unusual watches include those with painted dials. Sailors had a history of purchasing painted-dial watches containing images of ladies of ill repute.
Images can be added to plain watch dials by specialists that specialise in creating images on the dial of a watch. The first watches worn were designed in the 16th century in Europe. They were sized between a traditional clock and what we think of as watches today.
These designs were quite heavy and cumbersome. Most were made with a drum-shaped brass cylinder that was engraved and ornamented. The first watches only had an hour hand and lacked the glass covering that has become almost universal in watch design. They did however include a hinged cover. Decorative cut-outs allowed the watch to be read even with the cover in place.
The movement of the watch was made with either iron or steel and the parts were held together with specially shaped wedges as screws were not used until after Alarms were popular features in the watches. Unusual shaped watches soon became popular after the first clock-watches were introduced and designs featuring animals, stars, flowers, insects and religious symbols were soon made. In the 17th century, men began to desire to wear their watches in their pockets instead of around their necks.
It is believed that Charles II of England first introduced this trend in when he made waistcoats popular. In order to fit into pockets, the watches had to shrink in size. They soon became round, flattened and smooth. Glass found its way into the watch design as a cover for the dial sometime around The chain that was once used to hang the watch around the neck shortened and the chain was now used to secure the watch to the vest of the wearer.
Watches were considered a luxury item until the second half of the 18th century. Newspapers in England often included advertisements for stolen watches and rewards for helping recover the timepieces were often hefty.
By the end of the 18th century, watches were starting to become more common and cheaper designs were being produced for sailors. This is also the time when paintings on the dials became popular. Until the s, most watch movements were designed after the verge escapement which was used in most large public clocks.
This type of movement involved a lot of friction and lacked protective jewelling that kept the contacting surfaces from wearing. Many ran fast, gaining as much as an hour a day or more. In response to the inaccurate verge movement, a cylinder escapement was added in the 18th century.
Towards the end of the 18th century, a lever escapement was used in a limited number of watches including a Swiss collection made by Josiah Emery.
With the improved movements, common watches could remain accurate to within a minute each day. Lever watches are still popular today. This watch was introduced in and was the first to use interchangeable parts. That tiny improvement cut down on the cost of manufacturing and repairing the timepieces. The watches were made in coin silver, which is 90 percent pure, unlike sterling silver. By the American Watch Company was turning out more than 50, watches each year.
This advancement allowed the company to overtake the Swiss watchmaking industry, dominating the market for the first time in history. In response, the Swiss raised the quality of their watches to help establish themselves as a leader in accuracy, rather than affordability. In the last half of the 19th century, railroading was gaining popularity in America. New tracks were being laid and more people were travelling by train than ever before. This rise in railroading led to a more widespread use of pocket watches by the engineers.
In response to this accident, Webb C. Ball was commissioned by railroad officials as the Chief Time Inspector. He helped create precision standards and an inspection system for railroad chronometers. In , an official set of standards for pocket watches became an official standard used in railroading. Production of railroad-grade pocket watches began soon after. As mentioned above, pocket watches come in 2 main styles. Open face pocket watches lack a metal cover that protects the dial crystal.
Most open-faced watches have a pendant at the mark and a sub-second dial located at Sometimes, a watch intended for a hunting case will be put into an open-faced case. A hunter-case watch is one with a spring hinged lid that closes on the dial and crystal. The lid protects the watch from scratches, dust and other types of debris.
The demi-hunter watch is a style with an outer lid that has a glass panel on it that allows for the hands to be viewed even with the lid shut.
The hours are marked, typically in blue enamel, on the outside of the lid. This allows the watch to be read without having to open it. Pocket watch use is said to have peaked in the 19th century when the manufacture and design of the watches was at its height. Companies like Elgin, Waltham, Hamilton and Illinois were creating new and innovative watches, improving accuracy and pushing the rules of design. Railroad conductors used watches still to time their trains, creating a need for highly accurate, precision pieces.
Hunting case watches became popular in the 19th century as well.