Watch Mechanism Explained

Watch Mechanism Explained

Watch mechanism is one of the more complicated topics when you start to look into what makes your favorite watch tick. Underneath the beauty of the dial and your watch component basics, the inner mechanism of your watch is made up of a number of screws, pinion, gear trains and even jewels. Friction points in the watch mechanism are addressed using jewels which are more resilient to wear and tear.  That being said, it adds to the longevity of your watch. It also pays to know the history of quality watches like Seiko. HHere are some of the specific parts of your watch’s mechanism worth knowing.

Watch Mechanism Explained

Winding Pinion (Crown Gear)

This gear that is directly connected to your watch’s crown. As you turn and make adjustments, this watch mechanism would be moving various gears starting from the winding pinion transferring it to the clutch wheel. The winding pinion can also engage the intermediate wheel moving and adjusting the minute wheel.

Clutch (Castle Gear)

This is the gear that drives the intermediate wheel that is responsible for the minutes on your watch.

Intermediate Wheel is an important watch mechanism

This is the watch mechanism which directly rotates and moves the minute wheel in your watch.

Detent Spring (Check Spring)

The Detent Spring is a very thin blade inside your watch. This is responsible for holding your escape wheel in its rightful place.  

Mainspring Barrel Lower Pivot

As your mainspring tighten and unwind which creates the movement, it drives power to your gear train.

Cannon Pinion

This is commonly referred to as the heart and soul of your watch when it comes to movement. It is directly responsible for making the inner components tick in place providing you accurate display of time every time. This usually sits at the center of your watch mechanism.

Center Wheel Pinion

This is the wheel that drives your cannon pinion.

Dial Foot Hole

Your watch has a metal post called the dial foot hole. It extends from the back all the way to the rim. These screws are tightened which hold the dials in place. It is good to take note that overdoing the tightness could cause cracks in your dials. 

Set Lever Screw

The Set Lever has an important function in your watch’s inner components. It is used to prevent the crown and stem to be pulled out of the movement.

Setting Bridge

This cover plate keeps your watch’s inner components onto the main plate.

Minute Wheel

The intermediate wheel is directly driving the minute wheel. As this happens, its pinions directly drives the hour wheel. 

Minute Wheel Post

This post helps keep your minute wheel in its place.

Hour Wheel

This holds the hour hand and is directly on top of the cannon pinion.

Fourth Wheel Lower Jewel

There are a lot of friction points on your watch. This is a result of the many moving parts in it.This is why watchmakers prefer to use jewels as they are stronger than metal. They are stronger than metal and as a result, manage stress better. This jewel is the one used for the fourth wheel. This is usually used for a sub-dial displaying the seconds. 

Escape Wheel Lower Jewel

This is the jewel used by your watch’s escapement. This is the wheel that works with the pallet fork. To be more technical about it, this wheel has a really amazing job. It is able to turn rotational motion into what the balance wheel need – lateral impulses. This serves as the regulating piece in your watch mechanism.

Pallet Stone Inspection Holes

As the name suggests, this helps you inspect the stone in your pallet fork. The pallet fork is one of the devices in your escapement and helps give energy to the balance wheel’s oscillation by a back and forth movement.

Pallet Lever Lower Jewel

This lever is largely responsible for the timing functions as it regulates the movement of the escape wheel.

Balance Wheel Lower Pivot

This is the secondary element meant to regulate your watch’s time. Much like how a pendulum works, it uses that oscillation technique to provide accurate time.

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