Internal arrangement and restoration of mechanical Swiss watches Automatic translate
Swiss watches have graced the wrists of royalty, celebrities and watch lovers around the world for centuries, and their appeal remains unchanged. Revered for precision, craftsmanship and elegance, Swiss watches are more than mere timekeeping devices, they are exquisite works of art.
However, like any other mechanical device, this complex watch can break down over time, requiring professional repair to restore it to its original glory. In one of the best workshops offering watch repair in Moscow , "Repassagena on Kurskaya", we were told about the main parts of a mechanical Swiss watch, about the rich heritage of some famous Swiss watch manufacturers and about those elements that can fail over time. Luckily, there are craftsmen who can repair these movements so that these miracles of watchmaking continue to work with high precision.
The main parts of a mechanical swiss watch
- Movement : The heart of any Swiss watch is its movement, also known as a caliber. The mechanism is responsible for accurate and uninterrupted timekeeping. There are two main types of mechanisms: manual and automatic. Manual movements require regular winding of the crown, while automatic movements are self-winding and wind the mainspring by moving the wearer’s wrist. The movement is a symphony of carefully crafted gears, wheels, springs and escapements that work harmoniously to measure the passage of time.
- Dial : The dial is the visible surface of the watch that contains hour markers, numerals and hands to tell the time. Swiss watchmakers pride themselves on the art of making dials, which are often embellished with exquisite guilloché patterns, sunburst finishes or elegant enamels. Some dials even use luminescent materials to improve readability in low light conditions.
- Hands : Swiss watch hands are not just pointers, but small masterpieces. Made with high precision, the hands indicate the hours, minutes and seconds on the dial, moving in harmony with the mechanism. The hands, often adorned with a thin coating or polished to a high shine, testify to the watchmaker’s attention to detail.
- Crown : The crown is a small knob on the side of the watch case, usually located at the three o’clock position. It performs many functions, allowing the wearer to manually wind the watch (in manual movements), set the time and date, and set other functions such as the chronograph or moon phases. A well-made crown ensures a smooth and pleasant winding.
- Case : The case houses all the watch’s internal components, protecting them and maintaining the overall aesthetic design. Swiss watch cases are made from a variety of materials and shapes, including stainless steel, gold, platinum, and even high-tech materials such as ceramic or carbon fiber. The skilfully crafted and polished case is a demonstration of the brand’s individuality and attention to craftsmanship.
- Crystal : The transparent cover that protects the dial and hands is called crystal. Traditional Swiss watches use sapphire crystals, which are exceptionally scratch resistant. Sapphire crystals are made from synthetic sapphire, one of the hardest materials on Earth after diamond. Thanks to them, the dial and complex movements of the watch remain intact during daily wear.
- Bezel : The bezel is a ring around the crystal that can be stationary or rotating, depending on the purpose of the watch. For some watches, the bezel is purely decorative, giving the watch a distinct style. However, in other watches, especially diving watches, the rotating bezel serves the function of allowing divers to measure the elapsed time underwater.
- Bracelet : A bracelet or strap keeps the watch on the wrist, complementing the overall look and feel of the watch. Swiss manufacturers offer many options for bracelets and straps, including stainless steel, leather, gold, rubber or fabric. Each material gives the watch a distinct character, satisfying the preferences of a wide variety of customers.
Famous Swiss watch manufacturers
Switzerland has been the epicenter of watchmaking for many centuries, and many well-known watch companies are concentrated here. Each brand has its own unique history, philosophy and contribution to the development of watchmaking. Here are some of the more famous Swiss watch companies:
> Patek Philippe : Founded in 1839, Patek Philippe is one of the oldest and most prestigious watch manufacturers in the world. Known for their high quality and craftsmanship, Patek Philippe watches are considered family heirlooms and are often passed down from generation to generation.
> Rolex : Synonymous with luxury and quality, Rolex watches are known the world over for their durability, precision and timeless design. Rolex has a rich history of innovation: it introduced the first waterproof wristwatch, the first automatic date watch and many other innovations.
> Omega : As the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games since 1932, Omega has a strong reputation for precision and innovation. Omega has been involved in important historical events such as NASA’s moon landings, which has given it a strong foothold in both watchmaking and space exploration.
> TAG Heuer : Founded in 1860, TAG Heuer is known for its sporty and stylish design, making it a favorite among motorsport enthusiasts. The brand has a long history of developing precision chronographs and is associated with various motorsport events and teams.
> Audemars Piguet : Founded in 1875, Audemars Piguet is renowned for its intricate and intricate timepieces. It is this brand that is credited with creating the world’s first luxury sports watch, the Royal Oak, which has become a cult design in the industry.
> Jaeger-LeCoultre : Jaeger-LeCoultre’s heritage spanning almost two centuries is known for its exceptional craftsmanship and innovative movements. The brand is a pioneer in the creation of ultra-thin movements and the author of numerous patented watch innovations.
> IWC Schaffhausen : Founded in 1868 in Schaffhausen, IWC Schaffhausen specializes in the manufacture of watches for aviators and pilots. The brand combines precision engineering and timeless design to create timepieces that are durable and stylish.
> Longines : Longines, whose history dates back to 1832, is renowned for its elegant timepieces that perfectly combine tradition and innovation. The brand’s winged hourglass logo symbolizes its longstanding commitment to quality and precision.
Items that can fail
Swiss watches, despite their careful design and precision, are not immune to wear and tear. Many factors, including daily use, environmental exposure, and accidental shock, can cause problems that require repair. Here are some common items that can be broken or damaged and subsequently repaired by qualified watchmakers:
- Mechanical movement problems : The complex mechanical movement of a Swiss watch, consisting of hundreds of tiny parts, can experience various problems over time. Dust, moisture, long-term operation without maintenance can lead to problems such as instability of the movement, loss of power reserve, or even a complete stop. To eliminate these problems, a professional watchmaker will carefully disassemble the movement, clean every part, replace worn components, lubricate the moving parts, and then reassemble the movement with the utmost precision.
- Scratched or cracked crystal : Although sapphire crystals are exceptionally hard, they can be damaged by impact or abrasion. Scratches or cracks on glass
Scratches and cracks on the crystal not only spoil the look of the watch, but can also compromise its water resistance. An experienced watchmaker can replace a damaged glass, providing reliable protection for the dial and fragile parts.
- Water damage : Many Swiss watches have some degree of water resistance to protect the movement from moisture and dust. However, exposure to water beyond the watch’s rated water resistance may cause moisture ingress, rust, and damage to the movement. In such cases, a professional watchmaker takes the watch apart, thoroughly cleans and dries the parts, replaces any damaged parts, and then reassembles the watch and tests it for water resistance.
- Worn gaskets : Gaskets are the most important seals to keep your watch watertight. Over time, these pads can deteriorate due to age, environmental exposure, or lack of maintenance. An experienced watchmaker will inspect and replace worn gaskets at regular service to ensure the watertightness of the watch.
- Damaged crown or stem : The crown and stem are important parts that allow the wearer to interact with the watch, wind it, set the time and adjust other functions. Physical impact or mishandling can break the crown or damage the stem. Professional watchmakers are experienced enough to repair or replace these components to keep the watch running smoothly.
- Bracelet/strap repair : The bracelet or strap of a Swiss watch can wear out over time. Leather straps can show signs of aging, rubber straps can lose elasticity, and metal straps can become loose or damaged. An experienced watchmaker can repair or replace these elements, restoring the comfort and appearance of the watch.
- Complications and special functions : Complex Swiss watches, such as those with a perpetual calendar, moon phases or chronograph, are marvels of engineering, equipped with complex additional mechanisms. Diagnosing and troubleshooting such watches requires specialized knowledge and experience. Skilled watchmakers experienced in complex watch movements are needed to restore these special functions to optimal performance.
Swiss watch repair is an art that requires a deep understanding of watch mechanics, precision and attention to detail. Every detail, from the complex mechanical movement to the smallest components, plays an important role in the performance of the watch. Swiss watchmakers continue to push the boundaries of innovation by creating timepieces that combine heritage, technology and artistic design. Owning a Swiss watch is a testament to the high appreciation of craftsmanship and involvement in a rich watchmaking heritage.
However, these masterpieces are not immune to the effects of time and wear and tear. Like any mechanical device, a Swiss watch requires regular maintenance and, if necessary, professional repair to keep it running flawlessly. Whether it’s restoring an ancient relic or ensuring the longevity of today’s luxury watches, entrusting their repair to experienced craftsmen is essential.
The art of Swiss watch repair involves meticulous disassembly, cleaning, repair, reassembly and testing to ensure that each component functions harmoniously and keeps accurate time for years to come. For watch connoisseurs, the possession of Swiss watches is not limited to admiration: they are obliged to take care of these miracles of mechanics and protect them, passing them on to future generations as a cherished relic. With the right care and skilled watchmaking skills, a Swiss watch can remain a symbol of timeless elegance and a testament to the beauty of traditional craftsmanship combined with modern innovation.
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