American Pocket Watch Movements

Movements of American pocket watches differ in many details from their Swiss counterparts. Here we look at some basics about them, without getting lost in the many deviations from the standards. American pocket watches are a topic with a lot of interesting things to discover.

Pocket watch with Hamilton 12 size Model 1 Grade 900
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System Glashütte – What’s that?

Glashütte was famous for its watch industry more than a hundred years ago, producing pocket watches of the highest quality. Ferdinand A. Lange was certainly the most renowned Glashütte manufacturer, but watches by Großmann or Assmann were also sought-after and expensive.

Movement System Glashütte, unknown manufacturer, diameter 13 1/4´´´
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Regulating a watch movement for beginners

Mechanical watch movements consist of a large number of individual parts whose manufacturing precision determines, among other things, how accurate a movement is. In addition, external influences such as shocks or temperature changes contribute to the fact that a movement always shows a certain deviation from the real time. And aging processes of the lubricants and materials used also have their share.

ETA 6497-1 [source:]

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A Dead Beat Seconds Movement – 140 Years old

Every quartz watch has a jumping second, so the second hand always moves in whole second increments. This is in contrast to the mechanical watch, where the oscillation frequency of the balance determines how many small steps the hand takes between two second strokes. In classic movements, it’s 18,000 bph (beats per hour), which results in five steps per second; in the more modern 28,800 bph of an ETA 2824-2, it’s eight. This is called sweeping second.

Jumping second (repeats after 15 seconds, otherwise the file will be too big…)

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