When does one speak of a manufactory?
A watch manufacturer describes a company that develops their own movements, manufactures and to a great extend does without subcontractors. The production of a wristwatch is divided into many working steps, especially in the assembly and justage of the movement, the meaning of the word manu (lat. Manus – hand) and invoice (lat. Factura – the making, the production) is given literally.
Why can watches with the same basis works have different prices?
Different watch brands use the same movement type from only a few suppliers. Nowadays, it is easy to find out which basic movement has been installed in a watch: the refinement will bring a movement to the desired standard of a watch company. Especially for watches with a glass back, a beautiful completion of the movement is of enormous importance. These last and highly complex steps on a movement are done by specialists during a time-consuming process. Accordingly, identical basic clocks produce the most diverse test results and of course look quite different.
Thus, the movement has a price-relevant role. Other important pricing factors are the design and shape of the clock case, refinement, dial and hands.
Are luxury watches cheaper abroad?
The actual valid exchange rate influences the price of a watch. Nevertheless, our experience clearly shows that current watch models are cheaper in Switzerland than abroad. This is because of the generally higher taxes abroad. The different VAT rates make watches more expensive, when bought abroad. You can assume that a brand watch acquired in Switzerland offers a more attractive price.
In addition, the high level of service, competence and trust in the retailer speak in favour of buying a brand watch in a Swiss watch shop.
Contrary to popular opinion, an automatic watch cannot be overwound. If a watch does not start after winding the main spring, it is usually because the wheels are dirty, or the oil used for lubrication has become too viscous.
This is the name for a watch with a stop function. Since 1930, there are watches with two separate pushers, one for the start and stop function, the other for the zero position. The term chronograph comes from the Greek and means «time writer». Today’s chronographs show a time period or are simply a stopwatch.
A chronometer is a watch that has been checked by the independent Swiss observatory “Conrôle Offociel Suisse des Chronomètres (C.O.S.C.)” and passed a 15-day test. Chronometer is also colloquially a very accurate clock.
The unit “Alternances par heure” denotes the measurement of the frequency of the balance. A clock, for example, with 28’800 A/h – vibration frequency per hour – makes 14’400 times tick and 14’400 times tack in one hour. For the conversion in Hertz the clock frequency in A/h is divided by the number 7’200.
The escapement is composed of the balance, the pallet and the escape wheel. Together, these three components are responsible for ensuring that the movement does unwind in the same time that it was wound up – which would be far too fast. The escapement subdivides the time into equally sized sections and periodically releases the wheel to stop it again immediately. The uniformity of the vibrations must be as independent as possible of the spring tension.
A clock with a perpetual calendar has on top of the usual calendar displays – such as date, day of the week, month and moon phases – a special and demanding mechanism, which considers and specifies the different month lengths and leap years of our Gregorian calendar without manual corrections for about 100 years.
The balance, the heart of the clock, pulsates back and forth 28,800 times per hour. If the angular distance travelled by a point on the balance rim to the 16-inch wheel of a car, you would reach an average speed of 90 km / h. After one year, there would be 8,760 operating hours (365 days x 24 hours) or 788,400 kilometres. Hardly any car engine could withstand this strain. To ensure that your watch continues to perform well, we recommend having your watch serviced by our specialists every four to six years. By then 3,942,000 km will have passed. This is 100 times the circumference of the earth or several trips to the moon and back.
In mechanical watches, the stored energy is released concentrated and converted into a rotational movement of the display (the index axes). The balance of a clock moves back and forth almost 30,000 times in one hour – an enormous achievement.
Accuracy and rate variation depend largely on factors that the watchmaker has little control over. For example:
– Strong magnetic fields
– Blows, pushes and fierce vibrations on the movement
– Habits and the position of the clock
– Resolidification of the oil and grease in the movement
– Age of the clock
These and other influences have significant impact on the accuracy of a watch, despite the best technology and excellent material. A mechanical watch can never be compared to a quartz watch as far as accuracy is concerned. A high-quality, mechanical automatic wristwatch may have about five to ten seconds rate variation per day. At 86,400 seconds per day, this means an accuracy of approximately 99.99%. An excellent value!
A clock, which is operated by an oscillator instead of a mechanical regulator. The frequency of the oscillator is maintained with the help of an oscillating quartz, the energy comes from a battery.
All watches should be revised at intervals, depending on the duration of the wear. The watch is broken down into its individual parts, cleaned and oiled. Parts that are worn like seals, are replaced, the rate behaviour is checked and reassembled. Also, the clock case is revised. Mechanical watches should be serviced every four to six years. The waterproofness should be checked annually.
The tourbillon (French for whirlwind) is a device in wristwatches and pocket watches to compensate for a mistake in accuracy due to gravitational influence. Wrist movement triggers the tourbillon. The inventor of the tourbillon was Abraham Louis Breguet.
The proper and professional treatment of your watch guarantees you lasting pleasure. Note the following points:
Magnetic fields can throw your clock out of step. An electrical device for example provides such a field – so caution is required.
Also, blows on a watch, especially on the crown should be avoided. Certain sports such as golf or running sports are therefore a particular challenge for your watch.
Extreme temperature differences should be avoided.
There are different glasses, some are more susceptible to scratches than others. Sapphire and mineral glasses are very hard, but unfortunately, they cannot be polished. Plexiglas, on the other hand, can be restored quite well with a polishing paste and, in the case of deep injuries, even with a polishing pad.
Dangers: There are many chemical substances, such as perfume or detergents, that can damage the bracelet, the clock case or the seals. As a result, the waterproofness may be restricted. It is never fully guaranteed, because even the natural aging of a watch and the influence from the outside can affect it.
Control of waterproofness: When used regularly in water, we recommend an annual inspection. It should be noted that even this control is a snapshot. The crown should never be operated underwater. Depending on the statements, your watch can tolerate more or less water. Washing your hands is no problem with most watches.
Different waterproofness: Please follow the instructions for your watch: From 3 bar – 30 m – 100 ft or more water splashes are no danger; from 5 bar – 50 m – 165 ft you can shower, swim and do water sports carelessly; from 10 bar – 100 m – 330 ft you can snorkel and go water skiing; starting at more than 30 bar, a watch is suitable for deep sea.
Diver watches: A diver’s watch must comply with the industrial standard DIN 8306 – many watches meet the standard 8310, light protection against splashing water.
The pressure conditions under which the watch is fully functional and in what depth one could dive is indicated on the case back of a diving watch.