Summary
A mechanical watch is a watch that uses a clockwork mechanism to measure the passage of time, as opposed to quartz watches which function using the vibration modes of a piezoelectric quartz tuning fork, or radio watches, which are quartz watches synchronized to an atomic clock via radio waves. A mechanical watch is driven by a mainspring which must be wound either periodically by hand or via a self-winding mechanism. Its force is transmitted through a series of gears to power the balance wheel, a weighted wheel which oscillates back and forth at a constant rate. A device called an escapement releases the watch's wheels to move forward a small amount with each swing of the balance wheel, moving the watch's hands forward at a constant rate. The escapement is what makes the 'ticking' sound which is heard in an operating mechanical watch. Mechanical watches evolved in Europe in the 17th century from spring powered clocks, which appeared in the 15th century. Mechanical watches are typically not as accurate as quartz watches, and they eventually require periodic cleaning and calibration by a skilled watchmaker. Since the 1970s, quartz watches have taken over most of the watch market, and mechanical watches are now mostly marketed as a luxury product, purchased for their aesthetic and luxury values, for appreciation of their fine craftsmanship, or as a status symbol. The internal mechanism of a watch, excluding the face and hands, is called the movement. All mechanical watches have these five parts: A mainspring, which stores mechanical energy to power the watch. A gear train, called the wheel train, which has the dual function of transmitting the force of the mainspring to the balance wheel and adding up the swings of the balance wheel to get units of seconds, minutes, and hours. A separate part of the gear train, called the keyless work, allows the user to wind the mainspring and enables the hands to be moved to set the time. A balance wheel, which oscillates back and forth. This is the timekeeping element in the watch.
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Mechanical watch
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