Swiss Watches

Swiss Watches

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According to the results of various opinion polls and studies carried out by specialists in the field of watch marketing and service, many false stereotypes still flourish about the fantastic technical characteristics of Swiss watches.

Many Swiss watches come with a lifetime warranty. To date, there is no lifetime warranty for any wristwatch - both quartz and mechanical. Absolutely all Swiss brands define a warranty period from 2 to 5 years, this information is usually indicated in the warranty statement. The technical documentation attached to the watch also contains information about what the warranty does not cover: as a rule, these are factors caused not by the manufacturer's fault, but by careless use of the watch.

All Swiss watches are handcrafted. As a rule, most of the operations for the manufacture of watch parts are carried out in Switzerland using automated equipment and modern CNC machines. Only a few manufacturers, creating products worth tens of thousands of dollars or more, allow themselves to manually assemble mechanisms, and even more so - to refine and polish every detail of the watch by hand.

Swiss watches will never need to be repaired. For normal trouble-free operation, once every 3-4 years, both mechanical and quartz Swiss watches will definitely need preventive maintenance - cleaning, lubrication and adjustment of the mechanism. The opinion that the high cost of the most prestigious wristwatches hides some supernatural possibilities ("such a watch is eternal," "they have perfect accuracy," "such a mechanism does not need lubrication") is wrong. The more complicated (and, accordingly, more expensive) the watch, the more careful attitude it will require.

In a Swiss watch, the battery lasts at least 5 years. In fact: firstly, when buying a Swiss quartz watch, you should keep in mind that a battery is rarely guaranteed: it is a test one, and is intended to demonstrate how the watch works to a potential buyer. Secondly, the battery of any quartz movement must be replaced approximately once every 2 years (the exception is lithium batteries, which are mainly used in watches with digital indication and low power consumption, their service life is up to 10 years).

Shockproof Swiss watches withstand shocks. Swiss mechanical watches with a shockproof function are equipped with a special protective device to cushion any possible shock, the so-called shock absorber. It prevents breakage or deformation only of the balance axis pivots - the most sensitive part of the movement, which is largely responsible for the reliability and accuracy of the movement. Mechanisms with this device were tested on a special stand that simulates the impact when the watch falls from a height of 1 m onto a wooden base. Such a system provides some guarantee against shock and damage, but it is not worth checking Swiss shockproof watches for durability by throwing them on the floor or into walls. Here you should also worry about the safety of the glass, case, hands, dial and other details.

Sapphire crystals in Swiss watches are unbreakable. Despite the fact that organic and mineral glasses are significantly inferior to sapphire glasses in terms of hardness and, accordingly, resistance to scratches and chips, the latter are also fragile and can break. The same applies to watch cases and bracelets made of non-scratch ceramic.

The Swiss tourbillon watch eliminates the influence of gravity. Eliminating the influence of gravity means essentially creating zero gravity. Tourbillon, or "vortex regulator", is a device designed to compensate for the negative effects of gravity on the movement. Inventing his tourbillon in 1795, the great watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet strove to ensure the accurate operation of the watch in the event of a change in its position (this meant a pocket watch that was placed in a special pocket of a vest, and the mechanism of which worked mainly in a vertical position). But the practical usefulness of the tourbillon in modern wristwatches is a constant subject of controversy: no doubt, such a mechanism increases the accuracy of the watch; at the same time, it was proved that if the watch is lying horizontally at night and in the same vertical position during the day, then it is impossible to significantly improve its course with the help of a tourbillon. In addition, the "vortex regulator" absorbs part of the movement's energy, thereby reducing the watch's power reserve. However, despite all the technical contradictions, the tourbillon has been one of the most aesthetically attractive and spectacular watch complications for over 200 years - largely due to this, it is used today by Swiss manufacturers in most models of prestigious watches.

Swiss watch calendars do not need to be adjusted. Only the so-called perpetual calendars, programmed taking into account leap years and used in the most complex and expensive models of Swiss watches, do not need to be adjusted. All other calendars - indicators of the date, day of the week and month, will definitely require intervention: at the beginning of the calendar month, you must set the current date manually (the perpetual calendar mechanism does this automatically).

The movements of gold Swiss watches are made of gold. Only in isolated cases, a watch mechanism, consisting of tens or even hundreds of parts, can contain several gold components (such as bridges, platinum, wheels or springs), but in general, as a rule, in expensive Swiss watches with a transparent case, gold is used ( rhodium, nickel, etc.) coating, which is applied to parts made of brass, or parts are made of steel and nickel silver. Clock axes and tribes (and, of course, stones) are never made of gold, it is not suitable for this in terms of its technical characteristics.

The accuracy of Swiss mechanical wristwatches is much higher than that of inexpensive quartz watches made in China. Even the most expensive mechanical wristwatches are inferior in accuracy to any quartz watch. International standards for precision movement for mechanical and quartz movements vary significantly. For mechanical ones, the permissible error is from minus 20 to plus 40 seconds per day. Particularly accurate mechanical watches, which are called chronometers, are distinguished by high accuracy of movement, at which the error is only a few seconds per day (in order for a watch to be called a chronometer, in order for it to be assigned such a status, its mechanism must successfully pass a series of tests and receive an official certificate Swiss Institute of Chronometry, COSC - Controle Officiel Suisse de Chronometres). For quartz movements, it is normal for a discrepancy of only plus 15 seconds per month. That is why Swiss watchmakers strongly recommend quartz movements as particularly accurate. By the way, during operation, the accuracy of a mechanical watch will seriously depend on many factors, such as ambient temperature, position of the watch, wear of parts, etc. Quartz watches in this comparison are unpretentious, reliable and durable - this is due to the absence of fragile parts that are constantly in tension, as well as complex mechanical assemblies, therefore, almost all quartz watches are not afraid of small shocks and shocks (the main condition for their smooth operation is a high-quality battery).

You can dive in any waterproof Swiss watch. There are different types of waterproof Swiss watches. As a rule, the degree of water resistance of each particular watch model in feet, bars, atmospheres or meters (1 atmosphere is equal to the pressure of a water column of 10 meters; the value in meters is not the depth to which you can submerge in this watch) is indicated on the case back. Protection against splashes and rain is provided for waterproof models marked less than 30 m (3 atm), you can swim and dive in watches with a designation of 50 m (5 atm), but deep-sea sports can only be practiced in waterproof watches with a mark of at least 200 m (20 atm). It should also be borne in mind that not a single waterproof Swiss watch is intended for visiting a bath or sauna. High temperatures contribute not only to the deformation of rubber gaskets designed to protect the watch movement from moisture penetration, but also to instant thickening and drying of the mechanism lubricant, increased friction, wear of parts and, as a result, to the stop of the watch. The functions of water resistance and dust protection are not eternal, they retain their purpose only until the tightness of the case is broken, for example, due to microcracks in the glass or the gradual drying of the gaskets after some time. Therefore, at least once every 2 years (for quartz watches - and every time after replacing the battery), it is necessary to check the condition of the rubber seals that ensure the tightness of the watch case.

During the factory assembly, air is evacuated from the case of waterproof watches in Switzerland, and a vacuum is created inside the watch cases. In the manufacture of waterproof watches, Swiss manufacturers very reliably close the cases, using for this purpose a variety of rubber or acrylic plastic seals, which ensure complete tightness, i.e. prevent dust and moisture from entering the watch. Air from Swiss movements (even watches designed for measuring atmospheric pressure or for diving with a depth gauge) is never pumped out, and if you need to open the case, you do not need to put the watch in a mythical pressure chamber. This version is used by so-called casual watchmakers who avoid responsibility for repairing expensive watches - the real reason lies in the fact that under normal conditions it is impossible to properly close the case, restoring its original one hundred percent tightness by completely replacing special gaskets and then checking the watch for water resistance, as it is done by professionals in well-equipped service centers.

Watch the video: What is a Swiss Made watch and what are the requirements? - Watch and Learn #34 (August 2022).