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Thread: I thought of Zenith when I heard...

  1. #1

    I thought of Zenith when I heard...

    ...Ariel Adams say this, "I fail to see what is advanced or modern about a complication which has been around in form for almost 40 years."

    He meant to say, "movement", not "complication", because he was referring to the Valjoux 7750.

    He was busy bad-mouthing a watch that he didn't like. That sentence negated his entire argument.



  2. #2
    A Chrono IS (of course) a complication though.

    I can forgive someone calling the 7750 'a complication' (It's not THE complication from when time began, just A variant of the chrono complication).

    So maybe I can't forgive him for perhaps thinking that the 7750 is the only version of the chrono complication.
    Just my view on it., I personally wouldn't have chucked the whole argument because of what he said. (or how he said it)

    I've not a freaking clue who Ariel Adams is though

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Seriously View Post
    A Chrono IS (of course) a complication though.

    I can forgive someone calling the 7750 'a complication' (It's not THE complication from when time began, just A variant of the chrono complication).

    So maybe I can't forgive him for perhaps thinking that the 7750 is the only version of the chrono complication.
    Just my view on it., I personally wouldn't have chucked the whole argument because of what he said. (or how he said it)

    I've not a freaking clue who Ariel Adams is though
    Sorry. I should have clarified.

    Ariel is the "ablogtowatch" guy. Like all "watch professionals", a total know-it-all.

    I wasn't referring to the complication vs movement thing being an issue.

    His comment about 40 year old movements not being advanced as an argument against a watch made me think of the El Primero and how utterly kickass it is for 40+ years and how wrong the comment is.

    I think we can all agree that the blanket statement that a 40 year old movement not being advanced is categorically wrong.

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  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    Ariel is the "ablogtowatch" guy. Like all "watch professionals", a total know-it-all.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    ...Ariel Adams say this, "I fail to see what is advanced or modern about a complication which has been around in form for almost 40 years."


    Let's assume it was a simple lapsus linguae...

  7. #6

    I thought of Zenith when I heard...

    There is this tension among watch enthuisasts: They want horological advances, but also a devotion to tradition.

    Believe me, there have been many advances for both the El Primero and for the 7750. But most of them have been in the equipment used to manufacture them. There are only so many ways to design a mechanical chronograph and the story behind the EP is so compelling for historical reasons that one struggles to imagine the risk in replacing it with a newer design. What would that newer design include? Maybe a stop-seconds function (just to quieten the naysayers). Perhaps a vertical clutch, though the lateral clutch is so much fun to look at. But I can't think of much else.

    There have been some marginal advances, though I wonder if they are really improvements. One is the migration to silicon hairsprings, integrated pallet forks, and other parts. These have many desirable features, but they cannot be adjusted by watchmakers. If one is broken or faulty, it must be replaced. And the machine that makes it is not quite the same as the machine suse to make steel hairsprings. This is not an issue in the near term but there will come a time when watches will be kept going by skilled specialists who have to manufacturer what they need, and silicon will be a real challenge in that sort of service environment.

    The machines used to make them have undergone several generations of new technologies. First, the original 3019PHC tooling was replaced in the middle 80's to take advantage of increased precision so that the parts could be more consistent and require less hand fitment. I think it was about that time that some parts were upgraded, including the date-wheel detent spring (a common failure point on the original EP movements). More recently, the machines were entirely updated again to take advantage of ultra-precision computer numeric controlled machines working in five axes, with precision and consistency unknown when the El Primero was first created.

    I would be quite surprised if the same were not true of all serially produced watch movements still in production, including the 7750.

    Rick "not accustomed to deep analysis from Mr. Adams" Denney
    Last edited by Rdenney; Dec 17, 2014 at 11:55 PM.
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

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  9. #7
    Zenith & Vintage Mod Dan R's Avatar
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    Regarding the equipment to manufacture them, that is most true. Here is a shot of some of Zenith's newest equipment used to make the more difficult parts:

    Name:  Five Position.jpg
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    And here are some of the parts made by this five-axis CNC equipment:

    Name:  Five Axis Pieces.jpg
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    The degree of detail required boggles the mind.

    Dan

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  11. #8
    You have to wonder how long it will be until parts like this are made by 3D printers...they are already being used to manufacture metal parts, I wonder if they are more or less accurate than a CNC.

  12. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mlcor View Post
    You have to wonder how long it will be until parts like this are made by 3D printers...they are already being used to manufacture metal parts, I wonder if they are more or less accurate than a CNC.
    There's metal and there's metal. 3D printers create metal by depositing it out of solution using lasers. I doubt it has any greater strength than cast or annealed soft metals. Springs are made of hardened, worked (to align grain), and heat treated high strength alloys.

    But silicon parts are made using lasers to cut parts from wafers, so production of those parts is already automated. But the required machines are vastly expensive and require large production volume to amortize. I suspect most are made by only one or two companies for all the watch companies.

    Rick "laser-cut silicon parts are very accurate" Denney
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

  13. #10
    Zenith & Vintage Mod Dan R's Avatar
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    Here is an additional piece of equipment at their factory that helps them be a greener company.

    Name:  Environmentally Friendly Eqpt.jpg
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    Blank brass pieces are loaded into a feeder and then the blank is machined into a plate and collected at the other end.

    Cheers,

    Dan

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