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Thread: Movements and Robustness (Robusticity?)

  1. #1

    Movements and Robustness (Robusticity?)

    I was wondering to myself about nothing of any consequence and the whole issue of robustness of movements inserted itself into my train of thought.

    I suppose my main question is: to what degree are some movement in themselves more robust than others?

    Other questions:

    * are any of the main movements de nos jours (2824, 2892, 9015, 2500, 8500 etc etc) particularly more or less robust?
    * were any movements of the past superior in this respect?
    * how much more of a difference does the rest of the watch make?
    * are some movements good at surviving one big single shock, but poor at steady timekeeping while being subjected to many minor shocks?

    It seems to me that the vast majority of things I've read on this subject have been at best anecdotal, and moreoften hearsay.

    Anyone able to shed some well-informed light on any of this?

    If in doubt, please just say something along the lines of "if you are actually bothered about robustness of the movement, then perhaps mechanical movements are not for you"

  2. #2
    It's all compromises. Generally the thing that breaks is the balance as the two pivots have to be hardened to not wear unacceptably but that makes them brittle and so on. This is why shock protection is so important - by allowing everything to shift, even a little bit, under a shock loading the shock can be spread out and avoid snapping. Obviously the same problem exists across the watch. The going train is also holding back the force of the wound spring so is always dealing with a fairly meaty lateral load which makes dealing with a shock loading problematic. The problem is that the larger you make the pivots, the more friction there will be, and so on.

    Any well designed watch movement will try to balance these compromises out, but ultimately it comes down to the metallurgy. Smiths movements for example, rarely suffer excessive wear on pivots, but snap quite easily. Most Chinese stuff I have seen tends to bend the pivot.

    There's a load of movement considerations too, but they involve thoughts about leverage, torque and so on which I'm not up to going on about right now. Personally if I were throwing something against a wall, I'd probably go for a 2824, just because.

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  4. #3
    Member Steppy's Avatar
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    I've always read/seen many many people talk about the robustness of Rolex movements, for example the 3135. Does the height/thickness of a movement play a part, at 6mm thick the rolex movement is pretty thick.

    Also when describing ETA movements the 2824 is always described by someone as a robust movement or a "workhorse" yet no one says the same thing about the ETA 2892. Again the 2824 is 1mm thick than the 2892.

    Just anecdotal musing there, I suspect the "robustness" of a movement is most affected by quality of materials, intelligent design and effective lubrication.

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    Bone Collector Bwana's Avatar
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    I know Muhle Glashutte claims their SAR, with a Sellita SW200 26 jewels (a special shockproof automatic movement)...is as tough as it gets.

    MG SAR lume shot.JPG
    Last edited by Bwana; Mar 15, 2015 at 10:02 PM.

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    Member Steppy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bwana View Post
    I know Muhle Glashutte claims their SAR, WITH A Sellita SW200 26 jewels (a special shockproof automatic movement)...is as tough as it gets.

    MG SAR lume shot.JPG

    An ETA 2824 clone is now a special shockproof movement!!

    Seems to be a running thing though, Bremont and Damasko both use ETA2824/2836 in their "tough" watches

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    Bone Collector Bwana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steppy View Post
    How is an ETA 2824 clone with Muhle's woodpecker regulation a special shockproof movement!!

    Seems to be a running thing though, Bremont and Damasko both use ETA2824/2836 in their "tough" watches
    I'm not sure ?, I just wear it But that is a quote from MG's site..."shockproof"

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    Member Steppy's Avatar
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    During times on the various forums I've seen a lot of people describe the Valjoux 7750 as particularly robust also (7.9mm thick)

  11. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Steppy View Post
    An ETA 2824 clone is now a special shockproof movement!!

    Seems to be a running thing though, Bremont and Damasko both use ETA2824/2836 in their "tough" watches
    I think Muhle have done something to the SW200. What though I've no idea

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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Amf View Post
    I think Muhle have done something to the SW200. What though I've no idea

    They added a Woodpecker regulation system to it, Muhle rotor, and they produce a number of the parts themselves in their factory. Nothing to do with shockproof though

  13. #10
    Bone Collector Bwana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Amf View Post
    I think Muhle have done something to the SW200. What though I've no idea
    I read a long discussion on the changes over at the "Dark side", but would have to search for the answer. Supposedly it had "heavy modification" added to the "tough" state for rescue pilots of the German Navy.

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