Greiner Spiromatic and the likes

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by karlmansson, May 12, 2019.

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  1. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

    Apr 20, 2013
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    Hello!

    Has anyone here ever worked with the Greiner Spiromatic hairspring vibrating machine? Or something that is similar to it? I just missed out on a Bergeon Luthy type tool on an auction close to me and my old plans to build an electronic hairspring vibrating tool resurfaced.

    I've located a Spiromatic counting head, which probably would make the actual adjustments easier. But I'm still trying to figure out how the old 1950s ones actually measured the rate. I've read that they use a strobe but I'm not sure whether or not the strobe provided a visual reference for the operator to then manually adjust upon or if the strobe was used in conjuction with a sensor to give a readout. I've seen a few modern homebrews and they all seem to be using photo sensors. That's all fine and dandy so long as you are using two armed balances or three armed ones at very low amplitude.

    Has anyone here maybe even built their own system for this? I searched the forum and only found my own mention ofthe Spiromatic from a few years back. Then in a thread about timing software and hardware.

    All help much appreciated!

    Best regards
    Karl
     
  2. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
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    Feb 5, 2007
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    Karl,

    I am curious on the "why ?"

    After we spent a month learning how to prepare a spring for an Eta, where we were provided the pattern for pinning and such, I came home and sold my Luthy, my set of overcoiling tweezers and my cataloged assortment of steel balance springs. It was clear to me that it was nigh impossible to make up random balance springs that performed as factory. Could make the watch tick, but ....

    Even Tony Simonin (founder of Wostep) told us how it took him 3 months to consistently make (3 in a row) balance springs for a single caliber when he started at Omega.

    There was a lot of empirical trial that went into where the pinning and studding points were to be located. Then comes the issue today of finding a graded assortment of spring material. I do understand the GCS system, and I can correct distorted springs, but given isochronism the direct result of the spring, I just decided it was not a productive approach for restoration of a precision piece.

    Having said, that, you are ambitious and talented, (some might say peripatetic in the good sense), I will not discourage you. I have seen the elephant and I know there are those who can accomplish the seemingly impossible.
     
  3. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

    Apr 20, 2013
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    Dewey,

    Good question! I've wondered the same thing a few times. Guess it comes down to wanting to do things. I do many things that may be considered impractical and not commercially viable. So long as I enjoy them I keep doing them. Some projects I enjoy very much in the beginning and end up not enjoying about half way through but still have to see them through. Those are unfortunate. My current predicament with a Habegger DLZTE that I decided to repaint is one of them. I'm currently redoing the body filler work on it. Stopped being fun a few hours back...

    Anyways. My intention is not to be able to make three consistent springs. It's to make a few watches of differing designs. I'm still a long way from making my own movement but that's the long term plan. There is not really any watch MAKING in Sweden at all today. Many Swedish brands that use Swiss or German parts but noone makes parts here any more. We used to have a pretty good manufacturing culture with the Halda watches for instance. Beautifully made watches. I like working with my hands and I love creating things. Building a dedicated hairspring vibrating tool may be overkill. I might just get along using a trusted balance from a different watch with the holder I already have.

    I'm not shooting for the stars in terms of accuracy in my future watch, and I'm sure I'll have many reasons to revisit and redesign many aspects of it before I'm satisfied. Your term "performed as factory" implies restoring something. I would use a vibrating tool to create something. Make a balance wheel and probably use a commercially available spring.

    Still, I'm still curious about the Spiromatic. Seems like with modern Arduinos and Raspberry Pi's one would be able to get a very low cost and precise alternative to a visual reference system and a strobe.

    Thank you for the kind words! Although I must admit I had to look up "peripatetic". "One who wanders around"?

    Best regards
    Karl
     
  4. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
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    You are like the physicians I knew who also had MPH, MHAs and were also concert pianists. Make the rest of us feel like slackers!

    I look forward to seeing how this proceeds. I presume you have Jendritski Watch Adjusting?
     
    kevin h likes this.
  5. praezis

    praezis Registered User

    Feb 11, 2008
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    Hi,
    1. Greiner Spiromatic
    It consisted of 2 units: the detector unit with changeable heads and the counting unit with stroboscopic display. Both had valve based electronics.
    This machine was fine for serial work in a factory, but not at all for repair work. For each calibre a different expensive head was needed. Rate detection was realized by a swinging ruby plate whose movement changed the frequency of an HF oscillator.
    2. I never liked rate testing with the balance box of the Luthy tool. So I developed an electronic box for Luthy some years ago.
    It is a pleasure to adjust hairsprings now. Now and then I have to make Breguet hairsprings. They cannot be repinned for correcting but must be right on immediately. No more issue now. Apropos WOSTEP, one school here uses these boxes in their courses.

    Frank
    Spirdose.jpg
     
    Dushan Grujich likes this.
  6. Dushan Grujich

    Dushan Grujich Registered User

    Jun 20, 2003
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    G'Day Frank!

    That is quite interesting. If You do not mind telling, are You using LED as a strobe?

    Cheers, Dushan
     
  7. praezis

    praezis Registered User

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    Hi Dushan,

    "Sensor" is a photo receiver. You can light from above with a lamp or an optional led lamp, clamped on the upper arm of the Luthy.

    Frank
     
  8. Dushan Grujich

    Dushan Grujich Registered User

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    Vielen dank Frank!

    Mit freundlichen Grüße, Duschan

    NB

    I hope that others will not mind a small departure.
     

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