Hairspring Vibrators

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by Wynter Sturtevant, Dec 2, 2002.

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  1. I’ve been reading with interest the “adventures in hairspring” thread in the pocket watch forum. I figured it was time to show some of the vibrator types that a commonly seen.

    Homemade vibrators come in all shapes, sizes and quality. For use I think you’re better off making your own with a known balance. They can be made as fancy as you want and for very little cost.

    This Swartchild model was one of the last models offered in their general catalog. With no master balance this type was sold as an economy model. The user chooses a watch with the desired beat and a known timekeeper. The watch is placed under the glass and its balance simply takes the place of a master balance.

    This H&R model is very late production. The master balance is attached to the back post with a screw for safe storage. Once the storage screw is removed the balance drops down to the glass. There is enough room on the glass for a side-by-side rate comparison.

    When time permits I’ll post some others (and if there’s any interest). Please jump in and post your examples.

    Wynter
     
  2. I’ve been reading with interest the “adventures in hairspring” thread in the pocket watch forum. I figured it was time to show some of the vibrator types that a commonly seen.

    Homemade vibrators come in all shapes, sizes and quality. For use I think you’re better off making your own with a known balance. They can be made as fancy as you want and for very little cost.

    This Swartchild model was one of the last models offered in their general catalog. With no master balance this type was sold as an economy model. The user chooses a watch with the desired beat and a known timekeeper. The watch is placed under the glass and its balance simply takes the place of a master balance.

    This H&R model is very late production. The master balance is attached to the back post with a screw for safe storage. Once the storage screw is removed the balance drops down to the glass. There is enough room on the glass for a side-by-side rate comparison.

    When time permits I’ll post some others (and if there’s any interest). Please jump in and post your examples.

    Wynter
     
  3. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User

    Oct 18, 2001
    2,052
    10
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    Judged by looks alone I think the homemade beats the manufactured ones cold.
    -Cort

    <(';')>
     
  4. GandalfPC

    GandalfPC Guest

    I agree :smile:

    Seeing the picture of the homemade one has given me a desire to make my own. Right now I am using a makeshift one but nothing like the beauty in the picture, now I have to have one like it - all brass and class :smile:

    Jason Goldman
    Apprentice Watchmaker
     
  5. A couple of quick notes on the homemade vibrator. The person that made it used a very small balance that makes it very difficult to see. A large good quality pocket watch balance would work well. Also the tool would have been nicer to use if it had been nickel-plated. It doesn’t take long handling brass and your hands are filthy and that’s obviously not what you want when working on watches.

    This is a late L&R Little Giant. It does have a master balance under glass but the tool isn’t very well made. It is on the big and bulky side. The balance and cock are adapted from pocket watch material. The stud holder is a small Swiss balance screw vice.

    Here is a moderate grade Swiss vibrator. This particular model was listed in many of trade catalogs from 1900 through the 1930’s at a price of $7.50. It would have been more than enough tool for most watchmakers of the time.

    This model of Swiss vibrator is moving into the upper grades. Both height and depth are adjusted with a rack and pinion set up. The stud tweezers are well made and operate very smoothly. The balance is hidden by a piece of glossy paper. An indicator needle is attached to the balance and shows against the paper background. This makes it very easy to count the vibrations.

    Any others out there?

    Wynter
     
  6. Sorry about dragging this thread back to the top. I didn’t get a chance to finish it off and need to so I can put things away. :smile:

    This Luthy is about as fancy as I’ve seen. It has the adjustment for beats. The plate that covers the balance is enamel, not paper like the model above. This type is fitted with a thumb trigger. By pushing the trigger down it cocks and releases the top portion, which sets the master balance in motion. I think this grade of vibrator was for the most part a factory item.

    This Swartchild oddity is one I put together. I bought the original enamel dial and found that it’s made to fit a Waltham model 1883. The shipping can seemed to be a natural fit since the movement needs to wound and the top is already fitted with flat glass. I haven’t seen another in person or a catalog to know if it’s correct.

    The last item is a Master balance. These can be found sometimes on their own. They are generally marked on the bottom with all the pertinent information. It’s a big head start if you’re interested in making your own vibrator.

    I’m done.
    Wynter
     
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