Low angle escapement question

Harold Visser

Registered User
Aug 24, 2000
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Gilbert Arizona
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I noticed that Steve Maddox mentioned the term
"low angle escapement" in a recent post. I saw this same term used in some watch records from 1904 in regard to some watch movements and am curious what this term means as compared to conventional lever escapements. Steve, can you expound on this a bit more for me?
Harold
 

Harold Visser

Registered User
Aug 24, 2000
384
35
28
Gilbert Arizona
Country
Region
I noticed that Steve Maddox mentioned the term
"low angle escapement" in a recent post. I saw this same term used in some watch records from 1904 in regard to some watch movements and am curious what this term means as compared to conventional lever escapements. Steve, can you expound on this a bit more for me?
Harold
 
S

Steve Maddox

Guest
Howard,

The term "low angle escapement" refers to the relative angle of pallet motion during normal operation. The old information you read probably refers to the difference between watches with single roller and double roller escapements. Obviously, since the safety roller is much smaller in watches with double rollers than those with single ones, a smaller angle of pallet travel can be employed.

Generally speaking, balance wheels maintain their best rates when they're running entirely free -- not in contact with anything including the pallet. Of course, in order to receive impulse and continue running, however, a certain amount of interaction with the pallet is essential. Even so, keeping the duration of contact between the pallet and the balance to a minimum, will greatly improve the timekeeping qualities of the mechanism. In short, smaller angles of pallet travel minimize the time the fork is in contact with the roller jewel, and help increase the overall accuracy of the timepiece.

With modern mechanical movements, this principle has been carried to an extreme. In order to obtain the best positional rates, the "slide," or travel of the pallet after drop (when the pallet unlocks one escape wheel tooth, and allows another to advance), has been reduced to a minimum. The banking pins are adjusted extremely tight, and the length and weight of the pallet fork is minimized in order to reduce the susceptibility to interference from bumps and shocks, the effects of gravity, etc.

Hope this helps!

---------------------

Steve Maddox
President, NAWCC Chapter #62
North Little Rock, Arkansas
 

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