Slide v. Button Repeaters

Discussion in 'Complicated Watches' started by Ethan Lipsig, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Ethan Lipsig

    Ethan Lipsig Registered User
    NAWCC Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    1,770
    535
    113
    Pasadena
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    If I haven't sufficiently demonstrated my mechanical ignorance about repeaters in a thread I just posted, I may make that demonstration complete in this thread.

    Apart from trip repeaters, I believe that all other fairly modern repeaters are activated either by pushing a slide bar on the rim of the case (which winds the spring that powers the repeater) or by pushing a large, usually ovoid button on the rim. I believe all of the latter type have a "centrifugal force governor" invented by Le Phare or the company that owned that brand name. Is this correct?

    I hope I won't offend anyone who treasures centrifugal force-governed repeaters by saying that I am prejudiced against them, believing them to have been a lower cost alternative to the slide repeater. Am I correct in thinking that the top firms never used the centrifugal force-governed mechanism? Is it inferior to the slide alternative?
     
  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    10,261
    1,046
    113
    Male
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi Ethan,

    There has to be some mechanism for governing the speed of the strike train; the earlier types usually placed a blind pinion at the end of the train whose depth, (and hence the degree of friction it generated), into the previous wheel was adjustable, to control the rate at which the driving spring ran down. This system may seem crude, but it had the virtue of being simple to make and adjust.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  3. Philip Poniz

    Philip Poniz Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 22, 2012
    177
    31
    28
    Male
    Princeton, NJ
    Hi Ethan,

    The type of governor has nothing to do with the activation type. Both, the push-piece as well as the slide (and a few others for that matter) can have either one of a number of governor types. I like the centrifugal one because it is quieter than the anchor type. However, they add to the thickness of a watch.

    As for the activation, the slide is better but the push-piece type is cheaper to make.
     
    Ethan Lipsig likes this.
  4. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,884
    411
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    In the case of the push button does that also wind a spring?
     
  5. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    10,261
    1,046
    113
    Male
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi Nick,

    Yes, however the action is initiated, a spring must be wound. In normal repeaters the action of the slide or plunger is transmitted via a rack or a chain on a pulley to the repeater spring arbor, (usually in a standing barrel attached to the underside of the top plate). The hour rack teeth can just be seen between the wheel and the barrel in the first picture, and the barrel arbor with its rack is on the left in the third picture.

    DSCF3470.JPG DSCF3526.JPG DSCF3493.JPG

    In trip repeaters and clock-watches there's a second, manually wound barrel mechanism along with the time side mainspring barrel.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  6. dshumans

    dshumans Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 17, 2009
    402
    28
    28
    Generally, high quality repeaters use slide activation. This makes a watch with a cleaner profile that does not have a large button hanging out of it. The push button on lower price watches can be gold sheathed instead of solid gold like the slides and requires much less gold work in the case. In fact, the push button is a little more simple to operate, requiring just one hand to push the button. Operating the slide usually requires 2 hands (to hold the watch and operate the slide), If you wanted to see what time it is in the middle of the night without lighting a candle (pre-1900) the push button is much easier to operate. However, part of the reason to own a repeater was to show people at dinner parties, so the slide looks more "cool" than the large push button.
     

Share This Page