I have one of the inexpensive timing machines, and it recently seems to show very strange results for the beat error on one of my watches. I have worked out that 1 pixel of separation between the two lines equals about 0.11 seconds. One picture shows a Hamilton, with the two lines about 18 pixels apart, which sure enough corresponds to a beat error of 2 milliseconds, as shown. (Although that is high, this watch keeps fantastic time on the wrist.) The other picture shows my dad's old Vacheron, which is the watch that got me into this hobby 25 years ago. I have been trying to get it into beat (as measured, rather than centering the pallet fork). Each time I move the hairspring, I get a new number that doesn't seem to make any sense. Finally, I got the trace shown here and realized (I think) that it just can't be right. For a 5 msec beat error, the lines should be much, much farther apart. (I started out with a trace that wasn't so wobbly and much better amplitude. I think in taking the balance in and out about a dozen times I have gotten some dust or lint into the movement.) Is there some problem with the watch that could be causing this odd behavior, or just something wrong with the timing machine? Has anyone encountered anything similar?
Appreciate any ideas.
Appreciate any ideas