Watch and Clock Escapements eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 236 pages of information about Watch and Clock Escapements.

If we measure the angular movement of the fork while locked, it will seldom be found less than two or three degrees.  Now, we can all understand that the friction of the locking surface has to be counted as well as the recoil of the draw.  Locking friction is seldom looked after as carefully as the situation demands.  Our factories make the impulse face of the pallets rounded, but leave the locking face flat.  We are aware this condition is, in a degree, necessary from the use of exposed pallets.  In many of the English lever watches with ratchet teeth, the locking faces are made cylindrical, but with such watches the pallet stones, as far as the writer has seen, are set “close”; that is, with steel pallet arms extending above and below the stone.

There is another feature of the club-tooth lever escapement that next demands our attention which we have never seen discussed.  We refer to arranging and disposing of the impulse of the escape wheel to meet the resistance of the hairspring.  Let us imagine the dotted line A d, Fig. 89, to represent the center of action of the fork.  We can readily see that the fork in a state of rest would stand half way between the two banks from the action of the hairspring, and in the pallet action the force of the escape wheel, one tooth of which rests on the impulse face of a pallet, would be exerted against the elastic force of the hairspring.  If the force of the mainspring, as represented by the escape-wheel tooth, is superior to the power of the hairspring, the watch starts itself.  The phases of this important part of the detached lever escapement will be fully discussed.


We will now take up a study of the detached lever escapement as relates to pallet action, with the point specially in view of constructing an escapement which cannot “set” in the pocket, or, in other words, an escapement which will start after winding (if run down) without shaking or any force other than that supplied by the train as impelled by the mainspring.  In the drawing at Fig. 90 we propose to utilize eleven degrees of escape-wheel action, against ten and a half, as laid down by Grossmann.  Of this eleven degrees we propose to divide the impulse arc of the escape wheel in six and five degrees, six to be derived from the impulse face of the club tooth and five from the impulse plane of the pallet.

The pallet action we divide into five and four, with one degree of lock.  Five degrees of pallet action is derived from the impulse face of the tooth and four from the impulse face of the pallet.  The reader will please bear in mind that we do not give these proportions as imperative, because we propose to give the fullest evidence into the reader’s hands and enable him to judge for himself, as we do not believe in laying down imperious laws that the reader must accept on our assertion as being correct.  Our idea is rather to furnish the proper facts and put him in a situation to know for himself.

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Watch and Clock Escapements from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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