(a) That a ratchet-tooth escape wheel requires more drop than a club tooth must be admitted without argument, as this form of tooth requires from one-half to three-fourths of a degree more drop than a club tooth; (b) as regards the frailty of the teeth we hold this as of small import, as any workman who is competent to repair watches would never injure the delicate teeth of an escape wheel; (c) ratchet-tooth lever escapements will occasionally need to have the pallets oiled. The writer is inclined to think that this defect could be remedied by proper care in selecting the stone (ruby or sapphire) and grinding the pallets in such a way that the escape-wheel teeth will not act against the foliations with which all crystalline stones are built up.
All workmen who have had an extended experience in repair work are well aware that there are some lever escapements in which the pallets absolutely require oil; others will seem to get along very nicely without. This applies also to American brass club-tooth escapements; hence, we have so much contention about oiling pallets. The writer does not claim to know positively that the pallet stones are at fault because some escapements need oiling, but the fact must admit of explanation some way, and is this not at least a rational solution? All persons who have paid attention to crystallography are aware that crystals are built up, and have lines of cleavage. In the manufacture of hole jewels, care must be taken to work with the axis of crystallization, or a smooth hole cannot be obtained.
The advantages claimed for the club-tooth escapement are many; among them may be cited (a) the fact that it utilizes a greater arc of impulse of the escape wheel; (b) the impulse being divided between the tooth and the pallet, permits greater power to be utilized at the close of the impulse. This feature we have already explained. It is no doubt true that it is more difficult to match a set of pallets with an escape wheel of the club-tooth order than with a ratchet tooth; still the writer thinks that this objection is of but little consequence where a workman knows exactly what to do and how to do it; in other words, is sure he is right, and can then go ahead intelligently.
It is claimed by some that all American escape wheels of a given grade are exact duplicates; but, as we have previously stated, this is not exactly the case, as they vary a trifle. So do the pallet jewels vary a little in thickness and in the angles. Suppose we put in a new escape wheel and find we have on the entrance pallet too much drop, that is, the tooth which engaged this pallet made a decided movement forward before the tooth which engaged the exit pallet encountered the locking face of said pallet. If we thoroughly understand the lever escapement we can see in an instant if putting in a thicker pallet stone for entrance pallet will remedy the defect. Here again we can study the effects of a change in our large model better than in an escapement no larger than is in an ordinary watch.