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Why you need a timegrapher

1 minute read

A timegrapher is basically a stethoscope for your watches. It's a high quality microphone that will let you know all sorts of things about the health of your watches. It's mainly used by watchmakers but I think it's a handy tool for watch collectors as well.

Interpreting the Results

Rate: This number represents how many seconds the watch will gain/lose in a day. A really high/low number could mean that the watch needs service or regulation.

Amplitude: Amplitude measures of how far in degrees the balance wheel is rotating back and forth. The goal of a watch movement is to minimize the amount of friction so that the most power is being transferred from the mainspring. A low amplitude (relative to the normal for a movement) indicates a higher level of friction and tells you that the watch needs to be serviced.

Beat Error: The beat error is the time difference between the ‘tick’ and the ‘tock’ of the movement. Ideally the balance wheel should swing exactly as far clockwise as it does counter-clockwise. A larger number, more than 0.4ms, could indicate a poorly regulated watch and anything more than 0.8ms really could indicate a problem with the balance.

If you're a watch nerd like me and you want to do a deep dive of this subject, check out this wonderful post by Beyond the Dial.

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