# THE ESCAPEMENT: An Animated Explanation of Function

Watch Glossary October 10, 2002 admin

# THE ESCAPEMENTAn Animated Explanation of Function

#### THE ANIMATION LOAD TIME IS APPROXIMATELY 1.9 MINUTES WITH A 56K MODEM OR 3.7 MINUTES WITH A 28K. DURING DOWNLOAD, YOU CAN VIEW THE ANIMATION AT VERY LOW SPEED.

In the animation, the escapement is shown moving through two complete beats: a balance swing 280 degrees counterclockwise (one beat) and 280 degrees clockwise (second beat). This 280 degree rotation is called the amplitude of the balance. In a well-serviced watch, the amplitude should be between approximately 275 and 315 degrees (dial up or down).

If a watch is specified as “21,600 beats per hour,” the escapement completes 21,600 “half” (one direction) or 10,800 full swings each hour. While the most common frequencies for contemporary wristwatches are 21,600 and 28,800, some swing as slowly as 18,000 and some as fast as 36,000 beats per hour. Any watch swinging more than 18,000 (the traditional frequency) is considered “fast beat.”

In the animation there is a slight pause at each of the three critical operations to make them more perceptible. These pauses do not occur in actual operation. A colored arrow will also appear momentarily to point to the operation.

BLUE ARROW

The

impulse jewel
makes contact with the
pallet fork
and starts to move the pallet lever off its
banking pin
.

GREEN ARROW
The
entry pallet
releases the escape wheel
tooth and the the tooth slides up the face of the pallet providing an impulse to the balance wheel.

RED ARROW

The pallet lever rocks to its opposite banking pin and the
exit pallet
locks the next tooth on the escape wheel.

The same sequence of operations will
occur with the opposite-direction swing of the balance and the animation will then repeat.