In the development of mechanical watches, automatic winding is a classic mechanical structure that is well worth remembering. Today’s Watch House will explain this technology for everyone. This technology should be the most practical for people who use mechanical watches. The reason is that the birth of it has saved a lot of people who wear mechanical watches every day. Time to wind up. Although IWC was not the first brand to invent an automatic mechanism, in 1949, R & D Director Billerton created the brand’s most iconic technology, the Billerton automatic winding system, and compared with similar automatic systems in the watchmaking industry. ‘A pen from God.’ This automatic system is very similar to a woodpecker because of the mechanism’s shape and work. It was later widely called the ‘pecker’ automatic winding system.
IWC Automatic Portuguese IW500107 watch
History of automatic winding
In 1770, Swiss watchmaker Perrelet invented the automatic winding mechanism for the disadvantage of mechanical watches that can only be wound on the hand. However, because it was in the era of pocket watches at the time, this technology could only be applied to pocket watches. What really made the automatic technology popular on the watch was the automatic striker invented by John Harwood from the Isle of Man. Although this patented design is not the real prototype of automatic winding, it is a transitional design between hand winding and automatic winding. Although it can achieve automatic winding, its disadvantages are also obvious-the automatic top can only rotate 180 degrees, and the winding efficiency is relatively low, and it can store up to 12 hours. In order to make up for the shortcomings of the automatic tourbillon, a revolutionary innovation was made by Rolex. The patented technology applied by this brand in 1929 broke the limitations of the collision tourbillon and designed the automatic tourbillon into a full rotation mode.
One-way PK two-way automatic winding
There are two types of automatic winding systems: one-way and two-way winding, which are commonly known as semi-automatic and fully automatic. These two types of automatic winding systems have always been a controversial hotspot in the watchmaking industry. Winding efficiency is the performance indicator of the automatic system. Let me explain the difference between one-way and two-way: First of all, the watch house popularizes a knowledge point-there is a design core parameter of the automatic mechanism-the braking angle, which means that the position of the automatic rotor swings and stops. The included angle of the central axis directly affects the winding efficiency of the automatic mechanism. The one-way automatic mechanism can achieve automatic winding only in one direction, which means that there is such a braking angle, and the other direction is no-load rotation without any resistance. It is precisely because there is a space for free rotation in one direction, the rotation inertia of the oscillating weight will be very large. effect. The two-way winding mechanism has braking angles in both directions, which means that no matter which direction the pendulum swings, it will achieve the purpose of winding up, but from a different angle, there is a certain resistance. The swing on the chain is as casual as possible, and the wearer can achieve the purpose satisfied by the chain with a little more exercise.
The title ‘Woodpecker’ is a very vivid analysis of the structural features of this Pellerton automatic winding system. The main part is a peach cam 17 and a matching double roller 27, a winding lever 10, and fingers 8 and 9 for winding in both directions.
1. The cam 17 is designed in a peach shape and cooperates with the rollers 27 symmetrically arranged left and right. Two rollers 27 and two winding claws 8 and 9 are provided on the winding lever 10 and rotate with the shaft 14 as a rotation axis;
2. The automatic tourbillon and the peach-shaped cam 17 are fixed as a whole by screws 23, and rotate clockwise or counterclockwise with the rotation axis of the shaft 19, while driving the peach-shaped cam 17 to rotate synchronously. Because the shape of the peach cam is symmetrical, no matter which direction the oscillating weight rotates, its cooperation relationship with the two rollers will remain the same.
3. Driven by a peach-shaped cam, the winding lever 10 uses the two claws 8 and 9 of its own body to dial the winding transmission gear train, so that the spring in the winding box is tightly stored.
4. The automatic oscillating weight is made of heavy alloy. The use of this material is to achieve the purpose of generating large moments of inertia and improving winding efficiency. However, the overweight pendulum will put some pressure on the automatic winding mechanism, so how to relieve this pressure is a problem to be solved. IWC Billerton gave his own answer-the bracket that carries the oscillating weight and the peach cam has an opening design. The purpose is to achieve a certain shock absorption effect.
IWC Billerton (Woodpecker) Automatic Winding System
IWC 1949 Bilerton (Woodpecker) automatic winding structure diagram
Comments: Nowadays, different brands will habitually use one of them as the main automatic mechanism. With the large-scale use of the ETA movement, its invented transcendent double-wheel automatic conversion mechanism perfectly realizes the two-way automatic winding, and the full automatic gradually gains the upper hand. In addition, Rolex’s dual red wheel automatic winding system is also well-known. This Bieleton two-way automatic winding system of IWC is the most intelligent automatic winding system I have ever seen. Although I do n’t know what inspiration of IWC’s Pillerton thought of this design idea, The name ‘Woodpecker’ has a bionic taste. There are also many classics of other brands’ automatic winding systems derived from this technology, and Seiko’s ‘magic claws’ are very representative.