You Don’t Necessarily Understand The ‘inconspicuous’ Screws In Watches

Screws, we can see them everywhere. In mobile phones, computers, door locks, and power strips, there may be screws in the corners you can see. We have long been accustomed to them. Screws are obviously important. The more inconspicuous things tend to be more effective, it keeps the items we use intact and not loose. In watches, screws are more important. A watch, from the bracelet, lugs, case, buckle to the movement, there are more than a dozen types of screws. They have different shapes and act in different positions. Everything in the watch works perfectly.

   We often care about whether the watch is good-looking, the movement is beautiful, the function is unique, and the hand feels good, but there has been little attention to screws. After all, it is a basic accessory, which is inconspicuous and does not interact with you. But the old saying often says that in the watch, there are no useless parts. Although the screws are inconspicuous, they are very important. Today, let’s take a look at those screws in the watch.
Common screws

 
   In watches, the most common screws are the screws on the bracelet and the fixing screws on the back of the case. These two types of screws are relatively simple. Even the steel bracelet on the bracelet is often a steel shaft, not even the screws. Most of these screws are flat or cruciform, but because they are used in fine objects such as watches, most of them are very small screws, and the openings are very small. A special small screwdriver is required to unscrew them. It is easy to scratch. Once the nut is damaged, it is not easy to remove it.
More characteristic appearance screws
   Most watches use conventional screws, but more advanced brands will start to use screws with their own characteristics, on the one hand to make the fixing effect better, on the other hand, it is also due to quality control.

   I think the most representative is Richard Mille. Its spline screws are a big brand logo. Why do they use such screws? First of all, from an aesthetic point of view, petal screws are much more beautiful than ordinary screws. After all, Richard Mille’s petal screws are exposed outside, which will directly affect the aesthetics, so the conventional style is a bit too ordinary; second, As a key part for fixing the case, the quality of the screws is very important. The petal screws are evenly angled. When you use a special screwdriver to apply force, the force will evenly act on it, and it is not easy to damage the screws. Third, as a high-end watch, such a screw is actually a protective measure, because it is a brand-specific screw. If others want to open the watch, they need a special screwdriver, which greatly increases the opening. Difficulty, at least will not let some masters not good enough to open. Of course, as the pinnacle of mechanical engineering, Richard Miller generally uses Grade 5 titanium screws, which are high in hardness and difficult to process, and the cost is naturally very expensive. A screw costs hundreds or thousands of dollars. Often.

RM’s another screw

   Another representative screw is Audemars Piguet’s hexagonal screws. Those who are familiar with Audemars Piguet know that the Royal Oak series has several characteristics, one is an octagonal bezel, the other is an exposed screw, and it is very neat. The third is the dial plaid and so on. Of all the brands I know so far, only Audemars Piguet is neat. How is it neat? The groove of the screw is connected in a straight line and is also an octagon. So how did you do that? Most brands of external screws are screwed directly on the case, and one of Audemars Piguet’s screws has two parts, one is the long octagonal screw above, the tail is threaded, and the other is on the bottom cover. Screw base. When screwing in, the upper octagonal screw is directly put in, and the round base is screwed, so the opening direction of the screw can be regularly arranged. When you flip over the watch and look at the case back, you will find that in fact, the screws on the Audemars Piguet cover are disorderly. It is also worth noting that all the hexagonal screws of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak are white gold, polished and luxurious.

   Of course, there are exceptions to Audemars Piguet. Many Royal Oak offshore screws are not hexagonal and will use a more exaggerated structure. Compared to Royal Oak’s hexagonal screws, they need special tools to open because of the nut shape. It is also more difficult to make.

   Hublot is also the most commonly used brand of exposed screws. Audemars Piguet uses eight screws for its bezel, six screws for Hublot’s bezel. They are also round screws, and the nuts are H-shaped. They are generally made of titanium. It is also a very unique type of screw. This type of screw cannot be opened with a conventional screwdriver because the groove in the middle is not connected. If you want to open it, you must use a flat-blade screw with a groove in the middle to open it. The H-type screw fully echoes the Hublot brand “H ”Type brand logo.
Movement screws
   Compared to the screws of the appearance parts, the screws of the watch movement are much more important. After all, the space available for the watch appearance parts is much larger, and the movement itself is very narrow, so the space for the screws is naturally limited. of. At present, most of the screws of the movement are flat-head screws, because they are simple and applicable, and they are relatively space-saving to disassemble. But simplicity does not mean easy. The screws of the movement also bear part of the aesthetic requirements, so a true high-end watch will carefully polish the screws, chamfer and polish the edges and grooves of the screws. In view of the fact that the movement screws are very small, it is required to have high manufacturing accuracy requirements, but fraud is not cheap.

   The movement has several positions that require screws, one is a solid machine screw, one is a plywood screw, and one is a special functional screw. Fixing screws are screws that are used to fix the movement on the case. Generally, they are located at the edge of the movement and deeper. Plywood screws are mainly used to fix the splint to stabilize the gear position. Of course, I want to include those screws that fix various levers and separate gears, because their functions are the same. Of course, the specifications must be different due to different positions. . The main thing I want to say is functional screws. There are some common functional screws: counterweights and balance screws on balance wheels, and some screws on spinners.

   I have seen the smallest screw in the movement, which is almost invisible to the naked eye. You need to be very careful to see what it looks like. It is a screw applied to the balance wheel. Later, I accidentally fell to the ground. I looked for three hours. Didn’t find it again. I can hardly believe that such a small screw can be made, which is about 1/10 the size of a conventional movement screw. The screw-type balance wheel will be equipped with small screws, most of which are counterweight screws, which are fixed and generally do not need to be moved. Only a symmetrical pair or two pairs of screws are balanced screws, which can be adjusted in pairs. These The screw accuracy is very high, it can be said that it is the most important screw in the movement.

   The screws on the trimmer, taken out separately, are because they have their own functions, not just for fixing. We all know that the trimmer is to adjust the effective oscillation length of the hairspring to change the amplitude of the balance wheel, thereby adjusting the speed of travel. Most trimmers are equipped with adjustable screws, and the fast and slow needles are moved by rotating the screws to achieve the purpose according to the scale. The shape of the screw varies depending on the spinner.

   Some watches do not use conventional spinners. They are balanceless spring balance systems, but they still have a fine-tuning structure, but they do not adjust the balance spring and balance, but the balance plate, such as Rolex. The height of the balance wheel is adjusted by screws, so as to change the position of the balance shaft and form the adjustment of the balance spring system. Such screws are also used in a special way and are completely different from conventional screws.

   From a technical point of view, the screws in the movement are nothing more than polished and baked blue. As everyone knows, bake blue is our common blue steel screw process. The blue steel screw does not mean that a layer of blue substance is applied to the surface of the steel, but the steel is oxidized in the air by high temperature heating, and an oxide layer is formed on the surface. If it is too high or too low, it will not be blue. Of course, there are some application considerations when choosing this temperature, mainly to harden the screw again.
   Therefore, the screws in the watch are actually very particular about the quality of some inferior screws. The nuts may break when they are screwed, which is often referred to as ‘the screws are broken inside’, which is very troublesome to handle. Good brands are also very harsh on the quality of screws. There are several factories in Switzerland that provide screws for brands. One of them is provided by Parmigiani and belongs to the Santos family. They also make for many other high-end brands. Screws.