Today, more and more in a variety of texts, in which by using high-sounding words are described all the charm of different watches (either classic, sporty or vintage), you can find such a strong word as "chronometer." However, few people thought about, is it true that term is interpreted and whether it fits in this context. Most often, the term "chronometer" is used as a synonym to the word watch, but in fact the chronometer - is not the usual watch but watch which is different by maximum accuracy, which error of move is ± 5 seconds per day, while the ordinary watch’s departure is equal to ± 20 seconds. Often term chronometer is muddled up with the notion chronograph, although they can be complementary concepts. But if you delve into the essence, any high-quality chronograph must necessarily be chronometer. In order to understand the confusion of these expressions, it is necessary to understand whence the term chronometer came from and what it means at all.
The problem of determining longitude - a push to create a chronometer!
In the history and future development of watch making the creation of marine chronometer has a special place, because the chronometer – is a device that keeps accurate time, which is so necessary to determine longitude at sea. Over the centuries, several generations of watchmakers - inventors designed and engaged in the improvement of various chronometric devices, such essential for the sailors. Creating an accurate chronometer was so urgent problem in solution of which have been involved, both public and the best scientific minds. Up to the XVIII century the problem of accurately determining longitude was considered insoluble and was in the list of some complex mathematical problems such as squaring the circle, or Fermat's last theorem.
Back in 1510 the Spaniard Santa Cruz offered a fairly simple method of solving the problem of longitude, which was called the "method of watch’s transportation." Nearly three centuries the best minds have worked to create, and then on the improvement of chronometers for use at sea. Apparently, a lot of effort to create a chronometer were the fact that the contemporary watch making had reached almost its perfection. However, all in order. In the XVI century, there were no accurate watches, and the scientists tested various methods of determining longitude. Many methods have been based on astronomical observations, but rather on calculations of the Moon, stars, Jupiter’s satellites, solar and lunar eclipses. For example, in 1514 Johann Werner from Nuremberg presented his development of the method of lunar distances. For the lunar observations, he used a special instrument of his own invention - the transverse rod. Werner's method was based on the premise that the distance of the Moon from one of the reference stars, which is located near the ecliptic, will be different in different parts of the world at the same time. At that time there were already various astronomical tables and almanacs of stars and moon positions for places with the already well-known geographical longitude. The method was to identify the lunar distance of unknown point and comparing it with known, after which it was possible to determine the difference in longitude between the observation point and a place for which was compiled almanac.
As was mentioned above in the XVI century, there were no accurate watches, and the scientists had different ways for determination. The great genius of his time Galileo proposed a different method for determining longitude. The four satellites of Jupiter were discovered by Galileo. When viewed from Earth satellites appeared and disappeared at the same moment at any point on Earth's surface. Galileo realized that the satellites - are the most reliable and sophisticated watches that can be used to determine longitude at sea (unless, of course, pre-calculate future eclipses). Galileo introduced his method of the Spaniards, but his discovery was not made the expected impression on them. In Russia, this method was widely used already in the XVIII - XIX centuries, but for the determination of longitude in the vast expanses of land. Before on the Russian wide vasts astronomers had to carry huge telescope, achromatic pipes and other special equipment.
This was the reason that a growing number of scholars were inclined to a simple method of transportation of watches trying to create a suitable for navigation time devices. The essence of the method of watch transportation, quite simple at first glance, is that our Earth, which rotates in the vast outer space - is a kind of astronomical system of universal time and latitude. Each meridian of the planet has its own astronomical time. One hour time difference makes the difference in longitude of 15 degrees. If before going out into the open sea, usually as a result of Sun observations, it is established that midday (sun at highest point in the sky), and on-board watches indicate Greenwich time, four example 14 hours. The difference of two hours is 30 degrees.
At the beginning of the XVI century, in addition to sun, sand and water clocks, there were a variety of mechanical tools, which, in addition to the time indication, also indicated the phases of the moon, position of planets and stars, as well as the clock struck various melodies and controlled synchronous movements of complex shapes. However, the accuracy of such watches, which is ± 1 hour per day, there was not enough to determine longitude to pinpoint where the error was needed no more than a tenth of a second per day. This was the main reason that the method of watch transportation had not been used.
In the history of the chronometer, the most significant and well-known project is the "public award", which was provided by bill (by law) from the House of Lords in 1714. According to this Bill, that person or group of individuals who will be able to determine longitude at sea, will receive a huge sum in those days, equal to the fortune - 10, 15 or 20 thousand pounds. The amount dependent on the accuracy of the proposed method. The first accurate watches can rightly be called the creation of two great scientists - Galileo Galilei and Christiaan Huygens. However, they were not suitable for work on the ship at all, because it was a stationary pendulum clock. In 1674 Huygens as a regulator of marine watches proposed an oscillating system balance - a spiral. This idea has become very relevant and effective. Soon after Huygens designed the first portable clock that as a regulator of the balance of the system was used - a spiral with its own period of oscillation, which was further widespread device for pocket watches, chronometers, and other portable devices time. That works of Galileo Galilei and Christiaan Huygens became the basis for creating accurate watches.
They pointed scientists the way to ensure the accuracy, which was to ensure the freedom of the pendulum or system of balance - spiral and limitation of this device from any external influences such as temperature, humidity, pressure, etc. At the time, to achieve this it was extremely difficult, but understanding of this task made it easier. Designers of that period of time needed to solve these problems for accurate and reliable work of marine time meters. For the beginning designers needed to achieve stability of oscillalation system under the temperature change, pressure, humidity and other external influences. Secondly, the designers had to ensure the freedom of balance oscillation or pendulum, and the constant influx of external energy for non-stop work. The designers tried to reduce the possibility of interaction of descent (stroke) with an oscillating system, based on simple physical considerations. So the no- clock, such as spindle, cylinder, replaced by a free as anchor and chronometer.
By the beginning of the XIX century designers managed to select the best of the many inventions, and the marine chronometer gained almost a modern look, which included the following major components:
- Oscillating system balance-spiral with temperature compensation device;
- Free chronometer course;
- The spring motor with fusee (snail) - the mechanism that reduces the effect of torque springs on the clock;
- Analog display of hours, minutes, seconds, an indication of the power reserve
It was Harrison who managed to create a watch in which was practically absent these problems. Subsequently, the solution to these problems has been the subject of such design researches, as isosynchronization and stabilization of the balance-spring system, reducing friction in the kinematic diagram of the watch mechanism, the temperature compensation device. Only after that when the followers of Garrison - Pierre Leroy, Thomas Myudzhu, Ferdinand Berthoud, Thomas Irnshau, John Arnold were able to solve these problems of chronometer, was appeared an opportunity to create a modern chronometer. The mechanism of a chronometer was placed into a glassed case made of brass, of course, waterproof, and placed in a wooden box on gimbals. Therefore, when tossing watch dial maintained a horizontal position relative to the ground.
Difficulties of the first chronometer!
The word "chronometer" is derived from the Greek words "chronos" - time and "meter" - to measure. The first attempts to create chronometers dates back to 15th century. The term "chronometer" was introduced by Jeremy Tucker in 1714, he named his invention: the clock in a vacuum chamber. The appearance of the most accurate tool for measuring time was dictated by constant difficulties of navigation: a ship going to distant expeditions to pinpoint its location just needed an ultra-precise tool.
On this instrument was set Greenwich Time (or other observatory) and from the time difference was calculated longitude. Slightest inaccuracy or failure of this complex vital instrument could lead to the collapse of the ship and loss of life. All maritime powers of that time gave fortunes scientists who invented a more accurate and reliable mechanisms for marine chronometers. Until the 18th century sailors were guided in the boundless sea using approximate calculation and their sixth sense (I wonder how they knew who developed it better?). Unfortunately, other methods at that time did not exist, so that the sailors were content with approximate and developed sense. So sailors who come to the destination on their boats, can be safely called lucky beggar. Already in 1675, was created "useful" Royal Greenwich Observatory, which was designed to solve the problem with the definition of the exact coordinates. As already mentioned above, the state offered a fortune to those who will be able to create the most accurate mechanism to determine their location in the sea or ocean. In 1714, the Parliament of England announced that the master, who would create watch, which was able to determine longitude at sea would be paid 20,000 pounds (nearly 150 kilograms of gold!), if this watch, "being tested in a way to the West Indies, will not err no more than 30 miles. "
Immediately many watchmakers, livening up, began a serious fight for the accuracy and reliability of the ship's watch. Soon the Board of Longitude, the Department of Royal Scientific Society was covered by various projects. Among them there were even some who suggest to run rockets at certain Greenwich Time that sailors could see from their ships or stationary barges (unique strategic assets in the open sea). However, the project was not implemented due to its huge costs - 6,000 barges.
However, funding went to a carpenter and a self-educated watchmaker John Harrison from the English heartland. Harrison took his spare time creating high-precision wood chronometers that do not need to be cleaned and lubricated. This feature, designed by Harrison chronometers was used tree species that produce oil, and grease the movements of his created timepieces. Harrison, who at the time was twenty-one, learned the hard laws of physics and mechanics, and the properties of various metals. And in 1725, Harrison was lucky: it was invented a pendulum whose length was constant regardless of the temperature. This was followed by five years of painstaking work to create the first chronometer (1730-1735). The main objective of Harisson was to improve the standard chronometer of that time to provide it with a continuous course even with a strong pitching.
The first model of Harrison's chronometer was equipped with a variety of different springs and compensatory mechanisms that were working with fluctuations that are an integral part of any sea voyage. Testing of 35 - pound chronometer was on the ship, which went to Lisbon. This massive timepiece was placed in a protective box, which is set up on the boat with six people. The box was placed in the cabin, hanging from hooks on the ceiling joists. For the entire trip chronometer had error of 4 minutes (111 km in equatorial latitudes). Harrison managed to identify the problem, which was the sharp turns of the ship. Harrison decided to continue his development, deciding on the possibility to eliminate the shortcomings and significantly reduce the size of its invention. To create a second model Harrison took three years (1737-1740). The second model was reduced and improved copy of the first chronometer. However, the promised prize was late. When Harrison presented his updated version to the strict court of academics, at the time leadership of the Royal Society has been replaced. A new leadership was committed to the astronomical method of determining longitude by observing Jupiter's satellites and began an active promotion of this method. This complex method complex was used by Galileo. However, in the sea, with poor visibility and strong pitching, this method was ineffective. In his turn, Harrison decided not to retreat, he took up design changes of his chronometer, what it took 20 years (1740-1759). As a result to the strict court was presented a new version of the chronometer, the weight of which at this time did not exceed one kilogram. At the time of work finalization on chronograph Harrison was already 66 years old. In 1761 from England to Jamaica sent a ship "Deptford", carrying the chronometer of Harrison. This valuable item was accompanied by a son of old John, William. The master himself was already sixty-eight years, and he did not venture out to sea. In the sea there was a conflict with the steersman, who claimed that the length of the ship is 13 degrees 50 minutes. Indicators of the chronometer showed 15 degrees 19 minutes. The difference in half degrees is about ninety miles, that, agree, a lot. However, when the appointed by young Harrison time to eyes opened Madeira island, sailors unconditionally believed in the chronometer. After 161 days of navigation in the boundless sea, on the ship's arrival in Portsmouth, chronometer error was only a few seconds! Thus, the problem of determining longitude at sea was solved. And since then, the chronometer has become a required attribute of each ship. But Harrison had to win the promised award. Council Board of Longitude refused to invention of Harrison, despite the fact that Harrison's chronometer copied all the polls. In his second voyage Cook took one of the copies of the Harrison’s chronometer. At the end of swimming Harrison spoke very highly of this useful device: for three years of sailing from the tropics to the Antarctic chronometer’s error was not more than 8 seconds in a day (that is 2 nautical miles at the equator). After a long procrastination Harrison received prize in £ 8750. For 40 years from various sources the wizard got about 23 thousand pounds. How much the master spent on developing of his precise chronometers, remained unknown.
Tribute of Russia in the creation of chronometer!
Despite the fact that the creation of an accurate timepiece entirely belongs to the masters of Western Europe, Russia - a major sea power - also made a significant contribution to the improvement of both the mechanism and methods of using the chronometers to determine the exact longitude areas both on land and at sea. In one of the documents the Russian Emperor Peter I wrote: "I in no way disperage alchemist looking for ways to turn base metals into gold, the mechanics who tries to find perpetual motion, and mathematics, harass learn longitude of place for what, seeking emergency, suddenly take on many side useful things. " M. V. Lomonosov was developing various tools specifically for the Russian Navy, which was so necessary for navigation and practical astronomy, and most importantly - to determine longitude. Among the broad literature of Lomonosov a huge space occupied a creation of accurate marine chronometer. M. V Lomonosov created chronometer with original engine, which he created, regardless of the English watchmaker Harrison. Lomonosov offered draft mechanism in which the four springs (instead of one) through the cochlea commit to the unwinding of a drive shaft, which served to reduce the effect of the spring on the clock. These springs were planted on line at different times of day.
Today, among the exhibits of the Technical Museum you can find unique astronomical clocks created by Russian craftsmen F. Karas, who deftly applied the ideas of Lomonosov with their further development. In this clock the master used eight springs trough eight snails, which atrunwind on one drive axle. Russian masters were puzzled by the same problems to improve clocks, as their well-known Western European counterparts. Renowned engineer and master of the Russian Academy of Sciences Ivan Kulibin had been developing special design of temperature compensation of the system balance - spiral - continuous monometallic balance with small bimetallic plates. Among the archives of the Academy of Sciences have been survived drawings and writing, through which Kulibin was engaged in a dispute with an English watchmaker and inventor Arnold obviously well inquiring about his work to create a chronometer.
The construction of the Kulibin’s compensation device was more streamlined and less prone to vibration than a similar system of Arnold. Kulibin himself wrote on this subject: "And how my all devices will be welded, machined and sanded, it therefore of equal and smooth progress in the air should not be out of tune. But Arnold’s devices turned to circle of pendulum which by their move through the air from bumps of screwed devices, should be a great shock, though not sensitive, but the horizontal and vertical. "
The idea of Kulibin not sunk into oblivion, and has found its good use in the XX century. In 1921, the Swiss designer Paul Ditisgeym designed monometallic balance with small bimetallic plates - "affixes" for the chronometer.
Russia did not stay in the shade during the development of the global watch industry. Already since 1829 in the largest Russian cities such as Moscow, St. - Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod, were held Russian exhibitions of manufactured products, among which were the best clocks of the best Russian masters. Based on the description of that exhibitions, experts paid a huge attention to creating the most accurate tools for measuring time - the pendulum astronomical clocks and chronometers.
Activity aimed at the creation of such tools was strongly encouraged. At first exhibition, which was held in Saint - Petersburg in 1829, the most famous and talented watchmaker from Moscow Ivan Tolstoy presented his "child" - chronometer with a rare for that time course of the tourbillon, which, as pointed out by the report, "according to the finish, not similar to the French. "Created by Tolstoy chronometer was subjected to the most rigorous test of the accuracy and reliability of the Observatory. Due to the request of the Manufactory Board and of the Minister of Finance Ivan Tolstoy was awarded a medal for the creation of a pocket chronometer - tourbillon in a gold case. At the same exhibition master from St.-Petersburg Ghaouth the future worker of Pulkovo Observatory, introduced marine chronometer. Experts of exhibition were imbued with special respect for chronometer of Ghaouth, writing in the future the following: "Marine Chronometer, exposed by Mr. Ghaouth, is the product of a quite different, serving the first strong evidence that in Russia there is watchmaking in such great perfection, what were known until now Britain, France and Denmark ". Chronometers of Ghaouth were tested at the Naval Hydrographic Depot headquarters. "The test showed that the course of chronometers in the cold and the heat is uniform, so these should be quite the accolade of equal dignity."
At the beginning of XIX century in Russia began to use chronometers not only at sea but also on land. Russian academician V.K. Wisniewski used the method of determining longitude of major points by cover of stars by the Moon. Longitude of 200 waypoints eas defined by two carried pocket chronometers. Knowledge of the longtitude of main points made it possible to calculate the error of the used chronometer before and after the carriage and check the accuracy made longitude coordinates. This method is widely used by Pulkovo Observatory, founded in 1835.
The opening of this observatory had global significance. For example, the director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory J. Erie in 1847, said: "I have no doubt that one Pulkovskoe observation worth at least two made anywhere else in the other place." In turn, in 1848, the famous French physicist J.B. Biot wrote, "Now Russia has a scientific monument, above which there is nowhere."
In 1843 and 1844 the Pulkovo Observatory was able to determine its longitude relativly to Greenwich with two chronometric expeditions. In 1843 during an expedition led by V. Struve were linked Altona and Pulkovo. For observations were used 81 chronometers, 7 of which owned Pulkovo. The rest of the chronometers were borrowed from various Russian and foreign institutions, as well as private entities, such as Admiral Krusenstern, the Grand Duke Constantine, the famous English watchmaker E. Dent, the legendary watchmaker – a frenchmann A. - L. Breguet.
For the calculation was made nine trips from Pulkovo to Altona and 8 in the opposite direction. In 1844 was held chronometric expedition between Altona and Greenwich under the guidance of O. Struve. During the expedition, at this time it has been involved only 44 chronometers. It was took in total two years to determine the longitude of Greenwich relatively Pulkovo.
Span of Russian chronometric expeditions was truly great. This is evidenced by the fact that back in 1843 on the map of Russia there were only 508 points with the exact location, and already after only 20 years, their number had already increased to 17,240. It was an urgent need to equip the sea and land expedition enough chronometer was the main reason for that in Russia was launched the production of domestic time meters. Soon, all over the country started a broad scientific activity to improve accuracy of the chronometer.
Under the roof of the Pulkovo Observatory, make joint efforts, worked watchmakers and scientists who were engaged in active research of chronometers. Thanks to the efforts of the famous English watchmaker and designer E. Dent in 1832 was detected the error of chronometers’ work with compensating balance. This phenomenon was called "Dent’s anomaly” or "secondary error compensation."
To solve this problem caused by the temperature factor, E. Dent and various masters, among whom was the Russian master - Ivan Viren, offered a lot of construction of balancs with extra compensation. In the period of 1878 - 1879 by an astronomer of Pulkovo Observatory V.K. Dell and by a watchmaker of the same Observatory Viren J. Was designed and built balance, which can significantly reduce the secondary error compensation.
In 1887 an astronomer of the Kronstadt Observatory V.E. Fusu with the master of the Pulkovo Observatory A. Erickson managed to get in this area important results. Number of studies have been conducted with chronometers, which have secondary compensation, during of which it was revealed that the chronometers with extra compensation were influenced by humidity of that was reflected in sudden leap of the mechanism. According to the studies of V.E. Fusa, the Russian Navy issued a decree of changing the balance with extra compensation to the usual balance with traditional compensation. In 1897, the company "A. Erickson "was awarded the silver medal from the Ministry of Finance for the high dignity of table chronometers and for inventing a way to reduce the influence of humidity on the course of chronometers. Complex problem of determining longitude was greatly facilitated by the use of telegraph. In Russia the first radiotelegraph determination of longitude was made by captains Matusevich and Dietz in 1910, who studied in the famous Pulkovo Observatory. Today, despite the wide variety of modern methods of time transfer over a distance, each ship has on its board marine chronometer, which is the true standard of time and not much different from similar devices of far XIX century.
Modern chronometer – a pride of watch manufacturers!
Today, the term chronometer departed from its usual maritime subjects, despite the fact that over the centuries has been a constant companion of fearless sailors in the boundless sea. Modern possibilities of wireless internet, satellite global positioning systems GPS (Global Positioning System) significantly reduced the need for chronometer on aboard of modern ships.That is why the term chronometer successfully migrated to wrist watch, becoming a kind of synonym of time meters.
Today, any watch can be called a chronometer, but in a professional field of watch industry a chronometer can be called only the most accurate watch. Accuracy is the main advantage of any time meter, and not only, as in the case of watch to be fast or slow constantly, the mechanism of which is enclosed even in the most luxurious case, makes this status attribute simply unnecessary and inappropriate. Modern wrist watches are equipped with a variety of different complex functions, the number of which sometimes is frightening. That is why watch should provide maximum accuracy to ensure the accuracy of all other functions. As stated at the beginning, the concept chronometer is often confused with the chronograph.
Today, however, the chronometer is called the watch with utmost precision and which has been tested for accuracy and received a certificate COSC (Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres). So let's see what is called a chronometer, what criteria is awarded a "title" at and what is a COSC (Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres)?! It is known that all on the Earth, whether it be a living being or an ordinary object, is effected by the gravitational force. Wrist watches are no exception. This can be seen in the obvious example, has done by your own: to put a watch dial up on a flat surface for a day, then for a day to put the watch dial down. Comparison of average daily readings show a different result. There will also be different readings at different positions of the dial. In addition to the gravitational force the accuracy of the watch is influenced by external factors such as temperature, the material parts of the movement, which has a different coefficient of expansion. Chronometers are called watches, which the error of the course is - 4 / + 6 seconds per day at a temperature of + 8 + 23 + 38 and at 5 different positions of dial. Data of all positions are also taken into account, which should be in the range - 6/8 seconds per day. The movement with totally winded spring and almost "discharged" spring should go with a difference of no more than 10 seconds, and watch should respond to temperature of environment within the confines of + / - 0.6 seconds per day. These all many steps are the main standarts of accuracy for mechanical watches - ISO 3159-1976. For quartz movement is imposed more stringent requirements: the error does not move more than 0.07 seconds per day. All this, of course, is not enough for watch to have the status of reliable and highly accurate attributes - the status of chronometer. It should be noted the most important fact in the testing of watches, the fact that are tested not watches but their movements! Mechanisms are tested separately from the general construction, master (in some cases the client) will decide by himself, in the case of what material and what form to conclude the mechanism.
Each watch mechanism, which lays a claim to the high "status" of chronometer, is individually tested in the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres or COSC). If the mechanism successfully withstood all the "severe" test, it is provided with a certificate of conformity «Bulletin du marche». All chronometers that are certified COSC, have engraved with serial number and certificate number, which has been awarded by Institute of chronometer. However, before the questions of chronometer moved into the walls of the Official Swiss Institute of Testing C hronometers, mechanisms have been tested in the Swiss town Neuchatel Observatory (1866-1975) and at the Geneva Observatory (1873-1967). Each of these observatories had its own standards.
Starting from 1877 to 1956, the number of presented for testing chronometers has increased significantly, and the responsibilities of testing took the official test agencies Bureaux officiels de controle de la marche des montres. Each of this set of agencies operated independently of each other. However, this state of affairs came to an in the end of June 23, 1973, when all the official test agencies merged into a single organization called the Official Swiss Institute for Testing chronometers. The head office of the newly formed organization was located in the Swiss town of La Chaux-de-Fonds, after which the branch hava appearde Bienne (1877), Geneva (1886) and Le Locle (1901), which actively work to this day. By itself the process of testing the mechanism is a quite interesting. At the beginning the mechanism put in its temporary case, it is also equipped with hands and dial. Then mechanisms are placed in special cells of ten in each. These cells are presented in a special box of 10 floors, which allows you to test a hundred movements at the same time. Then movements are winded by special motor (not automatic module), which is attached to the crown. The process of the mechanism’s testing is 15 days at 5 different positions and at three different temperatures (+8 ° C, +23 ° C and +38 ° C). Error of daily course is recorded for each position and temperature, also are taken into data of separately done testes. In the standard norm ISO 3159-1976 are described the minimal requirements necessary to obtain the status of "chronometer".
Readings of each mechanism is read by a scanning laser and automatically stored in form of file in computer. These readings are the basis of the certificate COSC. In addition to these indicators, the certificate contains data aboutcategories of mechanism, its functionality and size. Can also specify the form of anchor escapment properties of spiral balance and rim. For example, under the category I.1 can be mechanisms diameter of which is more than 20 mm, hair-spring and spring motor. The surface of such a mechanism exceedes 314 mm.
It should also be noted that the certificates are two types - regular and extended. Regular certificates contain only the final results of the testing, extended are much more expensive and are rare, they contain all the daily measurements for 15 days. Each line of each day displays daily error of mechanism (compared with the standard), as well as measurement error between the day. Date of testing is specified in the certificate. At the bottom of the certificate are pointed 7 totals readings and in case of non-compliance even one of them during the test period, the mechanism is not granted the coveted certificate. Some manufacturers put their movements in more severely test than the standard COSC requires. The process of movement certification is rather expensive, which is why the cost of watches with tested mechanism increases to 200 - $ 250.
And these are cherished seven parameters what mechanisms are tested at:
1.Average daily rate of watch. Recorded data f of the first 10 days at five different positions of chronometer. If the average error of course is -4 to +6 seconds, so the test can be considered successfully passed.
2.The average deviation of daily course (deviation) at 5 different positions. For 10 days, watch course is measured at 5 positions, with the result of 50 measurements. Permissible error of daily course of chronometer should not exceed 2 seconds per day.
3.The maximum deviation of daily course. Recorded the largest difference between the indices for the two-day test in one position. Error - no more than 5 seconds.
4.The difference of daily course between vertical and horizontal position of the mechanism. Allowable difference is -6 to +8 seconds.
5.The maximum difference between the average and diurnal course of watch should not exceed 10 seconds.
6.Deviation of daily course in the event that a change in temperature of 1 degree Celsius. From diurnal course at 38 ° C is deducted course at 8 ° C, and then the result is devided by 30. Permissible error is ± 0,6 seconds per day.
7.Changing of daily course between the first two days of testing and the last day. The allowable change is ± 5 seconds.
Note: The daily course is called the deviation of the watch from the exact time for one day, which is the difference between watch amendments at the end and beginning of the day.
Impeccable chronometers out of COSC and Geneva Seal
Chronometers’ certification Fleurier Quality Foundation (FQF) – is another page in the history of watches. Despite the fact that the Institute of chronometer certification COSC is sufficient authority organization in the watch making world, some watch companies such as Coward, Parmigiani Fleurier and Bovet Fleurier, and Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier have agreed to set new standards and criteria for certification of ready watches, considering COSC standards imperfect. The certificate Fleurier Quality fully complies with the regulatory requirements of the market and end-consumer to better identify high-quality watch making, adapted to modern requirements and technological innovation.
The organization Fleurier Quality was created in 5 June 2001 by the jointly efforts of mentioned above watch companies, which have established new aesthetic and technical criteria for final watch production. Association of watch quality control was founded in the Swiss town Fleurier of canton Neuchâtel. Before proceeding directly to FQF, perhaps, it is worth to mention in short about the traditions of high watch making in Neuchâtel and Fleur.
The basis of the watch making development has been workshop of David Jean-Jacques-Henri Washer in the town, which was opened in 1730, and after a quarter of a century has been involved in watch making. In the 19th century in Switzerland were only two centers involved in checking of watches’ quality - Geneva and Neuchâtel. Chronometers were tested in observatories, but not all the mechanisms were tested, and those that were designed for a specific purpose, and not for the wrist of usual consumer. Today, one of the most famous quality certificates – Geneva Seal. However, the "activity" of this certification is limited in geographical boundaries: Geneva Seal is placed only on the watches that were assembled in Geneva canton. Geneva Seal is placed on the watch for aesthetic criteria rather than according to quality criteria. Modern manufacturers of flawless watches were extremely dissatisfied with a set of criteria of certification, which led, ultimately, to more stringent and complex criteria for quality control of watches. Standards of Institute of chronometer certification COSC were also not good for watch manufacturers, since for this certification were tested only mechanisms without cases, hands and complications. As a result of the initiative of Parmigiani, which partners in this business became Chopard, Bovet and manufacture Vauche, have founded their own association of quality control, which is probably a complicated set of Geneva Seal and COSC. As an independent and autonomous structure, Fleurier Quality is legitimized by the active participation of government, including the Swiss Federal Government, the Canton Neuchâtel, the municipality of Fleurier, the regional association Val - de - Travers and fund Philippe Jéquier. The certification Fleurier Quality includes requirements that must meet the end-consumer: checking for reliability and durability, as well as an exclusive aesthetic quality of finish. The goal of Foundation Fleurier Quality is establishing of criteria for technical and aesthetic design of watches. Certification of watch quality is issued as a written certification and on watch are placed the logo of certification. The certificate is also to promote training in fine watch making. The procedure for obtaining the certificate is carried out in an objective manner by the technical committee, which is independent from the participating brands. For certification is need specific conditions: a mechanism must be certified COSC, a mechanism should have an exclusive and high-quality finish, the mechanism must be tested by Chronofiable, the final look of watch must be subject to testing by machine Fleuritest. Before we continue talking about the Fleurier Quality, let's see what Chronofiable is and see all of the criteria separately in more detail.
First stage – certificate COSC
To test for a certificate FQF the mechanism must first be tested in a Swiss chronometer certification institute and be certified COSC. To receive COSC mechanism shall be tested for 15 days in five different positions and at three different temperatures. For each position recorded daily course deviation. COSC certificate of accuracy gets only the mechanism that has shown positive results.
Second stage – technical and aesthetic embodiment
As the wrist watches are not only a measurer of time, but also the attribute of self-expression, so agree that aesthetics are also important. Today, high horology stands in one line with art, and as in all details are very important, and wristwatch is not exception. Even the smallest invisible details of the internal watch mechanism must be perfectly decorated and look perfect. All details of the model should be decorated with a pattern, which should be applied to the platinum or visible parts of the bridge. Details should not have sharp and uneven corners and also have been perfect polished. The end of the screws should be flat, perfectly polished, and has thin circular lines and have beveled edges. This is not all the criteria of a long list. For the passage of this stage of the test mechanism is completely disassembled. Every detail pass a thorough visual assessment from a distance of 30 cm and under a microscope.
Third stage – Chronofiable Chronofiable - this is the system introduced by the consortium of watch manufacturers in order to speed up the process of watch "aging" in 8 time, in other words, this system allows for three weeks to get the effect of watch operating during six months. Most large watch manufactures use these tests to obtain a certificate Chronofiable. Tests include a number of measurements of traction and push on the rod, the buttons and, if necessary, on a rotating bezel, along with tests of the influence of magnetic fields, the pendulum impact test, except for complications, and some tests for water resistance. Watch manufacture must submit the following number of watches: 5 units in the case of a model produced by a series of 1 to 100 pieces, 10 units, if the model is produced from 101 to 200 pieces and 20 units, if the model is released in 200 pieces and more.
Accelerated procedure of watch aging Chronofiable is usually used to test on durability the product of watch industry. Currently, this procedure is often used to get approval for new products, as well as to identify any defects that may occur during operation of watch. In general, the number of tested units is 5 to 40 movements put in cases, including the dial and hands.
The cycle of watch "aging" Chronofiable consists of the following steps (mechanical and quartz movements):
Initial testing of functions, speed, amplitude, temperature tests (0 ° C, 50 ° C), power reserve, winding speed (self-winding)
• A cycle of "aging" considering of the linear and angular acceleration, shock, temperature and humidity
• Acceleration factor: 8
• Duration: 21 days (equivalent to 6 months of operation)
• Beats: 20,000 beats between 250 and 5500 m/s2 (1 m/s2 = 1g)
• The angular acceleration about 8 rad/s2
• The temperature tests: 17°C, 30°C and 57°C with humidity
• The final test of functions, speed, amplitude, temperature tests (0°C, 50°C), power reserve, winding speed (self-winding)
Fourth stage – a machine Fleuritest It may seem that all these steps are sufficient due diligence to obtain the certificate FQF. However, the fund is not limited to this. Specially designed for the Association the machine leaves impression. The basic principle of the machine - is an imitation of the conditions, which is usually operated watch in. In the machine are set the standard and the most typical actions of men and women: activity during the day, sports, walking, driving, and more. In a special device is placed completely made watch that is exposed to the factors done by machine such as the frequency of vibration, the position of the hands and other things that have a direct impact on the watch. In this test watches are tested over 24 hours non-stop. Acceptable daily deviation in accuracy is 0 to 5 seconds. After the positive results of testing on the case and the mechanism is applied the seal in the form of a brand of a stylized letter «F» and «Q», and on the case back is decorated with an inscription «Qualite Fleurier». Adapted to modern standards of efficiency and profitability, tests are conducted in Fleurier, in areas of fund, but can be delocalized in any other place with prior approval of the Fund as geography is not part of the list of criteria for certification. To participate in the testing and certification of new watch companies or manufactories, they need to make a payment of 10,000 CHF or CHF 45 per every watch unit. Each watch company or manufactory has the ability to delegate of service technician, among other experts from the Technical Committee. FQF also does not exclude the possibility of certification of watches with a quartz movement. Because after testing mechanism, ready watches are also tested, then FQF is subjected to the notion of global quality.
It can safe be said that wrist watches with FQF seal is flawless mechanism and real work of art. Despite the fact that about the principles of the fund, which are well defined, since its foundation, was said above, finally I want to bring them in summary form: "the fund is open to all Swiss and European manufacturers of mechanical watches, certification brings together a number of requirements that guarantee the accuracy of the final product under any circumstances, evidence of strength and durability, as well as an exclusive quality of finish. Since its foundation, the main goal of Fleurier Quality Foundation was the creation of the technical and aesthetic requirements for the watch design, the presence of which is possible to obtain a certificate of quality and the promotion of education and training of high horology."
Finally, I want note that the accurate course of watch depends on the preferences of its owner, and the more sophisticated they are, the increased probability of error of the watch. If watches are operated in the heat or cold, with a strong or weak winding of spring, in the horizontal or vertical position, does the lucky owner of an accurate chronometer have an active or passive lifestyle - all this, of course, affect the measured and exact course of modern timepiece!
Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea watch – standard of advanced technologies!
The legendary watch company Rolex, watches of which have become synonymous of luxury and high status of its owner, today in its watch range has the largest number of certified chronometers. Founded in 1910 by Hans Wilsdorf the watch manufacture Rolex firmly occupies a leading position in the watch market in all parameters.
One of the most famous chronometers of the company Rolex is a legendary model Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea (ref. 116660), which has gained popularity due to its waterproof - 3.900 meters (12,800 feet). This model, developed in 2008, has become a standart for divers - professionals all over the world, and for those who want to venture. In this model, its worthy use found innovative technologies, patented by the company Rolex, for example, such as Ringlock System, which is a unique design of case that can stand the pressure of water on the deep sea thanks to three bearing elements: high-grade stainless steel, which can withstand such a huge water pressure, which is located inside the middle case and glass, as well as the case back, synthetic thick domed sapphire crystal, case back made of titanium alloy, attached to a steel ring. 44 - millimeter case is made of stainless steel 904L (case back is made of titanium alloy). The case is equipped with a unidirectional rotating 60 - minute bezel with black ceramic insert Cerachrom. The model is equipped with a helium valve, made of stainless steel and fitted to the case. The helium escape is one of the main characteristics of professional diving watches that during pressure reduction starts to work, releasing gases and sealing the watch.
The crown has three rubber inserts Triplock, which provide its water resistance. The numbers and markings on the black dial is made of platinum with a patented PVD technology. All indices are covered with luminiscent coating Chromalight. The aperture of current date aperture is located at the position of "3 o’clock." 48 – hour power reserve of the watch is provided by automatic caliber 3135, equipped with a hairspring Parachrom, which is resistant to the effects of magnetic fields. Oscillation frequency of the balance is 28.800 p/h (4 Hz).
The main feature of this model is, of course, the certificate of the Swiss Institute (COSC), which ensures the most accurate course of the timepiece. The watch is also equipped with a special device developed by the French company in underwater engineering and hyperbaric technologies - COMEX. The durable strap of the model Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea (ref. 116660) is also made of stainless steel 904L and is featured with fine adjustment Rolex Glidelock and with function of bracelet extension Fliplock, allowing wear watch over the diving suit.
The model Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea is kind of a tribute to the legendary watch Deep Sea Special, which were the first experimental prototype, immersed in the deepest place on Earth - the Mariana Trench, the depth of which is 11,034 meters. After such a risky dive the watch Deep Sea Special, fixed to the bathyscaphe "Trieste", continued to show the correct time. All the achievements of the watch company Rolex testify that its watches are time-tested and most venture.
The model Navitimer 01 Limited – a symbol of reliability and excellent accuracy!
The legendary Swiss watchmaker Breitling, founded in 1884 by Leon Breitling in the town Saint-Imier, for over a century has been a symbol of reliability and maximum accuracy. To Breitling wristwatches give their preference global aviation pilots due to their flawless performance. It is quite obvious that the "symbol of the accuracy and reliability" in a wide range of time meters the most prevalent – it is chronometers, because they are able to provide the most accurate current pilot performance. One of the most popular models of the company Breitling is the model Navitimer 01 Limited collection of the same name collection Navitimer, which history dates back to 1940. It was then that the legendary company’s engineers had the idea to add a logarithmic scale on the bezel of chronograph, thus making it a convenient attribute for pilots. These watches have immediately gained immense popularity, united in a collection entitled Navitimer. The collection was in a focus, and in 1961 one of the leading astronaut of the program “The Mercury space program” - Scott Carpenter - threw an interesting idea of the Breitling company’s management: the idea was to replace the 12 - hour drive for 24 - hours. This replacement, according to Carpenter, would help astronauts in the determination of the time of day, because during space flight they have a kind of disorientation in time.
And was born the legendary collection Navitimer - a kind of embodiment of fruitful cooperation of the watch company and astronaut. During the space flight in 1962, on a wrist of Scott was watch from this collection. The model Navitimer 01 Limited is a kind of tribute to the first chronometer in the modern incarnation. Flawless round watch case with diameter of 43 mm is made of stainless steel. On the black dial are located chronograph counters: at the position of "3 o’clock" is located 30 - minute counter, at the position of "6 o’clock" - 12 - hour, and at the position of "9 o’clock" is located 60 - second counter. The aperture of current date is located at a position between "4" and "5." The dial, and screwed case back, covered with durable sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective coating. 70 – hour power reserve is provided by the manufactory self-winding movement Breitling caliber 01 with 47 rubies and with a certificate COSC. The oscillation frequency of the balance is 28.800 pc/h. The black strap is made of leather. The water resistance is up to 30 meters. The model is presented in a limited edition of just 2000 pieces. Also is presented a version of the 18 - carat red gold, released in limited edition of only 200 pieces.
The model Omega HB-SIA Co-Axial GMT Chronograph – a watch of good purpose!
One of the most famous Swiss watch manufactures - Omega, founded in 1848 in the town of La - Chaux - de - Fonds Louis Brandt, has not remain in the shadow of watch companies, in the range of which is presents a variety of chronometers. For many years, Omega timepieces have been prefered by the astronauts of the world. Omega watches are the first time meters that were on the moon. Faultless precision of Omega watches saved the lives of astronauts. Today, Omega has gained tremendous popularity due to its impeccable timekeeping.
A striking example of a perfect chronometer can truly be considered a model HB-SIA Co-Axial GMT Chronograph, which is a worthy addition to the legendary collection Speedmaster. At first glance, this chronometer certainly inspires confidence. Rather massive round case with 44.25 mm in diameter is made of durable titanium, which provides extremely long life of the attribute. On a black carbon dial are placed the chronograph’s counters: at position of "9 o’clock" is placed 60 - second counter, at position of "3 o’clock" is placed 30 - minute counter, and at position of "6 o’clock" - 12 - hour. The aperture of current date is located at the position between the "4" and "5" o’clock. This watch is equipped with a unidirectional rotating bezel, on which is placed the tachometer scale, designed to calculate the speed in km/h.
Another feature of the model is a 24 - hour display GMT. The essence of this function is that the watch is fitted with an additional hand that makes one complete rotation in 24 hours. This function is used to calculate the second time zone. The dial is protected by durable sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective coating. 55 – hour power reserve is provided by self-winding movement with chronograph function. The mechanism is equipped with a column wheel, with free rotating regulator balance - spiral and co-axial escapement, which provides maximum precision and durability of the internal mechanism. The mechanism is covered with rhodium-plated and decorated with gilt engraving. However, the main feature of this mechanism is a certification of accuracy COSC. Water resistance of the model HB-SIA Co-Axial GMT Chronograph is up to 100 meters.
Finally, it should be noted that the model HB-SIA Co-Axial GMT Chronograph – is a tribute to the Solar Impulse project and aircraft HB-SIA, which has become the main "actor" of the project. The main purpose of the project – is making the world tour on the aircraft, which is set in motion, using only solar energy.
In the important project Solar Impulse the company Omega has become a financial sponsor and supplier of technological developments. The project aims to bring to the people of the planet, that it is necessary to begin development of clean alternatives of energy. And the company Omega has become one of the first who started the persecution of this good and useful for the whole planet purpose.
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