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Learning the differences between calibers

  1. Jhawlz9989

    Jhawlz9989 Jul 21, 2018

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    Good morning everyone,

    Having been through Desmond’s blog on constellations, I enjoyed the write ups on the progression of calibers over the years. One of the things that’s unclear to me is the ultimate differences between, for example, a 501, 505, 551, and 561 movement. The constant issue I come back to and admittedly can’t figure out is, the movement of a watch is ultimately governed by the divisions into hours, minutes, and seconds. There’s only so many applicable ratios that the train can employ to accomplish what we need for time keeping. Given this extremely limiting condition (and leaving out the impact of additional complications - moonphase, etc.), what really makes any of these movements different other than the use of jewels in critical wear or friction points, or their general layouts? Is there any resource that shows visually the trains of these movements so I can try and understand their differences and similarities?

    Josh
     
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  2. ulackfocus

    ulackfocus Jul 21, 2018

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    I don't think you fully understand the depth of the question you're asking.
     
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  3. gatorcpa

    gatorcpa ΩF InvestiGator Staff Member Jul 21, 2018

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    I suggest you start your search here:

    http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?10&ranfft&&2uswk

    There are listings for hundreds and hundreds of movements there along with differences between related models.

    If you hunt around Dr. Ranfft’s site, there are explanations of many of the concepts of watchmaking.

    Please check in with us in a few months, when you’ve read it all.
    gatorcpa
     
  4. Foo2rama

    Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Jul 21, 2018

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    I think he is focusing on the 500 movements in Connie’s.



    In regards to the 501 and directly related

    http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?10&ranfft&&2uswk&Omega_501

    As you can see on the right side the movement came with different options. Day date, more jewels etc. these movements listed are all highly related and from the same direct family.

    17jewels vs the same movement with more jewels like the 500/501 is almost always denoting a US market movement. As the US had tariffs in place for watches over 17 jewels.

    You can use that database to look at other movements.

    http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?10&ranfft&&2uswk&Omega_561

    550 and related
     
  5. Jhawlz9989

    Jhawlz9989 Jul 21, 2018

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    I suppose once I understood the theory of differences possible I would then dive into families of movements (500-series constellations [and non-chronometer movements] being a logical starting point). Who knows, maybe I need to dive into a specific comparison to understand the theory.

    A specific example would be the 501 and 471 movements - my understanding based on Maddox’s blog is that the movements are identical except the regulator, with the 501 having a swan-neck regulator. What’s the advantage? Because the regulator is under constant tension with the set screw and the swan neck it prevents accidental movement due to shocks/bumps?

    What about the 551 and 505 movements? They are both non-date complications that are 24 jewel, chronometer movements. Having gone back and re-read parts 2 and 3 on Desmond's blog, I suppose much of the information I am after is actually there. Click wear and the double-reverser are just tough concepts to visualize using the static images in the write-up and I'm not sure I fully understand what he is trying to communicate. Things like changes in the pallet fork material are simple to understand. Maybe as I become more familiar with the design terminology these pieces will fall into place and the questions will answer themselves.
     
  6. gatorcpa

    gatorcpa ΩF InvestiGator Staff Member Jul 21, 2018

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    The 1953 and 1963 Corvettes both have V-8 engines, but are very different cars. The same is true of watch movements.

    Some of that is marketing, as thinner movements were more in style in the 1960's. Some differences result from improvements in technology as the winding mechanisms on the later movements were more efficient.

    I'm sure there were many, many other reasons for the change that I'm not aware of.
    gatorcpa
     
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  7. Foo2rama

    Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Jul 21, 2018

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    501 and 550 movements are not related to each other. Think small block Chevy from the 60’s and a ls7 for a few years ago. Both push rod v8’s with similar architecture but no parts that swap. While most LS series motors you can swap parts around.

    There are 2 groups of movements with different bases. I provided links to both families.