Author's Note: How the Bulova Precisionist Works
This one's gonna cost me.
As I spent my research time studying the inner workings of various high-end watches, I realized how much work goes into making an accurate timepiece. Think about it: When the various parts in a watch are measured in microns, something as small as a misplaced drop of lubricant or a stray eyelash can be the difference between a useful piece of jewelry and a dud just waiting to be returned to the manufacturer. Even microscopic bits of dust can do a number on a watch's precision. And then there's temperature, magnetic fields, imbalances not aligned with the expected gravitational pull ... but I digress.
My paranoia came from studying my own watch, a well-loved, off-brand automatic I got a few years ago as a gift. I still get a kick out of its skeletonized mechanism that lets me watch the balance wheel flicker back and forth as the second hand ticks around at 4 beats per second.
But it's drifting, or at least that's the way it seems. Maybe it's simply in need of lubrication and a little cleaning. Or perhaps it's bounced off the floor one time too many in my early-morning fumbling to get dressed for work. Either way, all it took was this article to get me paying attention to the watch's accuracy.
It's true that automatics are less precise than quartz watches. And I have to admit that some of the Precisionist models are quite attractive. My brain's now working, and I can see it: a well-earned paycheck from writing about watches will arrive just in time ... to plunk down for a nice new watch.
Funny how those things go, isn't it?
- Arnstein, Walt. "Does Faster Mean More Accurate? Frequency Response of a Watch Escapement." TimeZone.com. (March 15, 2012) http://www.timezone.com/library/comarticles/comarticles0017
- Biba, Erin. "What is time? One Physicist hunts for the ultimate theory." Wired.com. Feb. 26, 2010 (March 10, 2012) http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/02/what-is-time/
- Bulova. "Inside Precisionist." (March 9, 2012) http://www.bulovaprecisionist.com/en/inside-precisionist/
- Connor, Sean. "The amazing Bulova Accutron." (March 9, 2012) http://www.elektron.demon.co.uk/accutron.html
- DiFranco, Steven. "Watch Technologies Explained." 2012 (March 10, 2012) http://www.stevendifranco.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=58&Itemid=42
- Gascoigne, Bamber. "History of Clocks." History World. (March 15, 2012) http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?groupid=2322&HistoryID=ac08>rack=pthc
- Lombardi, Michael. "The Accuracy and Stability of Quartz Watches." Horological Journal. February 2008. pp 57-59 (March 15, 2012).
- Loftus, Jack. "This clock won't be late for another ten million years, give or take." Gizmodo." Aug. 28, 2011 (March 10, 2012) http://gizmodo.com/5835138/the-worlds-most-accurate-timepiece-resides-in-london
- PrestigeTime.com. "Watches and Accuracy." 2012. (March 9, 2012) http://www.prestigetime.com/page.php?accuracy
- Seiko. "Mechanism: The genius of Spring Drive." 2008. (March 9 2012) http://www.seikospringdrive.com/flash.html