Hard core, interpretation of Grand Seiko’s “strongest” movement

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In 1960, Seiko replica launched the first high-end line, Grand Seiko (ie Seiko GS, Grand Seiko). By 2020, it is the 60th anniversary of Grand Seiko. To commemorate the 60th anniversary, Guanlan Lion (Seiko GS) recently launched a variety of 60th anniversary commemorative styles. Including historical replicas, jewelry watches, formal watches, diving watches and many other limited models. And launched a new 9SA5 self-winding movement, used in the 60th anniversary limited edition of Grand Seiko (Grand Seiko).

Grand Seiko’s new 9SA5 movement has achieved a breakthrough in Japanese high-end watchmaking in terms of technology and decoration, reaching the new height of Japanese high-end watchmaking in automatic movements (referring to automatic three-hand movement , Excluding complication movement). And 9SA5 movement also uses a new type of escapement, the official name is “double impact escapement”. Although many media have reported on this movement, there is no further interpretation, especially the new escapement of 9SA5, so today I want to talk about this movement that represents the highest level of Japanese fine watchmaking. core. First of all, starting from the escapement, I will try my best to make technical issues easy to understand.

Crown blue lion, double impact escapement, where is the power?

It can be said that 99% of the world’s mechanical watches, from Tissot Longines to Rolex Patek Philippe, use the same escapement, called “lever escapement” (also called Swiss lever escapement). Whether it is Tissot or Patek Philippe, the overall structure of their “lever escapement” is the same.

The remaining 1% of mechanical wholesale watches copy do not use “lever escapement”, which includes “Omega coaxial escapement”, “Audemars Piguet exclusive escapement” and “Crown Lion Double Impact Escapement”. Omega, Audemars Piguet, Crown Blue Lion, these three escapements, although each has its own name and some differences in appearance, but they have the same principle and historical origin. So some people say that the “double impact escapement” of the Crown Blue Lion is very similar to the “coaxial escapement” of Omega, which is correct. (PS. The 99% and 1% I mentioned here are just a metaphor. In addition to these escapements, there are also some very very rare special escapements, such as FPJ’s double-axle escapement, Athens’ two-way escapement, etc.) .

The biggest appearance feature of the “lever escapement” is that it has a long “fork” pallet. The “Double Impact Escapement” of the Crown Blue Lion is an pallet fork but it is “horizontal” and close to the escape wheel (the same applies to Omega and Audemars Piguet). Different structures bring different operation modes to these two escapements.

Lever escapement: The fork of the balance wheel drives the pallet fork, and the pallet fork drives the escape wheel. Balance wheel fork → pallet fork → escape wheel.

Double-impact escapement: the balance wheel’s fork shoe directly drives the escape wheel, and the pallet fork only plays a locking role (since the entire escapement is close to the escape wheel, the balance wheel’s fork shoe can directly drive the escape wheel) . Balance wheel fork shoe → escape wheel.

So we can see that the power of the double impact escapement (including Omega and Audemars Piguet) is directly transmitted between the balance wheel and the escape wheel, skipping the pallet fork, the power transmission path is shorter, and the power loss is smaller. The crown blue lion “double impact escapement” and Omega coaxial escapement, Audemars Piguet exclusive escapement, have the following advantages:

  1. The power transmission efficiency is higher. The power transmission efficiency of the “double impact escapement” is 52% (including similar escapements of Omega and Audemars Piguet), while the efficiency of the “lever escapement” is 35% ( This data is derived from Audemars Piguet’s research data on escapement).
  2. Double impact escapement (including Omega coaxial escapement and Audemars Piguet exclusive escapement). The pallet fork only plays a locking role. The teeth of the pallet fork and escape wheel can be very “pointed” (lever The escapement will be more “square”), which reduces the contact area between the pallet fork, the escape wheel tooth and the tooth, reduces the friction stroke, and the friction is smaller. Data shows that the lever escapement has a friction stroke of 0.4 mm. The double impact escapement (including Omega, Audemars Piguet), the friction stroke can be reduced to 0.05 mm. This is why Omega said that the coaxial escapement can reduce dependence on lubricating oil (referring to the escapement part).

Excellent performance, but why is it rarely used?

Grand Seiko (replica Grand Seiko) “double pulse escapement”, Omega “coaxial escapement”, Audemars Piguet “exclusive escapement”, this type of escapement, they have a common “ancestor”, Chronometer escapement/Robin The escapement (the Robin escapement, born in 1791, is an improvement on the escapement of the observatory). This type of escapement performance does have advantages, but the problem is that the structure is more complex (Crest Blue Lion, Omega, Audemars Piguet, although they have the same history and technical origin, although the basic principles of each company are the same, but the design is different) .

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The Robin escapement in history is because under the historical conditions at that time, because of the poor anti-vibration ability and the difficulty of self-starting (in my impression, it needs an external force to drive it, and it is difficult to drive it with gears), so it stopped using it. . “Lever escapement” because of its simple structure and strong reliability, it eventually dominated the world until today. Most of the mechanical watches on the market, it can be said that 99% of the mechanical fake men watches use the “lever escapement”, although it is not the highest performance, but it is the most reliable along the way.

Through modern watchmaking technology, technical problems are solved. At present, both the Grand Seiko “Double Pulse Escapement” and Audemars Piguet’s “Exclusive Escapement” are used on a small scale on specific watches (Audemars Piguet is only used on a few watches such as Jules Audemars Chronometer, Royal Oak and the like Omega’s “coaxial escapement” has been widely used on all Omega watches. But old players know that Omega’s “coaxial escapement” has experienced 2500, 2500C, 2500D, 8500, 8900/8800, from 1999 to today, after more than 20 years, after several generations of evolution, it has today’s reliable and stable performance. Outstanding Omega 8 and 9 series movements. Grand Seiko (Grand Seiko) used the new “double pulse escapement” on the new 9SA5 movement this time. I think one is the discovery, exploration and innovation of watch technology, and the other is the confidence and display of its own strength.

Crown Blue Lion 9SA5 movement other main technology.

In addition to the most heavyweight “double-pulse escapement”, the Grand Seiko 9SA5 movement also uses a variety of technologies.

The Grand Seiko 9SA5 movement uses a new non-caliber weight to fine-tune the balance. At the balance wheel fine-tuning weight, the edge of the balance wheel is recessed inward, and the weight is wrapped inside the balance wheel, which helps to reduce the air resistance of the balance wheel. This design of fine-tuning the balance wheel with non-caliber weights is also used in Swiss watches, such as Breguet.

The Grand Seiko 9SA5 movement uses an end winding hairspring. Winding the hairspring on the end (also called Breguet hairspring, because it was invented by Breguet), is to lift the end of the hairspring upwards, and then fix it on the outer pile of the hairspring. The end of the hairspring that is lifted upwards, in layman’s terms, increases the three-dimensional sense of the hairspring. Through the shape of the winding on the end, the center of gravity of the hairspring is kept at the center position, which helps prevent the center of gravity of the hairspring from shifting and facilitates the travel time (general flat hairspring, The center of gravity is easy to shift). In Swiss watches, it is also often used, such as Rolex.

Grand Seiko (Grand Seiko fake) 9SA5 movement, swing frequency 36000 times / hour, power 80 hours. At the same time of high frequency, long power is maintained. The main reason is that the 9SA5 movement uses a new tandem barrel, which also reduces the thickness of the movement. The 9SA5 movement measures 31 mm and is 5.18 mm thick. The 9S85 movement that Crown Blue Lion has always used is 28.4 mm and 5.99 mm thick.

In terms of movement and decoration, the 9SA5 movement also changed the style of the previous Grand Seiko movement, adopting more independent movement splints and using a cross-type balance splint. Use more jewel bearings and roasted blue screws (47 jewel bearings). And use a huge hollow automatic rotor. The design and decoration style of the 9SA5 movement has been completely consistent with the Swiss watch movement.