For fans of the Magic-Lever auto-winding system….

For fans of the Magic-Lever auto-winding system….

Joined: May 5th, 2009, 1:22 pm

October 21st, 2010, 2:46 am #1

All you happy owner so Seiko and Orient watches and watches powered by movements from Hamazawa, Sea-Gull, PTS-Hangzhou, PTS-Liaocheng, Claro-Semag, Fujita, Golden-Time etc…

Some of you may be aware that Seiko’s marvellous invention was not the first system to use an eccentric pivot on the rotor hub to drive a pair of pawl-fingers to turn a ratchet-toothed wheel bi-directionally.

It actually goes back to the 1946 patent of Albert Pellaton working for the International Watch Company.


http://www.iwcforum.com/Articles/Calibr ... /Text.html

Pellaton movements are prized by Swiss watch collectors, and sometimes cited as evidence that the Japanese do nothing but copy. The truth is not so simple as you will soon see. Anyway, the Pellaton system was a brilliant innovation in its day and that is why IWC continue to use it in such elite calibres like the 5000.

However I’ve had the privilege of playing with an IWC cal 5000 and observed the Pellaton in action. My impression was that it was the most marvellously crafted device but almost absurdly complicated for what it does. Note how each pawl finger is individually spring-tensioned, making assembly and adjustment a complicated business.



Perhaps the allure for the Swissophiles is that it takes master craftsmanship to produce such a device.

Think again…

Here’s Timex’s version (with rotor bridge removed):



Evidently it was cheaper for Timex to stamp out levers than to cut wheels, but is really brings out the Heath Robinson qualities of the system, doesn’t it? Obviously there is room for some more simplification.

This German Otero movement is more like it:



Even with the rotor bridge in place you can see how the pawls radiate directly out from the eccentric stud on the rotor hub. But look carefully and you will notice that there are small springs holding the pawls in contact with the wheel. Presumably these would need adjustment to ensure the right tension.


And so to the Seiko patent...

Take a look at the Magic Lever system in its most fundamental form and notice how the pawl lever, the ‘magic lever’ is a single stamped piece of metal incorporating both pawl fingers:


http://www.seikonaut.net/61xx-70xx-english.html

This is the genius of the Magic Lever; the pawl fingers tension each other! One piece of stamped metal replaces a dozen components in the Pellaton. It’s all in the precision of the stamping and the quality of the metal. No need for complicated adjustment by hand.

Brilliant, isn’t it?



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Joined: June 19th, 2009, 6:51 pm

October 21st, 2010, 3:21 am #2

I remember an old tv ad for Hush Puppy shoes. It featured a Japanese fellow holding up a shoe and saying 'We can't make it dumber but we can make it cheaper'.

It appears that Seiko has once again managed to simplify what others have done before them and make it their own.
No; not simple copying but definitely taking an original concept and improving upon it.

The same can be said about most Seiko 'innovations'; ie, quartz movements, spring drive, etc.
Where Seiko excels is beating the other guys to market and the patent office

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Joined: May 5th, 2009, 1:22 pm

October 21st, 2010, 8:17 am #3

All you happy owner so Seiko and Orient watches and watches powered by movements from Hamazawa, Sea-Gull, PTS-Hangzhou, PTS-Liaocheng, Claro-Semag, Fujita, Golden-Time etc…

Some of you may be aware that Seiko’s marvellous invention was not the first system to use an eccentric pivot on the rotor hub to drive a pair of pawl-fingers to turn a ratchet-toothed wheel bi-directionally.

It actually goes back to the 1946 patent of Albert Pellaton working for the International Watch Company.


http://www.iwcforum.com/Articles/Calibr ... /Text.html

Pellaton movements are prized by Swiss watch collectors, and sometimes cited as evidence that the Japanese do nothing but copy. The truth is not so simple as you will soon see. Anyway, the Pellaton system was a brilliant innovation in its day and that is why IWC continue to use it in such elite calibres like the 5000.

However I’ve had the privilege of playing with an IWC cal 5000 and observed the Pellaton in action. My impression was that it was the most marvellously crafted device but almost absurdly complicated for what it does. Note how each pawl finger is individually spring-tensioned, making assembly and adjustment a complicated business.



Perhaps the allure for the Swissophiles is that it takes master craftsmanship to produce such a device.

Think again…

Here’s Timex’s version (with rotor bridge removed):



Evidently it was cheaper for Timex to stamp out levers than to cut wheels, but is really brings out the Heath Robinson qualities of the system, doesn’t it? Obviously there is room for some more simplification.

This German Otero movement is more like it:



Even with the rotor bridge in place you can see how the pawls radiate directly out from the eccentric stud on the rotor hub. But look carefully and you will notice that there are small springs holding the pawls in contact with the wheel. Presumably these would need adjustment to ensure the right tension.


And so to the Seiko patent...

Take a look at the Magic Lever system in its most fundamental form and notice how the pawl lever, the ‘magic lever’ is a single stamped piece of metal incorporating both pawl fingers:


http://www.seikonaut.net/61xx-70xx-english.html

This is the genius of the Magic Lever; the pawl fingers tension each other! One piece of stamped metal replaces a dozen components in the Pellaton. It’s all in the precision of the stamping and the quality of the metal. No need for complicated adjustment by hand.

Brilliant, isn’t it?


The Longines 19A

Here's tear-down in which you can see how the system works:

http://bdwf.net/forum/showthread.php?t=55707
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Joined: August 8th, 2007, 10:15 pm

October 21st, 2010, 11:24 am #4

All you happy owner so Seiko and Orient watches and watches powered by movements from Hamazawa, Sea-Gull, PTS-Hangzhou, PTS-Liaocheng, Claro-Semag, Fujita, Golden-Time etc…

Some of you may be aware that Seiko’s marvellous invention was not the first system to use an eccentric pivot on the rotor hub to drive a pair of pawl-fingers to turn a ratchet-toothed wheel bi-directionally.

It actually goes back to the 1946 patent of Albert Pellaton working for the International Watch Company.


http://www.iwcforum.com/Articles/Calibr ... /Text.html

Pellaton movements are prized by Swiss watch collectors, and sometimes cited as evidence that the Japanese do nothing but copy. The truth is not so simple as you will soon see. Anyway, the Pellaton system was a brilliant innovation in its day and that is why IWC continue to use it in such elite calibres like the 5000.

However I’ve had the privilege of playing with an IWC cal 5000 and observed the Pellaton in action. My impression was that it was the most marvellously crafted device but almost absurdly complicated for what it does. Note how each pawl finger is individually spring-tensioned, making assembly and adjustment a complicated business.



Perhaps the allure for the Swissophiles is that it takes master craftsmanship to produce such a device.

Think again…

Here’s Timex’s version (with rotor bridge removed):



Evidently it was cheaper for Timex to stamp out levers than to cut wheels, but is really brings out the Heath Robinson qualities of the system, doesn’t it? Obviously there is room for some more simplification.

This German Otero movement is more like it:



Even with the rotor bridge in place you can see how the pawls radiate directly out from the eccentric stud on the rotor hub. But look carefully and you will notice that there are small springs holding the pawls in contact with the wheel. Presumably these would need adjustment to ensure the right tension.


And so to the Seiko patent...

Take a look at the Magic Lever system in its most fundamental form and notice how the pawl lever, the ‘magic lever’ is a single stamped piece of metal incorporating both pawl fingers:


http://www.seikonaut.net/61xx-70xx-english.html

This is the genius of the Magic Lever; the pawl fingers tension each other! One piece of stamped metal replaces a dozen components in the Pellaton. It’s all in the precision of the stamping and the quality of the metal. No need for complicated adjustment by hand.

Brilliant, isn’t it?


Thanks for the post - interesting photos/diagrams. Certainly the Seiko version is quite simple, and has proven to be very reliable. However the idea that the versions using springs need some sort of complicated adjusting is really not true. I service a lot of watches, with many different types of springs in them, and it is rare that I have to adjust the tension of any spring. When I do, the typical reason is that someone who didn't know what they were doing thought they could "improve" things by bending the spring, so I'm usually just putting it back the way it should be.

These winding systems would be no different. So yes, they are more complicated, but practically it's really not a factor for the watchmaker who is servicing the movement.

Cheers, Al
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Joined: May 5th, 2009, 1:22 pm

October 21st, 2010, 12:29 pm #5

So while there may be more involved in the initial assembly of such a system compared to the Magic Lever, the Pellaton should keep its setting for life?

Coming at this question from the opposite direction, I've read claims that one of the advantages of the Pellaton over the Seiko is that it can be adjusted to compensate for wear to the pawls after many years use. Have you ever encountered the need to make such an adjustment or found Seiko to be lacking in this regard?
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Joined: August 8th, 2007, 10:15 pm

October 21st, 2010, 3:03 pm #6

"Have you ever encountered the need to make such an adjustment or found Seiko to be lacking in this regard?"

The short answer is no to both questions. However, I don't service a lot of Seiko watches to be honest, and the other makers with this sort of winding system aren't that common, so I've only done a couple.

In my view it would take a lot of wear to create the need to adjust the tension on the springs, and the teeth on the wheel and on the pawls aren't that deep to begin with. My feeling is that to have enough wear to require the adjustment of the springs would likely mean the teeth are gone, and parts need to be replaced. The tension in the springs isn't sensitive enough, and doesn't change quickly enough, to require adjustment with the small amount of wear you would see. Again, just my opinion.

Cheers, Al
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Joined: June 19th, 2009, 6:51 pm

October 21st, 2010, 3:36 pm #7

The Longines 19A

Here's tear-down in which you can see how the system works:

http://bdwf.net/forum/showthread.php?t=55707
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Last edited by Ancre-Steam on October 21st, 2010, 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: September 1st, 2008, 1:36 pm

October 22nd, 2010, 1:54 am #8

All you happy owner so Seiko and Orient watches and watches powered by movements from Hamazawa, Sea-Gull, PTS-Hangzhou, PTS-Liaocheng, Claro-Semag, Fujita, Golden-Time etc…

Some of you may be aware that Seiko’s marvellous invention was not the first system to use an eccentric pivot on the rotor hub to drive a pair of pawl-fingers to turn a ratchet-toothed wheel bi-directionally.

It actually goes back to the 1946 patent of Albert Pellaton working for the International Watch Company.


http://www.iwcforum.com/Articles/Calibr ... /Text.html

Pellaton movements are prized by Swiss watch collectors, and sometimes cited as evidence that the Japanese do nothing but copy. The truth is not so simple as you will soon see. Anyway, the Pellaton system was a brilliant innovation in its day and that is why IWC continue to use it in such elite calibres like the 5000.

However I’ve had the privilege of playing with an IWC cal 5000 and observed the Pellaton in action. My impression was that it was the most marvellously crafted device but almost absurdly complicated for what it does. Note how each pawl finger is individually spring-tensioned, making assembly and adjustment a complicated business.



Perhaps the allure for the Swissophiles is that it takes master craftsmanship to produce such a device.

Think again…

Here’s Timex’s version (with rotor bridge removed):



Evidently it was cheaper for Timex to stamp out levers than to cut wheels, but is really brings out the Heath Robinson qualities of the system, doesn’t it? Obviously there is room for some more simplification.

This German Otero movement is more like it:



Even with the rotor bridge in place you can see how the pawls radiate directly out from the eccentric stud on the rotor hub. But look carefully and you will notice that there are small springs holding the pawls in contact with the wheel. Presumably these would need adjustment to ensure the right tension.


And so to the Seiko patent...

Take a look at the Magic Lever system in its most fundamental form and notice how the pawl lever, the ‘magic lever’ is a single stamped piece of metal incorporating both pawl fingers:


http://www.seikonaut.net/61xx-70xx-english.html

This is the genius of the Magic Lever; the pawl fingers tension each other! One piece of stamped metal replaces a dozen components in the Pellaton. It’s all in the precision of the stamping and the quality of the metal. No need for complicated adjustment by hand.

Brilliant, isn’t it?


........ everyone is asking "how it works?" but anyone wants to know "how its made" ?

Well, the process is called Fine Stamping.

With the conventional punch press, there is a limit to how precise the part will be stamped out of the material. Also, the resulting part has a certain degree of a sharp edge othervise called "burr". That is inevitable - it can be controlled to certain extend by reducing the gap between the piercing punch and the blanking punch. In other words, too much gap, and the resulting part has a big sharp burr on one side. Reduce the gap too much and the piercing punch will wear out too fast or even break. Therefore, the optimal punch-die clearance is prety important. In either case, there is a need to a seconary operation called "de-burring"... that`s more time, money, etc
So... what to do?

The answer is Fine Blanking.
With fine blanking, the resulting part is virtualy burr free. All that thanks to a punch-die clearance that`s extremly small and in many cases ... not existent! For example, in the standard stamping process the punch-die clearance is calculated to be 10% - 15% out of the materials thickness. With Fine Blanking, this clearance drops down to ... 0.5% or less!

Gears, magic levers, balance wheels - you name it - it is done this way.
Here is an animation on how this works, for your better understanding

http://www.fineblanking.org/process/anim.htm

So, that`s how a lot of very fine components ( watches and others ) are made fast and precise.

I don`t make things. I make things better !
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Joined: June 19th, 2009, 6:51 pm

October 22nd, 2010, 2:03 am #9

short tool life?

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Joined: May 5th, 2009, 1:22 pm

October 22nd, 2010, 2:23 am #10

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he was surprised that there was any active lubricant still present after all these decades and no signs of servicing.

What did you think of the winding system? A valid experiment or just Longines' single-finger salute to the Pellaton patent?
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