Hand wind Swiss movements with 25 jewels or more.
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Thread: Hand wind Swiss movements with 25 jewels or more.

  1. #1
    WTF Full Member JOSEG's Avatar


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    Default Hand wind Swiss movements with 25 jewels or more.

    I was curious to know if there are many swiss H.W. movements out there without any complications with 25 or more jewels?

    I recently acquired a Rado Extra Flat, 50s or early 60s with an FHF-72 adjusted and was wondering.



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    Good question. I'm not familiar with the 25+ jewel hand wind movements from the 50's thru the 70's cuz i never got caught up in the 'jewel war'. I know Bulova had a 23 jewel hand wind (10BP) and Elgin's 626 was a 21 jewel movement but i believe they were both made in the USA (I could be wrong there!). IF i recall correctly, the USA applied higher tariffs to imported watches that had more than 17 jewels during that time period so that might account for the lack of those higher jeweled movements other than what was produced in the USA and thus not subject to the higher tariffs.

    If you include pocket watches, there were a number of high end manual wind pocket watch movements with 21 - 25 jewels available.

    As for automatics, Waltham had some ridiculously high jewel count Swiss movements (65 & 100) in the 60's, Orient used a 64 and a 100 jewel movement, Girard Perregaux used a 39 jewel movement, Bulova used a 23 jewel and a 30 jewel movement back in the 50's and 60's, Elgin had a 30 jewel (760) and 27 jewel (761) in the 60's, Rotary used a 41 jewel movement in the 60's and I'm certain I'm overlooking quite a few others.
    Last edited by mikeyt_53; 08-06-2019 at 11:16 AM.
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    Super Moderator WTF Veteran CometHunter's Avatar
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    You will run into a few high-count jeweled movements here and there. But for the most part, saner heads prevail.

    As previously mentioned, the norm for non-complication movements is 17 jewels, with a couple having 23. But as most everyone knows, jewels are used to reduce friction on certain basic parts
    *(1) the balance wheel assembly where it gets a kick from the escape lever
    *(2 pair) the balance staff pivot bearings
    *(1 pair) for the escape lever pallets
    *(1 pair) Escape lever pivot bearings
    *(1 pair) Escape wheel pivot bearings
    *(1 pair) Fourth wheel pivot bearings
    *(1 pair) Third wheel pivot bearings
    *(1 pair) Center wheel pivot bearings
    That's it. The other parts in the movement don't have the same friction problems, so they don't need jewels. To go beyond this is not necessary. It is gratuitous, and anyone who does this is simply showing off!

    As a historical note, there was a "jewel mania" roughly 50 to 60 years ago where watch manufacturers, operating under the mis-guided belief that potential customers thought that "more jewels meant better watches", came up with 75 or even 100-jewel movements! Most of those jewels were IN ABSOLUTELY NO WAY functional, and to the trained eye, the movements just looked silly.
    (information source: watchbuys.net)

    e4326bb6fdeb4df253c69ca4f8ce95a8457bf10a_r.jpg
    Last edited by CometHunter; 08-06-2019 at 02:31 PM.
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  5. #4
    WTF Full Member JOSEG's Avatar


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    Thank you fellows for your very comprehensive answers.
    The jewel count does not mean a lot to me it was more out of curiosity.
    Ranfft list on his page the FHF-72 with 17/19/21 jewels.

    Here is another Rado with 23 jewels and both the 25 and 23 jewels Rado movements always say adjusted.
    Most of the 17 jewels that I have seen say unadjusted
    By the way any idea what the letters (SW) means?
    Not mine.



    Last edited by JOSEG; 08-08-2019 at 07:31 AM.
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    WTF Full Member JOSEG's Avatar


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    And here is a very nice FHF 72 in a modern Armand Nicolet L-10.
    Movement
    The L10 features original movement FHF 72 from 1960. Mechanical manual winding movement with Central Seconds AN0710A. Underneath the balance wheel the movement is finished with “Perlage” while the bridges are decorated with “Surface Vagues” and gold engravings. Armand Nicolet’s expert watchmakers integrated it with the shock absorber Incabloc and made many other modifications so that this masterpiece could achieve modern technical standards.

    Technical characteristics: flat Hair-Spring, Swiss “ancre” escapement, 17 jewels, 34 hour power reserve and 21,600 vibrations per hour.

    Mechanical manual winding movement with Central Seconds functions. Caliber AN0710A, developed from FHF 72 (1960).
    Sent from my LG-LS998 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by JOSEG; 08-08-2019 at 07:42 AM.
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    Regarding your question about the meaning of "SW", I followed up via email with RADO Switzerland and this was the response i received;


    "The watch has the movement FHF 72. FHF stands for “fabrique d`horlogerie de Fontainemelon, Switzerland that today is a company of ETA, Swatch group.

    I have to admit, that we do not know, for what the terms SW stand for.

    I hope, these information are useful to you anyway.

    Best regards

    Markus Känzig
    Head of Technical Customer Service


    Rado Watch Co. Ltd. | 2543 Lengnau | Switzerland
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  8. #7
    WTF Full Member JOSEG's Avatar


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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyt_53 View Post
    Regarding your question about the meaning of "SW", I followed up via email with RADO Switzerland and this was the response i received;


    "The watch has the movement FHF 72. FHF stands for “fabrique d`horlogerie de Fontainemelon, Switzerland that today is a company of ETA, Swatch group.

    I have to admit, that we do not know, for what the terms SW stand for.

    I hope, these information are useful to you anyway.

    Best regards

    Markus Känzig
    Head of Technical Customer Service


    Rado Watch Co. Ltd. | 2543 Lengnau | Switzerland
    Thank you, I appreciate it.

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