Sarah Miller Tries To Make Her Own Watch

Nick responded. “You have a good basic understanding of how this clock works,” he began, which at the time I believed but now, looking back, I think might have been generous. He said he’d fill in some missing pieces: “The ‘winding thing’ is known as the barrel. Inside the barrel is a coiled spring (the mainspring), that provides the power for the clock to run. When you turn the green key, you are tightly coiling the mainspring. It releases its energy through the gears in the clock, to the escapement, and finally to the pendulum. The anchor is a French term for the pallet fork. The pallet fork is one part of the escapement. I like to describe the escapement as a motion translator – it translates rotational motion (from the gears) into side-to-side impulses (for the pendulum). You also mentioned regulation of a watch/clock. The escapement isn’t responsible for regulating, but the pendulum/balance wheel are. The escapement keeps the pendulum/balance wheel moving. The reason why there are many gears in the clock is to divide time into human understandable segments (hours, minutes, and seconds). The clock could have fewer gears, but then we would not be able to display time correctly.”


Sarah Miller

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