E Moving coil system, contact controlled
System with the coil on the balance wheel, fixed magnets and mechanical contacts.
The most important watches of this kind are the Hamilton 500 and the Epperlein 100.
Hamilton and Epperlein worked co-operatively and developed the world's first electric
watch for commercial use.
Functioning of these watches will be reviewed very briefly:
When an electric current flows in a magnetic field, it is affected by an electromagnetic
force (i.e. Lorentz force). This is the basic principle of every electric motor.
These watches have a coil fixed on the balance. At the moment the left and the right side
of the coil reach inside the magnetic field of the two platinum-cobalt magnets, the contact
springs are closed by a very small pin on the balance. Consequently, the electric current
flows through the coil and the coil will receive an impulse from the electromagnetic force.
The following watches give the balance one impulse during each swing: Hamilton,
Epperlein and UMF.
A slightly different construction is used in the Laco 860, the Timex watches, the Porta
Elechron and Bifora. The movements in these watches give the balance two impulses
during each swing.
Not only the Western world showed interest in the development of electric wrist watches.
A Russian electric watch came into production somewhere around 1962. Produced in
Moscow, the 'Electritscheskye' of the state-owned watch factory Petroworjetz worked with
a balance frequency of 2.5 Hz and was powered by a 1.35 V mercury cell. Unfortunately no
additional information is available.
The moving coil watches with a transistorised switch system will be dealt with in a later
The early moving coil watches with contacts are:
|1||Hamilton 500 and 505.|
|3||Laco 860 and the Timex 67, 82, 84, 85, 69, 71, 40, 41 and 42.|
|4||Porta Elechron 1000, 1001, 1002 and 3000.|
|5||UMF 25 and 26.|
The Bifora watches were manufactured by J. Bidlingmaier GmbH in Schwabisch Gm/nd,
Germany. In 1967, Bidlingmaier made some prototypes, the B 8 and B 9, which never came into production.
Related Photos: 1
Copyright © by Pieter Doensen
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or used in any
forms or by any means - graphic, electronic or mechanical, including
(but not limited to) photocopying or information storage and retrieval
systems - without written permission from the copyright holder.