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Vibrations per hour

The balance of a watch oscillates at a predictable rate, typically referenced as vibrations or alterations per hour (A/h) or hertz (Hz).


One vibration (“semi-cycle” or “beat”) is a movement limited by two end positions. So the balance wheel of a watch may makes eight semi-cycles per second, which is 28,000 per hour. This is often divided by two and counted in hertz (Hz). Thus, a 28,800 A/h movement moves at 8 semi-cycles per second or 4 Hz.

The number (frequency) of the vibrations of the balance wheel is determined by the diameter and the weight of the balance wheel and hair spring. The higher the frequency, the greater the reduction to the gear train must be.

Typical watch oscillation rates:

A/h Hz V/sNotes
18,000 2.5 5Typical pocket watch
19,200 2.6 5.2Faster pocket watch
21,600 3 6Classic watch
28,800 4 8Classic “high-beat”
36,000 5 10Modern “high-beat”
72,000 10 20

See Also

vibrations_per_hour.txt · Last modified: 02.05.2023 19:14 by gerdlothar

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