As watches became more complicated with the advent of the chronograph, repeater, and other complications, the need arose for larger power reserve. Since a mainspring can only hold so much energy, watchmakers began adding a second barrel and mainspring. Today, some watch movements even include three or four barrels to power their complications or give longer running time.
Multiple barrels can be configured in three different ways:
- The barrels can be linked in parallel, driving the same gear train and providing extra torque for a movement's complications as well as longer power reserve; for example, the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-day Tourbillon has two sets of two stacked barrels all unwinding together.
- The barrels can be set up serially, driving a single gear train with longer power reserve.
- The barrels can also be set up to drive multiple gear trains; for example, the JLC 380 in the Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre à Chronographe uses one barrel and gear train for the time movement and another separate barrel and gear train for the chronograph functions.
- Long power reserve
- Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre
- Category:Double barrel movements
- Category:Triple barrel movements
- Category:Four barrel movements