NEW MECHANISM New materials and manufacturing processes make possible a new 10 beat movement

There were more than a few issues that needed to be resolved before a new 10 beat movement could be created. As a 10 beat movement requires greater torque than does an 8 beat, the first task was developing a new, stronger mainspring. To meet this need, SPRON530 was created. This resulted in a new movement with 6 percent more torque. A new hairspring was also used that was less susceptible to changes of ambient temperature changes, magnetic forces, shock and other factors that could affect the movement's precision. Five years of development culminated in SPRON610, which had double the shock resistance of conventional materials, and three times more magnetic resistance. As most watch brands outsource their springs, it was difficult for them to achieve such high specifications. But Daini Seikosha's engagement in materials research and the manufacture of springs had started in the 1940’s and 50’s and made possible these advances.

Through these innovations, a power reserve of about 55 hours was achieved, a remarkable level for a 10 beat movement. Moreover, in the new design, a reverser mechanism was introduced as and made the winding of the spring more efficient and faster.

Innovation continued. In the development of the current 10 beat movement, Caliber 9S85, the escape wheel and pallet fork that are at the heart of the escapement were designed afresh using MEMS (micro electro mechanical system) technology which the company had originally developed for use in the manufacture of semiconductors. By subjecting high precision molds made from a special plastic to a nickel electroforming process, extremely precise, smooth surfaced and very hard components can be made. This MEMS technology was used to reduce the weight of the escape wheel, pallet fork, and other components, making them more efficient and delivering a much higher level of consistency and precision in the manufacturing. Using MEMS, components are made to tolerances of 1,000th of a millimeter.
With a new mainspring with powerful torque, a hairspring with strong shock and magnetic resistance, and escapement parts that are very durable and made to a new high degree of precision, the new 36,000 bph hi-beat movement, Caliber 9S85 was made in 2009.

Through these innovations, a power reserve of about 55 hours was achieved, a remarkable level for a 10 beat movement. Moreover, in the new design, a reverser mechanism was introduced as and made the winding of the spring more efficient and faster.

Innovation continued. In the development of the current 10 beat movement, Caliber 9S85, the escape wheel and pallet fork that are at the heart of the escapement were designed afresh using MEMS (micro electro mechanical system) technology which the company had originally developed for use in the manufacture of semiconductors. By subjecting high precision molds made from a special plastic to a nickel electroforming process, extremely precise, smooth surfaced and very hard components can be made. This MEMS technology was used to reduce the weight of the escape wheel, pallet fork, and other components, making them more efficient and delivering a much higher level of consistency and precision in the manufacturing. Using MEMS, components are made to tolerances of 1,000th of a millimeter.
With a new mainspring with powerful torque, a hairspring with strong shock and magnetic resistance, and escapement parts that are very durable and made to a new high degree of precision, the new 36,000 bph hi-beat movement, Caliber 9S85 was made in 2009.

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The gear trains in 8 and 10 beat calibers; a comparison

8 beat

The Caliber 9S5 and 9S6 movements are 8 beat movements. The force of the mainspring turning the barrel wheel is transmitted to the second gear, and from there to the third gear and then to the fourth.
Meanwhile, the pallet fork, which is moved by the rhythmically oscillating balance, regulates the movement of the escape wheel. Through this system, the rotation of the gears is adjusted to move the hands of the watch at the proper speed.

10 beat

In a 10 beat movement, the high-speed oscillations exert a larger force on the components and their durability must therefore be increased. Accordingly, the Caliber 9S8 movement has an intermediate escape wheel between the fourth gear and the escape wheel, which considerably extends the life of the fourth gear's teeth. This same technique had been used in the Caliber 45 gear train system and was a tried and trust solution.

The new components that made the 10 beat possible.

Mainspring

The mainspring is SPRON530, a cobalt alloy. Not only was the power of the spring enhanced, but the size was reduced.

Escape wheel

In order to enhance the durability of the parts of the escape wheel and pallet fork that come into contact, the tips of the escape wheel were tiered to facilitate the retention of the lubricating oil.

Pallet fork

Using MEMS technology, the weight of the pallet fork, which regulates the movement of the escape wheel, was reduced by 25 percent. Its design also contributed to a more stable level of precision over time.

Balance wheel

A new alloy, SPRON610, was created for the balance spring. It was made from cobalt, iron, and nickel, with the addition of other magnetic resistant metals to deliver the capacity to oscillate at the high speed of 10 oscillations (five cycles) per second.