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Inductive Automatic Watch Winder

Wirelessly wind an automatic watch
  [vote for,

Astounded is the word! Astounded I was to find that a brand new, automatic winding mechanical watch with leather strap was available for purchase at a price, including postage and packing, of less than ten British Pounds.

One wonders what an item of such precision manufacturing would have cost, say, two hundred years ago. Probably in the region of ten British Pounds.

There's one slight drawback, a curse of the modern age. Many a day is now spent merely sitting in an office in front of a computer, which for most of us, does not generate enough wrist action to keep the watch fully wound. This is however a problem which has already been solved: watch winders.

Watch winders consist of a pedestal onto which one places the timekeeper, where it is gently rotated, at an angle, continuously. This has never struck me as a particularly elegant solution.

And in this day and age, where all kinds of digital gadgetry are afforded the luxury of inductive charging, doesn't the market for inductive winding of automatic mechanical watches seem woefully underexploited?

Thus, mitxela's Inductive Automatic Watch Winder is born. The unobtrusive (possibly teak) pad generates a rotating magnetic field to drive the weight in gentle circles as if by magic.

Some questions: How ferrous is the weight of the automatic winder? Would it need augmenting? How ferrous is the rest of the watch? Hopefully the magnetic field wouldn't interfere with timekeeping. One possible solution would be to rotate the field at a certain harmonic of the balance wheel's motion. This may or may not work. Would the watch remain magnetized? Not if the field is reduced gradually while still rotating. How gradually? Maybe this would warrant an 'off' switch to control it.

It would be ideal if this could work with any automatic mechanical watch, however I suspect watches would have to be specially designed with the Inductive Automatic Watch Winder in mind.

mitxela, Jun 25 2013


       It's one of those ideas that I' surprised doesn't already exist. Turning the whole watch is silly if you think about it.
DIYMatt, Jun 25 2013

       //Hopefully the magnetic field wouldn't interfere with timekeeping. //   

       Au contraire. Most watches will be badly affected by a strong magnetic field. First, the balance wheel and pallet will, in most watches, be ferrous or have some ferrous parts. Thus, a strong field will really mess up the timekeeping.   

       Worse yet, though, the hairspring is usually ferromagnetic. A strong field will induce a field in the hairspring, causing the coils to stick to one another. If the field is strong, this magnetization becomes permanent and the watch will run very fast.   

       Watchmakers usually have demagnetizers to deal with these problems.   

       There are "antimagnetic" watches, but these typically just have additional metal plates to screen the movement, and will still be badly affected by field strengths such as you would need. It is possible to make truly antimagnetic watches (no ferrous parts), but these are rare.   

       Would a simpler solution not be simply to wind your watch (automatic or not) for 15 seconds each morning?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 25 2013

       As far as I'm aware, those watch demagnetizers work by slowly reducing an oscillating magnetic field.
mitxela, Jun 25 2013

       //watch demagnetizers work by slowly reducing an oscillating magnetic field.//   

       Yes, but the field oscillates very fast (usually at mains frequency, I think). And the watch doesn't usually run while it's being demagnetized.   

       //I wonder if there are self-winding watches that have successfully overcome the overwinding problem.// All automatic watches have overwinding protection, as far as I know. The mainspring has a clutch (actually it's just a spring designed to slip) so that they can't be overwound either automatically or by hand. If you hand-wind an automatic, you should hear it make a little slippy-unwindey noise as it reaches its limit, which is the aforementioned clutch doing its job.   

       If your watch was gaining 3 minutes per day, it probably just needed regulating, which is a very simple job as long as you can open the caseback.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 25 2013

       Well, I would guess they didn't want you or an unknown watchmaker tinkering. If my Jag had a bug on the windshield, the dealer would probably say I'm best off bringing it in so they can look at it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 25 2013

       Jags don't have bugs on their windshield. They have flies on the windscreen.
pocmloc, Jun 25 2013

       Good point, [pocmloc], but I was translating.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 25 2013

       I like it, Especially if it can get the the motion to work double-quick, or super-slow to handle time changes due to being on a plane.
not_morrison_rm, Jun 26 2013

       It is a social ill of our day that online communications blur the boundaries between private an public. In the past, to contribute to public discourse, it was necessary to actually go the a public place, with all of the formalities of dressing, washing etc. that entails. Now one can make public pronouncements whilst in bed, or pooping, or even it seems whilst translating or ungulating.
pocmloc, Jun 26 2013

       I object, I have never knowingly ungulated in my life.
not_morrison_rm, Jun 26 2013

       That just makes it worse.
pocmloc, Jun 27 2013


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