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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Howdy watchmaking gurus,

First post here so apologies in advance if this is the wrong forum, but I was hoping to get feedback from folks well versed in the technical aspects of movement architecture and timing instruments. FYI, my background is in Statistics, not watchmaking. I'm good with numbers, but not terribly well versed on the watch mechanics that give rise to them. To that end, I need some help troubleshooting a newly purchased Tissot Powermatic 80 that I'm planning to add to my timing study.

Put simply, I believe the watch is possessed. I've timed over two dozen movements (occasionally with casebacks removed, but usually fully encased) and I've never seen anything like this. Using the ubiqiutous "Ace Timer" (WeiShi 1000) with sampling interval of 12 seconds and lift angle set to 50 (p80 is just a 3Hz 2824 derivative). Every Swiss watch I've timed (over half a dozen so far) cuts almost perfectly clean lines on the beat trace--either a "single" trace (beat error of 0) or fairly closely spaced "train tracks" (error in the .1 to .4 range). They're also remarkably stable across all six timing positions, with an average root mean square of just three seconds (deltas in the 2-10 second range).

This Powermatic, by contrast...well, just look at it!

1.jpg

My fondness for 4th of July fireworks notwithstanding, just what going on here? I've got Seiko 5s and throwaway tongjis that have far cleaner traces than this. And it gets worse:

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Highest beat error I've seen since strapping my great grandfather's 1899 Elgin pocketwatch on the timer. And the beat is so erratic that the daily rate avg is literally switching signs (negative to positive and vice versa)

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Sometimes the trace looks mostly clean (beat error only 0.1), but there's this "shadow trace" way off the distance, as you can see faintly in the photo above.

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But now the timer seems to think that echo/shadow is the "tock" (or tick?) itself, and jacks up the beat error accordingly. I'm at a loss here.


So what do you think? Faulty movement? Measurement error? I know the Powermatic is an unusual bit of kit with its high efficiency escapement and all, but I still feel like something's seriously wrong here. FYI, I've tried reversing the watch (putting crown side on metal pick-up) to ensure the mic could pick up the beat, but the results were unchanged.

Any insights you folks may have would be greatly appreciated.
 

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If your TG has a gain setting, see what happens at a lower setting.
A track on a low-end TG without additional information isn't very useful for any kind of meaningful diagnosis.
Your Powermatic is new...presumably you have a warranty...if you believe it is operating outside of Tissot's specs, use your warranty.
Regards, BG
 

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The sounds that you have hitherto seen depicted are hard, crisp sounds and are generated from the impact of rubi and steel and steel and steel.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If your TG has a gain setting, see what happens at a lower setting.
A track on a low-end TG without additional information isn't very useful for any kind of meaningful diagnosis.
Your Powermatic is new...presumably you have a warranty...if you believe it is operating outside of Tissot's specs, use your warranty.
Regards, BG
-No gain setting. As you note, low end TG

-Sorry I should have been more clear. It's three days old. If it's defective, I will return it. Figuring out whether it's defective is my sole reason for posting here. I've neither the expertise nor inclination to tear down the movement, inspect the pallet jewels, etc. (like I said, not a watchmaker), that's why I'm seeking the advice of folks who (presumably) have experience with such matters.

-Warranty's a non-issue (see above)

So any thoughts at all? Taking a very wild guess, I assume you've bench tested a few watches in your day.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The sounds that you have hitherto seen depicted are hard, crisp sounds and are generated from the impact of rubi and steel and steel and steel.
[sigh] And what, pray tell, of those I've heard thereafter, my self-aware chum?
 

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I'm interested in an explanation of this phenomenon too. I think pithy is implying that the movement has a plastic pallet fork but he seems too bored to discuss it further. Maybe someone who isn't bored can chime in.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I'm interested in an explanation of this phenomenon too. I think pithy is implying that the movement has a plastic pallet fork but he seems too bored to discuss it further. Maybe someone who isn't bored can chime in.
then our terse/bored friend would be right (thanks for translating, btw). It is the 23j C07.111, the part plastic spawn of a 2824-2 crossed with that throwaway Swatch puts in the Sistem51. Is there any way I can tweak my setup to get clean readings across the board? Or are these movements pretty much impossible to evaluate using (cheap) timing machines?

FWIW, in horizontal positions, the trace is actually pretty clean looking--almost as good as the other (metal) Swiss movements I've timed. Turn it on its side (any vertical positions) and it all goes to pot, however.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I was able to (mostly) resolve the problem by removing the caseback and enclosing the mic--essentially boosting the gain as suggested above (thanks all). Upping the sampling interval also helped smooth over some of the fluctuations. A few of the vertical positions were still difficult to get clean readings, but I'm happy to see the problem wasn't with the watch itself.
 

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Hi,


After researching the same issue with my Powermatic 80, I'd found this old post and thought I might possibly be able to help out.


I recently bought a Timegrapher and was having the same problem timing my Powermatic 80.

The fix I found doesn't require removing the case back, but simply requires increasing the mic gain/sensitivity.

For those not familiar with the configuration/operation of the Weishi Timegrapher 1000; pressing the Value Up/Down buttons will change the mic's sensitivity, during the first 5 seconds of having pressed the Start/Stop button.

I've included a few photos showing my results before and after increasing the mic gain.

Cheers

1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg
 

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Hi,


After researching the same issue with my Powermatic 80, I'd found this old post and thought I might possibly be able to help out.


I recently bought a Timegrapher and was having the same problem timing my Powermatic 80.

The fix I found doesn't require removing the case back, but simply requires increasing the mic gain/sensitivity.

For those not familiar with the configuration/operation of the Weishi Timegrapher 1000; pressing the Value Up/Down buttons will change the mic's sensitivity, during the first 5 seconds of having pressed the Start/Stop button.

I've included a few photos showing my results before and after increasing the mic gain.

Cheers

View attachment 13111017 View attachment 13111019 View attachment 13111021 View attachment 13111023
Here's a lot simpler fix:

Get an actual WITSCHI instead of a fako hecho in el china producto.
 

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That's all well and good, Pithy, except that the price of the Witschi kit is prohibitive for many and the Chinese units actually provide perfectly acceptable results within their design parameters. As a basic timing and diagnostic tool they're well above their price point.

Don't forget, it isn't all that long ago that most indie watchmakers were relying on Vibrographs and similar. with no amplitude measurement and certainly no 'scope function but the competent ones were still capable of maintaining chronometer performance.

I understand that you have an almost pathological disregard for anything coming out of China, but their quality is improving exponentially and their pricing is untouchable by good ol' home grown stuff whether you like it or not. Pretending otherwise won't change that and won't make any difference outside your own head.
 

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Hi,


After researching the same issue with my Powermatic 80, I'd found this old post and thought I might possibly be able to help out.


I recently bought a Timegrapher and was having the same problem timing my Powermatic 80.

The fix I found doesn't require removing the case back, but simply requires increasing the mic gain/sensitivity.

For those not familiar with the configuration/operation of the Weishi Timegrapher 1000; pressing the Value Up/Down buttons will change the mic's sensitivity, during the first 5 seconds of having pressed the Start/Stop button.

I've included a few photos showing my results before and after increasing the mic gain.

Cheers
I discovered this by accident too, when I was trying to change the LCD contrast, following the manual.

I was certainly surprised when pressing the Up/Down buttons did nothing to the contrast, but instead changed the gain!!
 

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Here's a lot simpler fix:

Get an actual WITSCHI instead of a fako hecho in el china producto.
Or perhaps get a Patek Philippe instead of Powermatic? Money grows on trees, right?

I had similar issues with diver Seikos. Triggering level adjusting was the solution with my machine (basically the same as mic gain adjusting). Seiko does not have plastic parts, but they are quiet movements though.
 

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For a bit of fun, here's the Weishi 1000 with the gain adjusted quite high. The spikes are me, sniffing, a couple of feet from the microphone!
Background noise sensitivity is a problem with these cheaper machines - try using a hand blower near the machine - screen full of snow like dots is the result.
 
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