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Mod. Russian, China Mech.
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Discussion Starter #1
Thanks to the hard work of Lysanderxiii, we have a pretty good idea of what differentiates the Swiss CL888 from its Chinese source ST16
https://www.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?p=2304786

and now here is a statement from James Elsener describing the detail differences between the Eduard Lauzaires EL-18 and the CL888 (sourced from another forum frequented by Mr Elsener):

Every movement is disassembled when the workshop receives them from Claro-Semag. The components are washed to get the oils and greases off. Claro-Semag does not supply outright kits but semi- or fully assembled movements only. Movement kits (ébauches) are a nightmare from a logistics point of view.

Then the work starts and the specialists bring in a different rotor. This rotor is calibrated in such a way as to increase the winding power. The rotor is decorated with Geneva stripes.

The barrel spring is changed against a spring from Generale Ressorts on all movements. It allows for tighter winding coupled to the rotor we use and the spring is unwinding in a smoother way than the original Nivarox-FAR.

Some bridges and the surfaces of part of the gear trains are slightly polished to give the parts a satin touch.

Furthermore we have them bring in blued-screws on all movements.

Most of the above steps are done by hand and therefore every movement might look slightly different from the next.

These are the basic changes we bring in next to some tweaking of the movement which we learned over time and we do keep to ourselves.

In the past we experimented with perlage decorations as well. Claro-Semag has taken over this idea from us and offers a few different trims in decoration nowadays.

We strive to make our watches as reliable as possible. They are intended to be a trusted companion to the wearer. What I do not want is trimming for trimmings sake. This adds unduly to the cost of a watch and puts the squeeze on the funds that can be allocated for cases, dials and other components. All EL watches must remain affordable.
 

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Just wondering, why don't they buy an ST16 to start with, and apply the same treatment?

What I don't understand is is the Nivarox remark. I thought they made the hair- or balance springs, not the barrel springs?

Regards,

Martin
 

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This rotor is calibrated in such a way as to increase the winding power.
Is this even possible? I mean, it is just a piece of metal. Sure you could make it heavier further away from the point of rotation, but c'mon ... calibrated? :-s

Would someone that knows about these things please tell me if I'm wrong.

cheers,
gigfy
 

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Well, the movement of the rotor is part of the process of converting that motion to energy.

If it is perfectly balanced it will more efficiently aid that conversion.

I suppose it is a valid use of terminology, in that regard.
 

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I can't agree bluloo. It is the unbalanced weight of the rotor that causes it to move and wind the watch. If it was "perfectly balanced", it would not spin when subjected to movement.
 

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I would think that most rotors are unbalanced. That is to say, more weight is located at the widest section of the rotor.

Notice the thicker metal (more weight) located farthest from the axis of rotation.




But even if a pie shaped rotor was made from the same material & thickness, when oriented in any other position other than widest part pointing down, the rotor would try and return to that position. Assuming it could overcome the force necessary to wind the mainspring.


cheers,
gigfy
 

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Is this even possible? I mean, it is just a piece of metal. Sure you could make it heavier further away from the point of rotation, but c'mon ... calibrated? :-s
*shrug* when I bought my car, I thought all that was necessary for the wheels was to be attached to my car. Turned out later that my car drove a lot better when the rims were calibrated and weighted. I'm not sure how relevant that could possibly be on a watch rotor, but it's a similar idea ;)
 

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I guess a heavier rotor means more momentum and thus more efficient winding, but it would also put more strain on the attachment of the rotor as well. So my guess is that any manufacturer would have to look for a good balance between momentum and straining the movement...

Of course, I'm not an expert so all above is just IMHO ;-)
 

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Yes, a rotor can be designed to make better use of the weight.

Theoretically, th perfect rotor would have all the weight concentrated at a point at the rim of the rotor diameter and the rest massless. This is of course impossible. But, a larger mass further from the center would be better than the same mass distributed uniformly over the entire rotor.

Seiko did this with the 7S series, some had the weight in a half circle, later ones have the weight in a quarter circle, but the CG is further from the center, thus giving better winding efficiency.

"Calibrated" is probably the wrong word, but, from an engineering point of view, I can see what he means.
 

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Mod. Russian, China Mech.
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Just wondering, why don't they buy an ST16 to start with, and apply the same treatment?
Eduard Lauzaires pride themselves on building their in-house Swiss movement from a "certified genuine Swiss movement blank". If they bought the ebauche direct from Sea-Gull, they could not make that claim.

What I don't understand is is the Nivarox remark. I thought they made the hair- or balance springs, not the barrel springs?
They do both.

Interestingly, Elsener's comments confirm that the mainspring is one of the Swiss components in the CL 888. Basically, the Sea-Gull spring is replaced by a Nivarox spring to make the CL 888 and then replaced again by a Generale Ressorts spring to make the EL-18. They're replacing Swiss content while retaining Chinese content.
 

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Eduard Lauzaires pride themselves on building their in-house Swiss movement from a "certified genuine Swiss movement blank". If they bought the ebauche direct from Sea-Gull, they could not make that claim.

They do both.

Interestingly, Elsener's comments confirm that the mainspring is one of the Swiss components in the CL 888. Basically, the Sea-Gull spring is replaced by a Nivarox spring to make the CL 888 and then replaced again by a Generale Ressorts spring to make the EL-18. They're replacing Swiss content while retaining Chinese content.
This is exactly what made me wonder. The hairspring was already replaced by a Swiss version...

But I understand from a 'smoke, mirror, swiss' perspective that they start with the 888 :roll:

regards,

Martin
 

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Well, no one really knows what all components are changed in the transformation from the ST16 to the CL888.

I have assumed the hairspring and the maninspring were changed, as these two spring will make a big difference in the positional variation and isochronism in the movement
 

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*shrug* when I bought my car, I thought all that was necessary for the wheels was to be attached to my car. Turned out later that my car drove a lot better when the rims were calibrated and weighted. I'm not sure how relevant that could possibly be on a watch rotor, but it's a similar idea ;)
Guy, what you are doing to make the wheels on your car spin smoothly would make the rotor not spin at all. The force that shakes your car when you have an unbalanced wheel is exactly the same force that winds the mainspring of an automatic watch.
 

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So in essence CS and EL are doing the same thing - taking apart a Sea-Gull ST16, prettying up some of the components, replacing the springs, then assembling the movement with their own rotor to their own quality control standards. I agree that this process both adds value to the movements and complies with the law governing use of the 'Swiss Made' label. But the fact remains that these are still re-badged Chinese movements, and calling them Swiss is a technicality.
 

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So in essence CS and EL are doing the same thing - taking apart a Sea-Gull ST16, prettying up some of the components, replacing the springs, then assembling the movement with their own rotor to their own quality control standards. I agree that this process both adds value to the movements and complies with the law governing use of the 'Swiss Made' label. But the fact remains that these are still re-badged Chinese movements, and calling them Swiss is a technicality.
Technically, EL is buying 'Swiss Made' ;-) ;-) CL888 movements and further refinishing them.

cheers,
gigfy
 
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