Mainspring

springspring motorspring-wound
A mainspring is a spiral torsion spring of metal ribbon—commonly spring steel—used as a power source in mechanical watches, some clocks, and other clockwork mechanisms.wikipedia
114 Related Articles

Mechanical watch

mechanicalmechanical watchesmanual winding
A mainspring is a spiral torsion spring of metal ribbon—commonly spring steel—used as a power source in mechanical watches, some clocks, and other clockwork mechanisms.
A mechanical watch is driven by a mainspring which must be hand-wound periodically.

Torsion spring

torsion balancetorsion pendulumtorsion
A mainspring is a spiral torsion spring of metal ribbon—commonly spring steel—used as a power source in mechanical watches, some clocks, and other clockwork mechanisms.
For example, clocks use a spiral wound torsion spring sometimes called a "clock spring" or colloquially called a mainspring.

Clockwork

clockwork motorclockworksClockwork Doll
A mainspring is a spiral torsion spring of metal ribbon—commonly spring steel—used as a power source in mechanical watches, some clocks, and other clockwork mechanisms.
A clockwork mechanism is often powered by a clockwork motor consisting of a mainspring, a spiral torsion spring of metal ribbon.

Timer

timerstiming devicesoftware timer
The adjectives wind-up and spring-powered refer to mechanisms powered by mainsprings, which also include kitchen timers, music boxes, wind-up toys and clockwork radios. This type is often used on alarm clocks, music boxes and kitchen timers where it doesn't matter if the mechanism stops while winding.
Manual timers are typically set by turning a dial to the time interval desired; turning the dial stores energy in a mainspring to run the mechanism.

Automatic watch

automaticself-windingself-winding watch
This is the normal standard for hand-wound as well as self-winding watches.
In a mechanical watch the watch's gears are turned by a spiral spring called a mainspring.

Clock

clockstimepiecemechanical clock
A mainspring is a spiral torsion spring of metal ribbon—commonly spring steel—used as a power source in mechanical watches, some clocks, and other clockwork mechanisms.
In mechanical clocks, the power source is typically either a weight suspended from a cord or chain wrapped around a pulley, sprocket or drum; or a spiral spring called a mainspring. Mechanical clocks must be wound periodically, usually by turning a knob or key or by pulling on the free end of the chain, to store energy in the weight or spring to keep the clock running.

Barrel (horology)

barrelgoing barrelbarrels
8-Day movements, used in clocks meant to be wound weekly, provide power for at least 192 hours but use longer mainsprings and bigger barrels.
Used in mechanical watches and clocks, a barrel is a cylindrical metal box closed by a cover, with a ring of gear teeth around it, containing a spiral spring called the mainspring, which provides power to run the timepiece.

Alarm clock

clock radioalarmalarm clocks
This type is often used on alarm clocks, music boxes and kitchen timers where it doesn't matter if the mechanism stops while winding.
Traditional mechanical alarm clocks have one or two bells that ring by means of a mainspring that powers a gear to propel a hammer back and forth between the two bells or between the interior sides of a single bell.

Human power

pedal radioclockwork radiowind-up radio
The adjectives wind-up and spring-powered refer to mechanisms powered by mainsprings, which also include kitchen timers, music boxes, wind-up toys and clockwork radios.
Devices that store the energy mechanically, rather than electrically, include clockwork radios with a mainspring, which is wound up by a crank and turns a generator to power the radio.

Wheel train

going traingear trainkeyless winding
After winding, the arbor is stationary and the pull of the mainspring turns the barrel, which has a ring of gear teeth around it. This meshes with one of the clocks gears, usually the center wheel pinion and drives the wheel train.
It consists of the wheels that transmit the force of the timepiece's power source, the mainspring or weight, to the escapement to drive the pendulum or balance wheel.

Peter Henlein

Many sources erroneously credit the invention of the mainspring to the Nuremberg clockmaker Peter Henlein (also spelled Henle, or Hele) around 1511.
Many sources also erroneously credit him as the inventor of the mainspring.

Fusee (horology)

fuseefuseeschain and fusee
Two solutions to this problem appeared in the early spring-powered clocks in the 15th century; the stackfreed and the fusee:
Used in antique spring-powered mechanical watches and clocks, a fusee is a cone-shaped pulley with a helical groove around it, wound with a cord or chain which is attached to the mainspring barrel.

Isochronous timing

isochronousisochronism
Timekeeping mechanisms are never perfectly isochronous, meaning their rate is affected by changes in the drive force.
In horology, a mechanical clock or watch is isochronous if it runs at the same rate regardless of changes in its drive force, so that it keeps correct time as its mainspring unwinds or chain length varies. Isochrony is important in timekeeping devices.

Stackfreed

Two solutions to this problem appeared in the early spring-powered clocks in the 15th century; the stackfreed and the fusee:
A stackfreed is a simple spring-loaded cam mechanism used in some of the earliest antique spring-driven clocks and watches to even out the force of the mainspring, to improve timekeeping accuracy.

Remontoire

A fourth device used in a few precision timepieces was the remontoire.
In mechanical horology, a remontoire (from the French remonter, meaning 'to wind') is a small secondary source of power, a weight or spring, which runs the timekeeping mechanism and is itself periodically rewound by the timepiece's main power source, such as a mainspring.

Balance spring

hairspringisochronousbalance spring or "hair spring
This was especially true of the primitive verge and foliot type used before the advent of the balance spring in 1657.
Modern balance springs are made of special low temperature coefficient alloys like nivarox to reduce the effects of temperature changes on the rate, and carefully shaped to minimize the effect of changes in drive force as the mainspring runs down.

Verge escapement

verge and foliotfoliotcrown wheel and verge escapement
This was especially true of the primitive verge and foliot type used before the advent of the balance spring in 1657.
Verge watches and clocks are sensitive to changes in the drive force; they slow down as the mainspring unwinds. This is called lack of isochronism. It was much worse in verge and foliot clocks due to the lack of a balance spring, but is a problem in all verge movements. In fact, the standard method of adjusting the rate of early verge watches was to alter the force of the mainspring. The cause of this problem is that the crown wheel teeth are always pushing on the pallets, driving the pendulum (or balance wheel) throughout its cycle; it is never allowed to swing freely. All verge watches and spring driven clocks required fusees to equalize the force of the mainspring to achieve even minimal accuracy.

Escapement

detent escapementCross-beat escapementduplex escapements
This was a small secondary spring or weight which powered the timepiece's escapement, and was itself rewound periodically by the mainspring.
In spring-driven clocks and watches it required a fusee to even out the force of the mainspring.

Balance wheel

foliotcompensation balanceauxiliary temperature compensation
If very little slack was left in the spring after winding ('overwinding"), the pressure of the last turn of the winding knob put the end of the spring under excessive tension, which was locked in by the last click of the ratchet. So the watch ran with excessive drive force for several hours, until the extra tension in the end of the spring was relieved. This made the balance wheel rotate too far in each direction, causing the impulse pin on the wheel to knock against the back of the fork horns. This caused the watch to gain time, and could break the impulse pin. In older watches this was prevented with 'stopwork'. In modern watches this is prevented by designing the 'click' with some 'recoil' (backlash), to allow the arbor to rotate backward after winding by about two ratchet teeth, enough to remove excess tension.
In such an "inertial' wheel, the acceleration is proportional to the drive force. In a clock or watch without balance spring, the drive force provides both the force that accelerates the wheel and also the force that slows it down and reverses it. If the drive force is increased, both acceleration and deceleration are increased, this results in the wheel getting pushed back and forth faster. This made the timekeeping strongly dependent on the force applied by the escapement. In a watch the drive force provided by the mainspring, applied to the escapement through the timepiece's gear train, declined during the watch's running period as the mainspring unwound. Without some means of equalizing the drive force, the watch slowed down during the running period between windings as the spring lost force, making it useless as a timekeeper. This is why all pre-balance spring watches required fusees (or in a few cases stackfreeds) to equalize the force from the mainspring reaching the escapement, to achieve even minimal accuracy.

Spring steel

springyspring grade steelspring-steel
A mainspring is a spiral torsion spring of metal ribbon—commonly spring steel—used as a power source in mechanical watches, some clocks, and other clockwork mechanisms.

Energy

energiesenergy transfertotal energy
Winding the timepiece, by turning a knob or key, stores energy in the mainspring by twisting the spiral tighter.

Music box

musical boxmusic boxesMechanical music box
The adjectives wind-up and spring-powered refer to mechanisms powered by mainsprings, which also include kitchen timers, music boxes, wind-up toys and clockwork radios. This type is often used on alarm clocks, music boxes and kitchen timers where it doesn't matter if the mechanism stops while winding.

Toy

toystoylinetoymaker
The adjectives wind-up and spring-powered refer to mechanisms powered by mainsprings, which also include kitchen timers, music boxes, wind-up toys and clockwork radios.

Carbon steel

mild steelhigh-tensile steelhigh-carbon steel
Since 1945, carbon steel alloys have been increasingly superseded by newer special alloys (iron, nickel and chromium with the addition of cobalt, molybdenum, or beryllium), and also by cold-rolled alloys ('structural hardening').

Alloy

alloysmetal alloyalloying
Since 1945, carbon steel alloys have been increasingly superseded by newer special alloys (iron, nickel and chromium with the addition of cobalt, molybdenum, or beryllium), and also by cold-rolled alloys ('structural hardening').