Swatch Group has patented a method for measuring the torque of a balance spring in a timepiece oscillator. The method involves using a main tool with a mock arbor and a holding tool to grip the outer coil of the balance spring, allowing for accurate torque measurement without stressing the spring. GlobalData’s report on Swatch Group gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Swatch Group, HEV energy management was a key innovation area identified from patents. Swatch Group's grant share as of February 2024 was 59%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Method for measuring torque of balance spring in timepiece oscillator

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: The Swatch Group Ltd

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11921468B2) discloses a method for measuring the torque of a balance spring in a timepiece oscillator. The method involves determining the dimensions of the inner surface of the balance spring collet, choosing a main tool with a mock arbor of increasing cross-section, aligning the tool axis vertically, and checking the coaxiality of the balance spring axis. The balance spring is gripped, placed in a measuring position, and the torque is measured by rotating the main tool and/or holding tool without stressing the spring. Various adjustments and tools are used to ensure accurate measurements and proper positioning of the balance spring during the process.

Furthermore, the patent also includes details about the production support tooling required for implementing the method. The production support tooling consists of a main tool with a mock arbor, an insertion guide, drive means, and a holding tool for gripping the outer coil of the balance spring. The tooling also includes measuring means for torque measurement. Additionally, the production support tooling may include features such as adjustable vertical positions, vacuum grippers for handling the balance spring, and vision means for controlling the angular orientation of the gripper. The tooling is designed to facilitate the accurate measurement of torque in balance springs made of various materials, ensuring precision and efficiency in the timepiece manufacturing process.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.